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Denver Comic Con 2015: Alive & Kicking Beyond the 3-Day Weekend

One of the benefits of events such as Denver Comic Con is that there’s an entire army of employees and volunteers whose goal is to make this the best gorram experience you’ve ever had. Thank you for that, by the way.

But now that the three days of awesomeness are all over, you’re not left with just the option of waiting until next year – or even until the next Con – to build on what you’ve learned and experienced.

Did you attend the Browncoats panel and left wishing that you had a local group you could geek out with? Maybe you finally found that long-sought-after KAZ 2Y5 t-shirt, yet you know that you’ll only be greeted with blank stares every time you wear it. Or perhaps you attended the DC Entertainment Presents – Master Class: Art History panel and feel you’ll be judged if you admitted to anyone that you were full of intense, dark jealousy when the artists gave their sketches to all the kids in the room. Way to go, kids.

DC Master Class

The point is: You don’t need to wait for someone else to create the experiences you’re looking for: past, present or future. You can be the author of awesomeness and not let the magic of DCC 2015 end at the Convention Center doors.

Catch up on what you might have missed

Monday PassBack in February when I turned my sights toward Denver Comic Con, I had visions of cosplay and celebrity panels dancing in my head. However, that weekend was already booked with houseguests who, although they share the same DNA, lack common vision, so I settled for a Monday pass instead.

Even though I left humming “Hooked on a Feeling,” thanks in part to the Stormtroopers dancing in Celebrity Summit, I still wanted more. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the same way, even those who were lucky enough to get a 3-day pass before they sold out faster than Han’s itchy trigger finger.

Many of the things on my Con bucket list remain, but, fortunately, there are some resources I’ve come across that will help anyone fill in the gaps (or relive some of those special moments).

Bleeding Cool
Your first stop should be Bleeding Cool. They have a ton of post-Con tips and articles that will take you quite a while to digest. Want to read up on the Alan Tudyk panel you missed because of aforementioned houseguests? No problem. How about a wicked photo album? You got it.

Cosplay review
Thanks to the growing appreciation of fandoms and the creativity that goes into displaying that appreciation (as well as the increased emphasis on protecting those who participate), the cosplay community – those who play and those who observe – grows stronger every year. Westword offers an amazing slideshow of cosplayers from this year’s event, which also serves as one of your first places to find inspiration for your next Con experience.

Post-Con proactivity
By now you may have heard about the Women in Comics panel that led to one of the disappointments of this year’s event. But did you also hear about how those who left unsatisfied (to say the least) didn’t let it stop there? They allowed that disappointment to become the fuel for proactivity – launching their own “flash panel” to discuss the issues they had hoped would be addressed days before. The power of these Cons is more than just what is seen on the outside. We can let what is said up on those stages educate how we proceed once the lights go down.

Find community – no matter how social you are (or aren’t)

And I’m not talking about a Community binge-watching session (although I support that 100%). I’m talking about finding that group of friends who really get you. You know, the ones who also want to name their next cat Jonesy, or accept “Frak!” as a legitimate expletive, or want to be the Spock to your Nyota.

I asked author and geek extraordinaire Bonnie Burton what her favorite part was about her experience at Denver Comic Con this year, and her answer? Making new friends.

BonnieGrrrl_Twitter

I think the smiling faces say it all:

 

Bonnie & Friends

Having walked the floor of a Con doesn’t mean that we’re any different from anyone else seeking real connections. Some of us are social creatures, some of us are self-proclaimed hermits. No matter what your social tolerance level is, there are things you can do to expand your current circle to include more people who love what you love.

Let Denver Comic Con 2015 be a catalyst for enhanced community. Below are a few ideas to get you started, in order of the amount of personal interaction and risk required. And to help drive these suggestions home, I’ll show some love to the Firefly fans out there by providing real examples for that lonely Browncoat who attended the Monday panel in room 603.

