Denver Pop Culture Con 2019: Day 1 Diary

Denver Pop Culture Con
The Back to the Future Panel was lots of fun! Read on for more about it. Image credit: Patricia Vollmer

Whoo, what a weekend! I was honored to represent GeekMom this weekend at Denver Pop Culture Con, and my husband and I had a great time with over 100,000 fellow geeks, many of whom could share the experience with their families!

We spent the first day in some Star Trek TOS costumes, but over the course of the day, my husband underwent a transformation. Read on to learn more about our Day 1 experiences. Much of this post will point to the live-Tweeting and live-Instagramming I did over the course of the day.

Vendors

Definitely a #sorrynotsorry perk of being on a media pass, we had advanced access to the exhibit hall 2 hours before it opens to the general public. We had a great time visiting some vendors, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the proprietors before they got super-stressed with the crowds.

Dale Rae Designs has an Etsy shop if you’d like to see more.

You can shop Mer Cosmetics through their online shop here.

The Mud in My Blood shop wasn’t on Instagram, so here’s a link to the shop and her Facebook page.

Cosplay

As mentioned above, my dear husband had started out cosplaying as Spock. In fact, he had been wanting to do this for many years, and he finally made it happen!

But it didn’t last…Dave was annoyed by the ears not fitting and the wig was shedding up a storm. We found the Superhuman Streetwear by Volante Design booth and Dave was absolutely smitten!

Next thing we knew, he had transformed from Spock into Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation!

Wait, what’s that? Bocks Machina?

Yes, that’s this year’s Breckenridge Brewing exclusive brew, only available at the event (and a couple of other special events around central Colorado). The name of the beer pays homage to Vox Machina, the D&D group featured in Critical Role, the cast of which were featured guests this past weekend.

Breckenridge Brewing has been making an exclusive “con brew” each year since the event’s inaugural year, 2012. The fans get to submit, and then vote on, the names for the beer. Each year has been a clever play on our favorite pop culture characters and themes, such as “Fantastic Pour,” “Brews Wayne,” “Razznarock,” and “I Am Brewt”.

DPCC also offers exclusive pint glasses celebrating the con brew, and I’m thrilled to have gotten one this year. Last night my next door neighbor and I realized that those pint glasses are serious collectors items! Not that I plan to sell mine….

Other than our own cosplaying adventures, we were on the lookout for family cosplay, and the first day didn’t disappoint. I had featured all the families in a separate post, but here is a glimpse of the Day 1 highlights:

Artists

Denver Pop Culture Con puts an incredible focus on artists. Many of them are comic artists, but any art is more than welcome. In fact, over the years they have veered away from the larger mainstream comic outlets (such as Marvel and DC), in favor of smaller grassroots operations. Independent artists — even with affiliations with larger publishing houses — are welcome to set up and show off their beautiful work. Enjoy some of my favorite Day 1 artist encounters.

Authors

So…<hanging head ashamedly> this year I didn’t make it to see any authors. In years past I’ve been to author panels and met several comic authors, but I totally missed out on some great opportunities this year and I’m very sorry. From what I understand, GeekDad Eric Parrish and his family were looking forward to meeting several YA authors.

Over 70 authors made appearances. DPCC partnered with Tattered Cover bookstore, Denver’s flagship independent bookseller, to establish a fantastic setup for book signings and meet-and-greets. Unlike at the Celebrity Summit, the book authors did not charge to meet guests and you were welcome to bring your own books from home for signings.

I promise to make more time for authors next year!

Celebrity Summit

“Celebrity Summit” is the area of DPCC where you queue up to meet, photograph, and get autographs from celebrities.

Unlike in 2017, when my oldest son and I spent a considerable amount of time in the Celebrity Summit, we avoided the area altogether this year. As the prices to meet and greet these celebrities continued to rise, I wanted to invest my money in other things (such as my husband’s cosplay transformation!). Therefore, my interactions with the celebrities and DPCC’s “Reel Heroes” was limited to the panels. But I did have the chance to attend several panels this weekend.

Panels

DPCC takes a lot of pride in how they manage crowds and etiquette for their celebrity panels.

On Day 1, there was only one panel that interested me: The Back to the Future panel featuring Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown) and Tom Wilson (Biff Tannen).

No wait, that’s a lie. I wanted to see the Benedict Wong Spotlight also. However, the two panels overlapped and I had to make a decision.

In hindsight, it turns out that one of this year’s panel rules relaxed a bit. In past years, guests had to completely exit the auditorium and queue up for the next panel, but for some reason, this year I was allowed to zip from one panel to another. I wish I had known that because I think I might have been able to see Benedict Wong that way.

I’m thinking the BTTF panel deserves its own post, so I’m working on that now. The two actors had some great stories; but Tom Wilson definitely had a more vibrant demeanor, starkly contrasting Mr. Lloyd’s more subdued personality.

Closing Thoughts

The Friday of the three-day event was definitely less crowded. The panels didn’t fill to capacity, and there were much shorter lines for the exhibitors, vendors, food court, and restrooms. This may have been the first DPCC I’ve been to where I was able to attend on a non-holiday Friday opening day, and it was a delight.

Saturday will be a whole other story, though…the bigger-ticket celebrities were coming into town for the Saturday and Sunday events, including the full cast of the acclaimed webcast series Critical Role.

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