Posted by: Genny Colby | June 1, 2013

Denver Comic Con 2013

Last year was my first Comic Con…at 38 weeks pregnant!  I was not sure what to expect, and while we were disappointed that Wil Wheaton had to cancel at the last-minute, I was still super super excited to meet James Marsters (you can see my pics here).  So we were super excited to go again this year.  And this year was promising to bigger and better than last  year.  More celebrity guests, more artists, just more!

While it was disappointing that Stan Lee cancelled at the last-minute, we do understand that things happen and that there was nothing the con could do to prevent it from happening.  And they were able to get another celebrity, William Shatner, in his place.  Guests book and back out.  It happens.  Disappointing at times, yes, but it happens.

This year we decided to go with the 3-day weekend pass, allowing us to come and go and not have to get everything in during one window of opportunity.  And since we ended up getting a group rate with friends, it was def the way to go.  On the whole, we had a blast.  This year was bigger and better than last year.  We got autographs from George Takei, Wil Wheaton, and Felicia Day.  There were many others I would have loved to meet and get autographs (my Buffy fandom was itching as J August Richard (Charles Gunn) and Clare Kramer (Glory) were both there too), but I had to stick to a budget!  I will also say that the prices for autographs this year seemed much more reasonable than last.  It was much more accessible to get more than one autograph and/or photo opportunity.

Each celebrity we did get a chance to meet was friendly, took the time to chat for a minute or two, and seemed happy to be there.  I will say, I think that the management company for Felicia Day (and others) may want to remember that those of us who are willing to stand in line for an hour plus are the reason they have jobs…and not be so “don’t take pictures”.  Most celebrities just had a “no flash photography” rule and would not do posed pictures.  Quick snap shots were fine.  It kind of gave me a bad taste at first, but Felicia Day was so friendly and kind and engaged both of our kids…that made up for it!  (and I did sneak a couple of pics anyways).

While I may not know all the different artists, I will say, I am in awe of the talent of them.  What they are able to do, without computers, on the fly, is AMAZING!  We didn’t spend as much time with any artist this year, but I enjoyed looking at them as we wandered through.

We also really enjoyed checking out the different costumes.  I appreciated how willing everyone was to stop and pose for pictures, even with my 4 yr old daughter.  Everyone was kind, patient, and happy to do so.  After seeing all the different costumes, seeing mommy and daddy so excited about the characters, and celebrities, we have now been watching Super Friends.  She has deemed this better than Scooby Doo!  High praise in our house.  So far she loves Wonder Women, Flash, and Superman.  I am a little confused on “Hawk Girl” but okay…  She also likes how they work as a team.

Overall, we had a blast.  But Denver Comic Con really needs to spend the next year thinking not only about booking guests, setting up panels, and lining up sponsors, but also about logistics.  How to handle/process THOUSANDS of attendees.  How to handle registration, tickets, traffic flow, crowd control.  There is some element of waiting at events like this one, it is to be expected.  But making people wait 2+ hrs to even get in the door?

Here are just a few things I think they need to figure out…

-How to get people in the door.  More than one entrance would be a wonderful idea.  Separate lines for the different ticket holders.  Have more registration windows.

-Crowd control.  One door?  really?  For thousands of people?  At the very least have one entrance and a separate exit.  Having only one door to the convention hall to go in and out creates an amazing bottle neck, congestion, and frustration for all.

-Space.  The vendor areas and artist ally really need MORE SPACE in the aisle.  With people stopping to admire merchandise/art work, people stopping for pictures of characters, costumes, displays, and the two-way traffic…there is just not room to move around.

-Space 2-people are going to bring strollers.  Deal with it.  We bring our kids because we want to share this experience, develop a love of comics, super heroes, and all things Comic Con.  Be prepared with access to elevators, ramps, and etc.  We don’t want to be in anyone’s way, or block up aisles/lines/etc we just want to enjoy the Con with our kids, the same as anyone else.

And helping foster the next generation that will be the super heroes, the artists, the celebrities, and fans that make your Con a success.

Volunteer training-every single volunteer we interacted with was wonderful.  They were friendly, helpful, patient, and kind.  But it seems like they didn’t all have the same information, or weren’t train about how to manage the crowds.

-Crowd Control.  yep, this again, because it was really the worst part.  People were turned away…people waited in long long lines when there were probably about 10 other ways to process all those people and still maintain the fire code.  Maybe not have quite as grumpy security guards.  remember that we are all here to have fun and celebrate our inner (and sometimes outer!) Geekness.  I think this year they were very lucky that this is for the most part, a very mellow type of crowd.

At the end of the day, we had so much fun and can’t wait for next year!

**I have no idea why it put my images in the middle of the post…but oh well!  I am tired and they are there, so enjoy!**

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