Denver Comic Con Returned To The Mile High City For Another Amazing Weekend

Denver Comic Con arrived back in Denver with a slew of characters. (Photo: Jason Pendleton)

The comic con scene is alive and well in Denver nowadays. Denver Comic Con continues to grow exponentially year after year with bigger crowds and more importantly bigger guest celebrities. This year was no exception.

This year boasted the likes of childhood heroes of mine such as Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy of Sixteen Candles fame. Val Kilmer was in attendance, Mr. Iceman himself. A who's who of current television stars such as Jason Momoa (Justice League and Game of Thrones), David Harbour of recent Stranger Things fame and Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy). The list goes on and on.

This year's crowds seemed on par with last years  in terms of numbers. Vendors still maintained their strong threshold with a vast opportunity to get your collectables. With 3 Main Events stages, 25 session rooms, and almost 750 hours of celebrity Q&As, panels, workshops and demos there wasn't a dull moment at this years con. There was something to keep you busy all three days.

Lot's of time and dedication went into this years cosplays. (Photo: Jason Pendleton)

The amount of hours people put into their cosplays this year did not go unnoticed, vast amounts of different array of costumes adorned the convention hall, from your usual Star Wars and Dr. Who to more intricate costumes from the world of anime and comic books.

Photo Gallery: Jason Pendleton

This years attractions such as Opening Night, Celebrity Summit, Artist Valley and Booktopia provided guest unique and one of a kind experiences. It is these experiences that people love to come to and participate in.

The Riverdale panel with KJ Apa, Skeet Ulrich and Molly Ringwald. (Photo: Austin Voldseth)

This years panels were a big hit. (Photo: Austin Voldseth)

Photo Gallery: Austin Voldseth

Star Wars And The Power of Costume Exhibit At The Denver Arts Museum Impresses In Many Ways

The Force is wide awake in Denver and will be until April 2, 2017. The Denver Art Museum is currently playing host to amazing exhibit Star Wars and The Power of Costume. The exhibition will give DAM visitors a look behind the scenes into the fantasy, marvel and delight of bringing characters in the Star Wars universe to life through a dramatic presentation of original costumes. Star Wars and the Power of Costume will closely examine the captivating process of costume conception and design for iconic outfits, from Princess Leia’s unforgettable bikini to Darth Vader’s imposing black uniform, featured in all seven films of the Star Wars series. We had a chance to check out the exhibit during press day earlier this week and were captivated by the extraordinary detail and craftsmanship each and every costume goes through. From the conceptual sketches to the costumes being brought to life. 

“The creative process behind crafting the world of Star Wars is part of a pop-culture phenomenon that we are thrilled to bring to the Rocky Mountain region,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “A vivid exhibition display and behind-the-scenes look will delight creatives, designers and die- hard fans alike.”

The challenges and triumphs of bringing characters and their believable worlds to life will be revealed through thematic exhibition sections, including Jedi vs. Sith and the Galactic Senate.

More than 60 hand-crafted costumes from all seven blockbuster Star Wars films will uncover the connection between character and costume. Star Wars and the Power of Costume also will explore the imagination and artistry of the world’s most recognized cinematic costumes, taking a closer look at the iconic villain Darth Vader, Wookiee Chewbacca, X-Wing pilots and DroidsTM, including C-3PO and R2-D2.

“So many of us have warm memories and a fascination associated with the Star Wars films, and it’s really the characters that maintain this longstanding connection,” said Stefania Van Dyke, interpretive specialist at the DAM. “Characters like Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker have become inseparably associated with their costumes, and our unique presentation will give a look at the inspiration and nuanced creative processes of designers and artisans.”

Visitors will be able to tap into fantasy, quality craftsmanship and character development through immersive experiences that include powerful Star Wars royalty, military and senate imagery, as well as behind-the-scenes videos and testimonials from artists, designers and actors.

Star Wars and the Power of Costume will be on view in the Anschutz and Martin and McCormick galleries on level two of the Hamilton Building. Individual tickets for this specially ticketed exhibition will go on sale on May 4, 2016. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are available now by emailing or calling 720-913-0088. The museum is now taking reservations for private gallery rentals and events, including holiday parties. Spaces book early, call for rates and more information. 

Photo Credits: Robert Castro

Lifestyle | Star Wars Celebration | April 16-19 | Anaheim, California

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for." (Photo Credit: Juan Colmenero)

Here I am walking up to the Anaheim Convention Center to experience my first convention as a fan. I can’t help but be mesmerized by all of the costumes and overhearing the reciting of lines throughout the area.

“Move along….move along” as I was passing the food truck courtyard.
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” whispered a young man near the fountain.
“I don’t think the Empire had Wookies in mind when they designed her, Chewie” was overheard while waiting in the Queue Hall minutes before doors opened.

I’m talking about Star Wars Celebration Anaheim; the place to be if you’re a Star Wars fan. Unfortunately, I missed out on the Opening Ceremony (a panel featuring The Force Awakens Director J.J. Abrams and the CEO of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy) due to me flying in later that day. That panel was the talk of the convention and hearing everybody’s reaction made you feel just how excited everybody was during the Opening Ceremony.

Celebration had everything you could have ever wanted from a Star Wars convention.
Cosplay contests, behind the scenes photos, autograph sessions, panels featuring people who are/have worked on the Star Wars movies, video game flight simulators, limited edition memorabilia that was specific to Celebration.

On my first day there, I followed John, a 6’5” gentleman from St. Louis who has been to multiple Celebrations prior to Celebration Anaheim, up to the third floor to try and get a sneak peak at the new Star Wars Battlefront game that’s coming out in November. We made it to the back of a very long line and after waiting 30 mins and moving what seemed like 10 feet, the Digital Stage had reached capacity and were no longer letting anybody in to see the trailer.

I realized that this was a common sight at Celebration.

The newest droid in the Star Wars Galaxy BB-8 (Photo Credit: Juan Colmenero)

Want to watch Mark Hamill’s panel? Better line up 2 hours prior. Ok well Carrie Fisher has a panel at X PM better line up 2 hours before that. Want to buy merchandise from the official Celebration store? Gotta wait in a line to get into the line that gets your into the store and then wait another 2 hours just to check out.

Lots of waiting with no guarantee that you were going to see/experience the event of your choice. Everyone at the convention kept blaming Disney for them wanting to host Celebration about a mile away from Disneyland. Now, I get it. I understand why Disney would want to host Celebration so close to their parks and Downtown Disney. It’s the same reason they host D23 at the same convention center.

What I, and I’m sure everybody else who attended Celebration, would like to see is Disney take the technology they use for time/line management and use this to make Celebration lines more about interaction and less about waiting. I’ll give Disney a pass on this Celebration as this was their first one since the Lucasfilm acquisition but hopefully the next stateside Celebration will be better.

All in all, I had a blast. From hearing everyone’s Opening Ceremony’s stories to seeing all of the costumes and watching the new Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One trailer (which hasn’t been released anywhere), this has been a convention that I’ll never forget and I’m already planning to go to Celebration next year in London.

-Juan Colmenero