Anime and Cosplay

Pros and Cons of Denver Comic Con 2017

Can you tell me what this line is for?
Danielle Lirette
Can you tell me what this line is for?
The 2017 Denver Comic Con was one for the books. The sixth year even topped last year's record-breaking attendance figures — if only by a hair. Attendees numbered 114,500 in 2016 and registered at an even 115K for 2017. That means that an estimated $10 to $40 million was brought into the Denver economy, with plenty of support for the Pop Culture Classroom, which puts on the Con, and its children’s literacy programs — not to mention all of the happy fans who lined up for celebrities signing autographs, comic creators both legendary and up-and-coming, and more than 500 hours of programming that ran the gamut of geeky goodness.

A success, to be sure...but that doesn’t mean that everything went swimmingly.

There were changes this year, and with changes comes grumbling — especially for a fan community that values continuity.  After hearing those grumblings, we checked in with Tara Hubner, marketing and communications manager for the DCC and Pop Culture Classroom, to get her response. In the interest of making Denver’s homegrown Comic Con the best event it can be…and to shut up the nattering nabobs of nerdtastic negativism in 2018, here are the most frequent complaints, and Comic Con's responses.

click to enlarge You know this was Dad's idea. - AARON THACKERAY
You know this was Dad's idea.
Aaron Thackeray
1. The Date
The weekend of Denver Comic Con has been on and off in terms of matching up with Father’s Day weekend...but this convention was the latest it's ever been, running into Fourth of July weekend and coming up close to San Diego Comic Con. Rest assured: Next year, DCC will once again coincide with Father’s Day weekend, June 15-17. What better way to spend Dad’s Day than surrounded by superheroes?

Sadly, the Big Blue Bear did not get an eyeful in 2017. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Sadly, the Big Blue Bear did not get an eyeful in 2017.
Danielle Lirette
2. The Space
One of the biggest headaches this year — both for organizers and attendees — was created by the move from the front of the Colorado Convention Center to the back. In other words: from the sunny atrium by the Big Blue Bear to the back of the facility, through the Bellco Theatre entrance. It made for a confusing layout, a lot of misdirection, even a cosplay area tucked into a dim spot where lighting was an issue. To be fair, little of this was the fault of DCC organizers, who had to work around the center’s busy schedule, including a conflicting event that was just winding down when DCC was setting up. It’s been confirmed that next year’s DCC will once again take over the front space, making the atrium — a popular area for meeting and lounging and picture-taking in years past — available again to fans and families. 

click to enlarge Lines are all part of the con-going experience. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Lines are all part of the con-going experience.
Danielle Lirette
3.  Entrances, Lines and ADA Access
No one likes to wait in lines, and this year’s convention had plenty. What most concerned attendees was the single general admission line. (Two others were specifically assigned to special cases: one for exhibitors, volunteers and media; the other for Speed Pass/ADA attendees). Hubner admits that Saturday was a “volume problem,” but says Friday and Sunday’s entry lines “worked well.” There were also rumblings about ADA access not being up to snuff (despite the dedicated entrance), but Hubner points out that months before the event, Con organizers improved ADA systems, “increasing the number of access points and ADA/Info booth and personnel to address special needs.” It’s possible that ADA concerns might have stemmed from the new Con location; it’s possible that some of the line issues were simple miscommunication as a result of those same changes, made worse by new security policies. “The safety and comfort of all our guests is of paramount importance, especially our patrons with disabilities,” Hubner says — which means that fans have reason to hope that 2018 will see improvements in all of these areas.

Keep reading for more Comic Con fixes.