Browncoats

Offline events
See if there are local offline events you could attend (or even volunteer for). There’s nothing like getting in on the ground level of an event that promotes something you’re passionate about and, in turn, also introduces you to those with the same passion.

Online communities
Lives are crazy, so not everyone has the time or energy to add another thing to their schedules. If that’s you, then why not try an online community? Jump on the amazing (and kind) Google+ Firefly community and start chatting it up with other Firefly fans. Perhaps a few of them made it to DCC and you can swap stories. Or maybe you all are planning to attend an upcoming Con and want to meet up at the Firefly Cargo Bay to buy some memorabilia. Or maybe you just want to find someone who makes Jayne hats (not officially, of course). Communities like this have a lot to offer true fans, especially in the way of making true connections.

One on One
Maybe you’re more of a 1:1 type of person. If so, then you’ll need to start converting your current friends and associates now so that they’ll attend DCC 2016 with you next year. Loosen that grip you have on your Firefly DVDs (the Blu-rays can stay at home) and lend them to your co-worker and her boyfriend. You’ll be cursing together in Mandarin before you know it and planning Serenity movie nights that all your friends will be jealous of, which will start the lending and cursing cycle all over again. Mwah-ha-ha.

Hitch yourself to the DCC social bandwagon

We all know that social media offers many opportunities to connect with those who share your affinity for geek culture. And it’s likely that some of these newfound friends will be attending the same Cons you will. More friends = a more connected and shared experience. Isn’t that what these events are really meant to foster anyway?

If this sounds appealing to you, but you don’t know where to start, no problem. Denver Comic Con has all the major social channels covered (although some are kept more up to date than others). Making this a goal will pave the way to a more amazing Con experience next time (whether it’s DCC 2016 or SDCC next month). Here’s where I’d head first:

DCC on Facebook
Photos, surveys and contests, oh my! Denver Comic Con not only wants YOU to tell them how to make DCC 2016 even better than this year’s event, but they’re also doing a great job of keeping their community engaged through discussions and drool-worthy contests (Jurassic World, anyone?). It’s not just a place to remember the past, but also to get excited for the future. And there are lots of positive conversations happening here, so join in on the fun.

 

Jurassic World

DCC on Twitter
Obviously, this is a great place to see what Denver Comic Con is sharing about the event and find content you may have missed (podcasts, inside stories, etc.). But take a peek behind the curtain and check out the peeps they are retweeting or have been chatting with to find like-minded people you might want to follow. Who knows? Their follower and following lists may be the start of finding a new Twitter best bud. I’ve discovered new artists and other experts of obscure cult references this way, so it’s well-worth the effort.

#DCC2015 hashtag
Peruse the activity around #DCC2015 on all social channels. Twitter, of course, yields high results, but Tumblr is also plentiful with geeky goodness. This is another chance to catch up on things you might have missed, reminisce about the good times you had, and possibly find that person who was just as excited as you were to meet Garrett Wang.

 

Twitter Garrett Wang

Pinterest
An opportunity awaits! As an avid pinner myself, I was surprised to see that Denver Comic Con isn’t officially on Pinterest, which just means a great opportunity for us pinners to fill the void. Search reveals some pins, but there isn’t a solid movement here … yet. If you do take up this challenge, be sure to include “Denver Comic Con 2015” in the description and possibly #DCC2015. This will help others find your pins … and you.

The excitement of Denver Comic Con 2015 doesn’t have to end once you’ve waved goodbye to the Big Blue Bear. What impacted you at DCC and how are you keeping it alive and kicking? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

And if you want to extend the life of your experience by investing in Fort Collins’ first Comic Con, then contact Nate or Nick to get plugged in.

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[panel style=”success” title=”About the author: Rebecca Gilmore” text_align=”left”]Rebecca Gilmore works with Mack Web to create marketing with meaning. Her interests can be summed up in three words: Coffee, sci-fi, and marathons (in front of the TV). Okay, that’s like nine words. She can also be found whittling the hours away on Twitter or Pinterest.[/panel]

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