Ten Things You Need to Know About DINK

Move over, there's something meatier.
Move over, there's something meatier. DiNK

click to enlarge Move over, there's something meatier. - DINK
Move over, there's something meatier.
DINK has positioned itself as the cool older brother of comic cons. Look, we all love superheroes, so by this we mean no offense. But if most comic cons are the pop-culture equivalent of an overexcited kid running around the house with a blanket-cape tied around his or her neck, jumping off the couch and yelling BIFF! BAM! KAPLOOIE!...then DINK is the awesome older sib with tattoos who lives in the basement and has mad art skilz.

DINK 2018 will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15. It’s a convention all about art: comics, tattoo art, urban street art, and artists and their fans, bringing them together in a creative community. It’s a two-day celebration that includes shows, vendors, panels and discussions of comics, small-press zines, alternative art forms, and everything artistically awesome under the Denver springtime sun.

So what is there to know about DINK 2018? More than we can go into here — but these ten DINK facts are a good place to start.

1978: when awesome only cost $1. - KITCHEN SINK
1978: when awesome only cost $1.
Kitchen Sink
1. Cannabis and comix
It’s Colorado, so it makes sense that there’ll be a pot connection, right? For the second year, Denis Kitchen and Mario Hernandez will present a door-to-door comedy and education experience “loaded to the brim with underground comics and discussion centered around the relationship of art and marijuana.” Somewhere, Cheech and Chong are shedding a grateful tear in a smoke-filled van.

The power is yours. And also He-Man's. Or so he claims. - MARK ANDERSON AT FLICKR
The power is yours. And also He-Man's. Or so he claims.
Mark Anderson at Flickr
2. DINK is greening the comics scene
Most conventions work to meet environmental standards, but DINK takes it a step further by putting a real emphasis on green living as a major goal. Efforts include buying local, using 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper and soy inks, trash recycling and composting, encouraging fans to bring their own bags for their purchases, and providing water so attendees can fill their own reusable water bottles. It’s all about DINK’s wish to “leave no trace”…and yes, there’s an inker pun (Chasing Amy) just sitting there waiting to be made. But, you know…priorities.

click to enlarge All Sith love chocolate mint chip. - CHRONICLE BOOKS
All Sith love chocolate mint chip.
Chronicle Books
3. Jeffrey Brown
Cartoonist and author of the Darth Vader and Son, Vader’s Little Princess and Goodnight, Darth Vader series (and a whole lot more), Jeffrey Brown is a winner of both an Ignatz Award and two Eisner Awards. He might be best known for his Star Wars-related work, but his range is far wider — and very much deserving of a stop at his table for a quick sketch.

Let your geek flag fly, whatever floats your sail barge. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Let your geek flag fly, whatever floats your sail barge.
Danielle Lirette
4. Diversity and Safer Spaces
I’m just going to let DINK’s extensive anti-harassment policy speak for itself here: “DiNK is committed to the creation of a safe, inclusive environment that covers a wide array of viewpoints. This includes, but is not limited to ethnicity, age, religion, gender expression, sexual orientation, language, disability, or viewpoints. DiNK is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Use of sexual or discriminatory language and imagery is never appropriate at DiNK.” For a convention like DiNK, inclusion is foundational and taken seriously.

click to enlarge One of the many Cerebus phone books that still warrant a place in your aardvark-barbarian collection. - AARDVARK-VANHEIM
One of the many Cerebus phone books that still warrant a place in your aardvark-barbarian collection.
5. Gerhard
There aren’t many artists who can pull off the one-name thing. Most of them are musicians (Madonna, Cher, Prince, Eminem), but it happens in visual arts, too: Michelangelo, Kirby…and Gerhard. Gerhard was working in an art-supply store, or so the story goes, selling prints of his work when he fell into contact with indie comic legend Dave Sim and began working on Sim's seminal series Cerebus, starting with issue No. 65 and continuing on through its last issue, No. 300. Gerhard is known for joking that his job was to “draw tables and chairs behind an aardvark,” but his intricate background work has inspired legions of fans for decades, all humility aside.
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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