Anime and Cosplay

Ten Biggest Surprises at Denver Comic Con 2017

Now that Disney owns Star Wars, this is potentially canon.
Now that Disney owns Star Wars, this is potentially canon. Teague Bohlen
For the sixth year in a row, downtown Denver is experiencing a pop-culture invasion. Denver Comic Con started on Friday, June 30 (and will continue through Sunday, July 2), and that’s why if you're wandering around downtown you might see Deadpool, Princess Leia and the Powerpuff girls heading down to Snarf's for a sandwich.

We’ve already covered some of the best things to remember at DCC, and provided a Comic Con Bingo game to pass the time in line or at lunch. But we've also already encountered quite a few new surprises that we want to share, so that you're prepared for all of the geeky goodness this weekend. Here are the top ten surprises at Denver Comic Con 2017:

click to enlarge You shall not pass. - TEAGUE BOHLEN
You shall not pass.
Teague Bohlen
10. It’s Sort of Laid Out Backwards
We already knew that a few things were changing with this year’s DCC — the first being the date, moved from Father’s Day weekend to the end of June/beginning of July.  What wasn’t clear until Day One was how the geography of the event had to change as well: This year, DCC took the other side of the Colorado Convention Center, the side facing Speer. It’s further from the light-rail stop, and if you arranged to meet anyone in the atrium — which in years past was the main entrance—you’ll have to change your plans. Organizers say the move provides DCC with more space than ever this year, but it makes the whole thing different and a little labyrinthine...and it's just disconcerting not entering next to the Big Blue Bear.

click to enlarge I'm telling you sir, Princess Toadstool went thataway. - TEAGUE BOHLEN
I'm telling you sir, Princess Toadstool went thataway.
Teague Bohlen
9. …And There’s a Learning Curve in Figuring Out Where Things Are
Give  yourself some time to orient yourself properly once you're at the con. Fans figured it out fairly quickly, but everyone seemed to be going through the stages of Denver Comic Con grief: shock, denial, bargaining, and finally acceptance, picture-taking and merch-purchasing. The most noticeable change is that the entrance atrium that in past years was a primary meeting spot and travel avenue is completely inaccessible, and the poor volunteers whose job it is to direct people in other directions have one of the less desirable assignments around. One lady argued for a good five minutes because she wanted to get coffee “at the good place out front,” and another complained that he “just wanted to scoot through there to have a smoke,” but to no avail.


click to enlarge The number of obsessions in this picture is impossible to count. - TEAGUE BOHLEN
The number of obsessions in this picture is impossible to count.
Teague Bohlen
8. Not That Any of This Suppressed Crowds, or Excitement
Fans flocked to the Con anyway, and even if it did take a little readjustment, the crowds were significant even the morning of the first day, and everyone figured out how to get there from here. The organizers of DCC have been predicting record turnout, and if Friday morning (traditionally one of the lightest times of the event in terms of numbers) is any indication, they’re right.

click to enlarge Hopefully we get more artistic fans closer to 7' tall. - TEAGUE BOHLEN
Hopefully we get more artistic fans closer to 7' tall.
Teague Bohlen
7. It’s Still All About Art
One of the admirable things about Denver Comic Con is how much emphasis it’s put on participatory art, and not just the buying and selling of comics and comic visuals. Each year seems to offer more options for jumping into the artistic pool, and 2017 seems no exception, from the awesomeness of the Kids’ Lab (open to kids of all ages, by the way) to gigantic coloring walls just begging for you to grab some crayons and express yourself.

click to enlarge I wonder if he drew his shirt? - TEAGUE BOHLEN
I wonder if he drew his shirt?
Teague Bohlen
6. And There Are Some Amazing Artists
The comic-book industry has lost a lot of its greats, but it does a fan’s heart good to see some of the big names still making the trip out to the Mile High. From Allen Bellman to Jose Delbo to Neal Adams, there are plenty of greats who'll shake your hand and sign some of their work. And don’t forget that most of these artists come out just for the love of the medium and the kids (and the young at heart) who love it. Insider tip: Art Baltazar is about as generous and genuine as they come — take your kids to his booth, and he’ll not just sign their books, he’ll talk, sketch, smile and make them feel special.

Keep reading for more surprises at Denver Comic Con.

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen