Whether you’re into super heroes, graphic novels, RPGs, video games, anime, sci-fi, cosplay, or all of the above, you will not want to miss the 2015 Denver Comic Con. DCC gets bigger and better every year, and this year promises to be packed with non-stop fun and entertainment.
Produced by Pop Culture Classroom, DCC is dedicated to increasing literacy via comics, graphic novels, and other pop culture media. Comics used to be frowned upon and dismissed as not “real” reading…I remember very distinctly when my teachers would assign us a book report in grade school. They’d tell us to “choose any book–but NOT COMICS!” Well, PCC and DCC are working to change that image. They understand that comics can often be the catalyst for young readers to open their minds up to a whole world of reading. At DCC, there are tons of activities for kids of every age and reading stage. From A to Z, here’s the scoop:
Remember Yakko, Wakko, and Dot? “They’re Animaniacs/and they’re zany to the max!” Oh and don’t forget Pinky and the Brain! This year, one of the highlights of DCC is going to be the Animaniacs Celebration. Cast members will be on hand for the celebration, and even if your kids aren’t familiar with the Animaniacs (why are you depriving them?), they’ll undoubtedly recognize the celebrity voices from such shows as Phineas & Ferb, The Simpsons, Fairly Odd Parents, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Finding Nemo, and more!
Every year, DCC partners with Breckenridge Brewery to create a special edition craft brew. The 2015 Comic Con Beer is “Hulk’s Mash”, and is described as an “aromatic punch of mango, lemon, citrus, and earthy pine”, with a “heroically balanced hoppy aroma and flavor”. The name and label art were both designed and voted on by DCC fans, making it an absolutely one-of-a-kind brew. You can find Hulk’s Mash on tap at Breckenridge Colorado Craft, Hard Rock Café, Hyatt Regency, Marlowe’s, Paramount Café, Pizza Republica, Tarantula Billiards, The 1up (Colfax and Lodo locations), Tilted Kilt, and World of Beer.
C is for Cosplay
Cosplay is short for “costume play”, and it basically just means dressing up as your favorite character.
At DCC, everyone will be dressed for the occasion–some in full, elaborate costume and some in just a simple graphic tee. From Bronies to Whovians and everything in between, pick your favorite theme and go with it! Enter the contest, if you’d like, or just enjoy people-watching.
On that note, prepare younger children for the possibility of some scary-looking costumes. Remind them that it’s all make-believe, but be aware that some of the outfits can look pretty intense. Don’t force a photo op with Predator if your kid is terrified!
D is for Denver
Hello, McFly? DCC is hosted by the Best City in the World! OK, I’m a little biased, but seriously–Memorial Day weekend in one of the sunshine-iest places on the planet? Don’t spend ALL your time indoors at the con–get out and explore downtown, a nearby hiking/biking trail, park, lake, or restaurant patio.
Don’t believe me that a comic convention can be educational? DCC is unique among cons because of its focus on literacy and education. Produced by Pop Culture Classroom, DCC is passionate about getting kids excited about reading. All the kids’ activities are designed to focus on S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) In fact, there is special programming geared toward teachers, as well as programming sponsored by Anythink Libraries and Denver Public Libraries.
F is for Famous People
Celebs from all of Geekdom will be making appearances at panels, and offering photo ops and autographs (for a fee–usually $40-50): Mitch Pileggi of X-Files fame, Patrick Warbuton with his instantly recognizable voice, Sean Astin aka Samwise Gamgee,
Cary Elwes from The Princess Bride, and Nichelle Nichols whose groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek drew the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King himself. And that’s just scratching the surface! There will be over 1000 special guests from the TV, film, music, and literature realms.
G is for Gaming
No matter what your favorite video game, whether it’s Minecraft or Black Ops, you’ll find a fan base and tons of collectibles, merch, games, and strategy guides at DCC. And if you prefer your games a little more low-tech, don’t worry. D&D, Catan, Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, et. al., will be well represented!
H is for Heroes
All your/your kids’ favorite heroes will be here–and villains, too! The cosplay scene at DCC is just amazing. You’re guaranteed to find folks dressed as just about everything, and most are happy to oblige for photo ops. Just ask!
I is for Imagination
Just let it run wild. Be a kid for a day! Embrace your inner geek and let it out to play!
J is for Japan
The Anime scene at DCC is fantastic. Expect lots of booths with books, artwork, toys, and collectibles for sale, as well as lots of people in costume!
K is for Kids
Well DUH! Of course kids are going to love thousands of square feet full of all their favorite movies, games, books, toys, and TV shows! DCC works very hard every year to ensure that their programming is high-quality and includes something for all ages.
The Laboratory is the hub of kid-centric activities at the con! From the DCC website:
“the PCC Lab will feature innovative activities focused around S.T.E.A.M subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math) and pop culture topics beyond comic books—not to mention a few surprise guests along the way! We’ll also be expanding the 8-Bit Lounge to connect even more artists, educators, and professionals with 12- to 19-year-old students.
Whether you’re a teacher, parent, or student, we invite you to visit the Pop Culture Classroom Laboratory—pronounced La-Bohr-A-Tory (more on this soon!)—this year at DCC 2015. Take a seat away from the bustling crowds and join us as we jumpstart creativity with activities for fans of all ages.”
M is for Music
All weekend, the 5280 Stage will be showcasing local and national bands, musicians, DJs, and performing artists. All acts are rated “PG”, and will represent every genre from hip hop to house music!
N is for Novels
Graphic novels, that is! Comics aren’t just limited to 22 pages! Oh, no. Some of the best plot lines, writing, and artwork are found in graphic novels, and you’ll find publishers, authors, and illustrators here along with a huge fan base. There are graphic novels written for every level from early readers to adult, and they are especially popular with the YA set. You’re sure to find some great summer reading here–but beware, they’re addictive!
O is for Orc
If you’ve got a ticket for any of the three days, you’re invited to the Kick Off Party at Hard Rock Cafe. This one’s just for the 21+ crowd, so leave the kids for the night and come get your groove on to the sounds of The Protomen and MC Lars!
And if one shindig isn’t enough, keep the fun going at the official after party (this event requires a separate ticket)
Q is for Queue
Obviously the big draw of the con is inside the Convention Center, but the line to enter is half the fun! Be prepared to wait a while, and arrive as early as possible. Bring a camera–you never know what you’ll see! Of course, be polite and ask permission before going all paparazzi on someone.
R is for Reunion
So…remember a little film called “Weird Science”? Well, it turns 30 this year (ugh…I know…) and a cast reunion panel is planned for Saturday May 23. Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchel Smith are confirmed, as well as a few surprise guests!
S is for Shopping
Parents, take note: Plan to spend some coin. There are booths for days, hawking everything from indie comic books, collectibles, tees, costumes, autographs, artwork, games, Legos, graphic novels, you name it. Bring your Christmas list and plan to check more than a few names off of it!
There’s special programming just for the middle and high school set: at the Teen Craft Area, there’s going to be some awesome hands-on activities such as model building, and stop-motion animation. And in the 8-Bit Lounge, experts in gaming, illustration, and more will be on hand to answer kids’ questions in an unique, more intimate setting.
U is for Unpretentious
DCC works hard to shed the “Comic Book Guy” stereotype…no matter who you are or what your brand of “geek”, you’re welcome here.
V is for Vulcans (and Klingons, and Tribbles, and Andorians…)
W is for Wedding
Somebody’s getting married! DCC is hosting a real live wedding on Monday May 25th at 4pm, in the Main Events Room. The groom will be dressed as Batman, and the bride will be dressed as Daenerys, Mother of Dragons, from Game of Thrones! Come and cheer on the happy couple–I promise this will be one ceremony that’s NOT boring!
X is for X-Files
Did I mention Mitch Pileggi, aka Agent Skinner, is going to be there? I’m a die hard X-Phile, so I am going to fangirl all over him, first chance I get!
Y is for You better hurry and buy your tickets!
3-Day passes were snatched up within days of going on sale, but single-day passes are still available. And kids are only 5 bucks! Purchase here: denvercomiccon.com/tickets
Z is for ZZZZZZZZ
You’ll be exhausted after a full day at the con, so you’ll want a comfy bed to crash in! If you’re not local, reserve a room at one of DCC’s partner hotels. They’re all located right in the heart of Downtown, within walking distance to the Convention Center, and DCC has arranged some special deals.
Coloradomoms.com is honored to be a media member of Denver Comic Con 2015. All images used with permission from Pop Culture Classroom unless otherwise noted. This post is not sponsored by Denver Comic Con, and no compensation was made.