IF YOU GO
What: Denver Comic Con will offer a variety of activities and vendors as well as appearances from movie and television stars and comic book writers/artists.
When: June 15, 6-10 p.m.; June 16, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and June 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St.,
Weekend: adult passes $50, teen (ages 11-16)
Friday: Adult $10, teen $6
Saturday: Adult $35, teen $15
Sunday: Adult $20, teen $12
By Josh Rhoten
After three years of planning, the first ever Denver Comic Con will be a reality Friday.
Denver has hosted science fiction and comic book conventions in the past, but organizers said this would be the first time a comic con will be held in the downtown Denver area.
“Denver has a great fan culture and that shows in everything from sports to conventions like this that have always been well supported,” said Charlie LaGreca, co-director of the convention.
“The conventions and events in the past have been held on the edges of Denver, but we really wanted to get it into the heart of the city.”
Hosted in the spacious 69,000-square-foot Colorado Convention Center, LaGreca said there will be plenty for fans “to nerd out on.”
“It is going to be a cornucopia of nerd culture. We are going to have stuff from blockbuster movies all the way down to rare Manga comics,” he said. “That doesn’t even include the panel discussions, costume contests, LEGO displays, video games and all the other things we have planned through the weekend for people to check out.”
There will also be appearances from comic book artists and writers as well as TV and movie actors from shows like “The Walking Dead,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”
All of which will be available for autographs throughout the weekend.
LaGreca and his partners have been working to bring the fest to Denver for about three years. It has been a learning experience for them.
“There have been a lot of bumps in the road, but we have gotten support not just here in Colorado but regionally and that’s what we really want to build this into. There are fests on both coasts, but we want something for our area to look forward to every year,” he said.
Any money above the cost of putting the convention on will go to the Comic Book Classroom program. The Colorado-based nonprofit afterschool organization teaches fifth- to eighth- graders arts and literacy through comic books. Their display will be the largest on the floor, according to LaGreca, who helped found the program.
“That’s an important program that we really believe in, so no matter how big we get, that is always going to be the biggest booth on the floor,” LaGreca said.
“Some of the graduates will be at the convention as well, working with the artists we brought in and selling their drawings in the process.”
There will, of course, be plenty comic and collectable vendors at the convention, offering rare toys or comics for the right price. The list of participants includes Cheyenne’s own Heroes Only comic store.
“The lineup for this looks really good and it is great exposure and experience for our store,” said owner P.J. Brown. “It is a little stressful, but it is also just a lot of fun.”
Brown suggested first-time convention goers plan their schedules, but be open to changes.
He said the most important thing was to get into the crowd and interact with people.
“Get into the crowd and try and meet some people that are into the same stuff as you,” Brown said. “They are just regular people like you.”
LaGreca wasn’t sure what how big the turnout would actually be.
“I think we are going to be at or near capacity for Saturday at least so people should get their tickets ahead if they can,” he said. “If it goes well we are going to try and have this every year.”