It’s hard to miss the local arts and music scenes: Both are loud, vibrant, firm fixtures of Denver’s cultural landscape. The local comics scene is a newer and humbler, if no less vibrant, piece of the patchwork. Comic-book creators of all genres and visions — from super-heroes to science fiction to poignant memoir to teeming surrealism — have been proliferating in Colorado over the past few years, and that groundswell culminated last year in the first annual Cowtown Alternative Comix Festival, a gathering and showcase of local talent.

Now Cowtown is coming back for a second year, and for Dan Stafford, co-organizer of the fest and co-owner of Capitol Hill’s Kilgore Used Books and Comics, it’s all uphill from here. “The second Cowtown Fest is a good step forward from last year,” says Stafford, who also published the latest comic book by rising underground cartoonist (and Westword contributor) Noah Van Sciver. “Having the fest continue is a testament to the quality of the comics scene here in Denver.”

The Cowtown Comix Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. Van Sciver, Lonnie Allen, Stan Yan, Will Barnes, John Bueno and Sam Spina are among the dozens of artists who will be on hand to sell, sign and discuss their work — and admission is free. For more information, call Stafford at 303-815-1979 or visit
Sat., Aug. 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2010

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Jason Heller
Contact: Jason Heller