There will be a lot that’s familiar at Denver Pop Culture Con this year; after all, this is the same convention that used to be called Denver Comic Con, the nerdalicious institution for comics fans, gamers, celebrity-autograph hunters, artist and author aficionados, cosplay connoisseurs, and anyone that just loves all things good and geeky. But there’s also — as always — something new to see around every corner, and the convention has grown to a point that there are almost too many corners to peer around. It’s an embarrassment of pop-culture riches.
So how do you plan your weekend so you don’t miss something awesome? Here’s a take-along list of the best things to do at Denver Pop Culture Con in 2019, so you can run the geek-tastic gamut of goodness.
Friday marks not just the first day of the convention, but also the opening-night event, which is a full evening of “free comedy, live music, giveaways, and surprises.” It all starts at 7 p.m. at the Captain Colorado Stage, and includes the new Tournament of Laughs, Dueling Pianos, and Master of Ceremonies Ken Reid (from the TV Guidance Counselor podcast). More information on how to participate or just enjoy the show is available at the DPCC website.
Whether you’re a fan of the ’70s Saturday morning Shazam serial or the more recent smash-hit movie of the same name, you can celebrate the “Big Red Cheese” with fellow fans and stars from both eras: Zachary Levi , Asher Angel and Cooper Andrews from the 2019 film, alongside Michael Gray and John Davey from the original.
…or Flash Gordon!
Prefer your science fiction more Freddie Mercury-flavored? This year’s DPCC is your chance to meet not only Flash himself (Sam Jones), but also his love interest Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) from the 1980 cheese-fest flick Flash Gordon. Flash! Ah-ah! He’ll save every one of us.
There will be a plethora of novelists and writers at DPCC 2019, from one of Colorado’s leading literary voices, Peter Heller (Celine) to C.R. Richards (Lords of Valdeon). There’s also a notable influx of other genres besides sci-fi and fantasy — particularly romance and YA. If your “to-read” pile of books by your bedside never seems to shrink, you owe it to yourself to check out DPCC this year…and probably add to that stack considerably.
The Denver convention — no matter its name — has never before been a huge gaming destination. But it's always had something in the way of games, either tabletop or console. That all changes in 2019, as DPCC welcomes Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of the MMORPG World of Warcraft, the Diablo series, Overwatch, and many other titles that have helped define the current gaming landscape. Booth 1237 will be the place to be for pins, toys, shirts, art, and books surrounding the franchises that have probably not only taken up too much of your time, but also your imagination.
Critters, rejoice! Cast members of the popular D&D web series Critical Role are coming to Denver Pop Culture Con to share their talents, sign autographs, sit on panels, and generally roll nat-twenties in the name of gaming-related entertainment. The web series, which focuses on voice actors playing the seminal RPG Dungeons & Dragons, has seen its fan base increase exponentially over the years; come out to DPCC and see (and hear!) the fantasy role-playing fun with creator and dungeon master Matthew Mercer and eight other must-meet stars.
All the Awesome Art
With over 400 creators and exhibitors, from the up-and-coming to the established and honored professionals in the field, DPCC is the perfect place to find something new and amazing to adorn your walls. Original art, signed prints, objects of artisanship, and sometimes just the weirdest stuff you never knew you needed — all of it will be on the tables and ready for purchase. Now’s your chance to own something that will remind you of your days at DPCC and probably give you Marie Kondo levels of sparked joy long after the convention has ended.
Cosplay has been core to the convention experience for a number of years now, and 2019 gets something of a cosplay makeover at this year’s con. DPCC programming director Bruce MacIntosh talked about the new plans at length in an earlier interview, but in a nutshell, the concept is to make cosplay more welcoming for newbies and pros alike. “We want to give all varieties of people a place to express themselves,” MacIntosh says. “We want everyone to have a place to show off their alter ego.” The traditional stage show is still on Saturday night at 6 p.m., but the opportunity to see the passion people have for costuming and physical fandom will be on display all weekend long.
Hey Kids: Comics!
Yes, there will still be comics, even with all the new stuff and the new guests and the increased authors and the film and TV stars and the vendors and the hype. This is still the same con you’ve grown to know and love over the last eight years — only bigger and better. So bring your want lists and search through those longboxes for that collector grail, or just buy a bunch of Archies and Richie Rich books for the kids in your life. Or, you know, for yourself. DPCC means there’s no shame in your nerd game, now and for years to come.
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