From One Who Survived Denver Comic Con…

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Anthony DiMatteo writes;

The official number crunchers say over 48,000 folks showed up for Denver Comic Con this weekend. Last year’s attendance was 27,700. This is the second year Denver has hosted a con, and this merely two-year-old baby has proven it wants to grow up fast.

On Friday, fire marshalls and event security staff turned away over 6,000 very unhappy people. Charlie La Greca was a co-director this year. He’s the fella who, along with his friend Frank Romero, founded the charitable non-profit educational group Comic Book Classroom that was the DCC ticket sales primary beneficiary. La Greca and other event organizers told the Denver Post they were wholly unprepared for that many people. They fully underestimated the power of comic con.

Sunday on the elbow-to-elbow exhibit floor in artist alley, a cheerful Peter Bagge said he’d had an excellent time. He’d sold oodles of merch, and said the DCC was much busier than the con in his Seattle stomping grounds.

Ben Templesmith was fun and enthusiastic on DCC day three, just like he was the rest of the weekend. A fan asked him to sign a bible, and it didn’t explode into flames. Templesmith drew a demonic skull on the cover and wrote, “Love your work Jesus!”

Joe Kelly and Steven T. Seagle were friendly and talkative, and Comico legends John K. Snyder and Matt Wagner were equally easy to approach, ready to hold conversations. Out of the blue, Kelly gifted me a signed copy of I Kill Giants #1 to entice me into buying the soft cover sometime in the future (he had sold out on Friday). That was the only free comic I received all weekend, and it made my day.

The Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day panel was hilarious. They made me realize I should probably spend a lot more time perusing funny YouTube channels. The filled-to-capacity 1,600-seat auditorium lost their minds when Wheaton nailed a brilliant impromptu Cubby the Cutest Dog Ever reviewing the film Air Bud.

Just when you thought you’d seen them all, new cosplayers appeared from everywhere. Some folks never, ever broke character, which is always impressive. When I asked an elven girl if she made her costume, she deadpanned in a squeaky voice, “Oh no, because where I’m from, I can generate my clothes from flowers. But when I came to your world, my powers didn’t work. So I had to ask one of you humans to make some clothes for me.”

Suffice to say, if you plan on attending Denver Comic Con 2014, the sage move is to pre-order your tickets, in January. Who knows how big it’ll be after another year of blockbuster hero movies.

Anthony DiMatteo is a freelance writer, photojournalist and musician from Colorado.

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