As promised, my convention report for Denver Comic Con.
This year, rather than missing DCC, I decided to volunteer as a Crew Member. Those were the grey shirts for those of you who attended. I was supposed to be guest wrangling for Wil Wheaton, but since Anne accompanied him I wound up being more crowd control than anything. I did get the opportunity (via back stage access) to hang out briefly with Shatner, Takei, and Felicia. Less briefly with Robin and Kelly Hu, the latter of which is basically a total badass.
Somehow in the midst of all the crazy going on with a giant second-year con, word got out to the volunteers that I was willing to be an antibully, so I got sent off to break up crowds and shake down stalkers all weekend. Roughly 13 hours a day on my feet on concrete, and not nearly enough food–I did drink plenty of water, though.
I barely got half a moment to chase down all the authors and artists in the vendor/guest areas. It was enough time for me to spew forth a spiel about AnomalyCon and then go running off to the next fire. Jamie fared better hanging out at the AnomalyCon table with her crayon bandoliers.
DCC definitely needs to take over the entire convention center, and I talked with the staff about some thoughts for keeping their volunteers in better shape rolling forward. Compared to the outside appearance of PCC, DCC comes off as a bit green. But they ARE green–this is a team of people who have never done this stuff before and somehow managed to pull what has to be in the top 5 largest crowds for conventions in the US. They presold 46,000 weekend passes. That’s huge. People were upset about the size, but I think they vastly underestimate the accessibility of Denver and the geek culture we have here. We’re one of the top cities for jobs, especially tech jobs. Add to that the fact that we’ve had some really long running, well-established geek cons, and the fact that we have a HUGE concentration of local authors and artists (way bigger than Arizona’s, if my PCC recon is to be believed). All of this mixes up to make the Comic Con reputation bring some new awesome to the Denver metro.
On the other hand, they are already heading the way of PCC–all the focus is on the media guests and the artists/authors barely get time to breath. I hope they improve on the programming rolling forward, but the costuming turnout was pretty amazing. Also, Aubri got to try out her chibi Roxas (Kingdom Hearts II and on) costume. It was basically the cutest thing ever.
Would I want to attend DCC as just an attendee? Probably not–but then, I DO have a control problem. For newcomers to the playing field, they are doing pretty alright. They also had almost as many female guests as male, and a larger-than-expected female turnout (considering it’s a comic convention). Still disproportionate, but better. No wonder StarFest is worried.