About FoCo Comic Con

Goal of FC3 – FC3 Growth – Who’s Behind It – Benefits to the Library District

What’s the story?

Fort Collins Comic Con is a locally organized, affordable convention celebrating geek culture and our creative community. Since 2015, we’ve raised over $140,000 for youth literacy and mental health initiatives. Packed with everything you love: comics, cosplay, gaming, scientists, special guests, and more, our events bring together 3,000+ fans, 150+ vendors, and a passion for comics, pop culture, gaming, and creativity in Northern Colorado.

Through our partnerships with organizations like the Fort Collins Symphony, the Fort Collins Autism Resource Fair, and the Teen Self-Care Fair from the Alliance for Suicide Prevention, we also help provide creative literacy programming to our community’s youth, illuminating pathways to creativity and mental wellbeing that are both fun and sustainable.

What’s the goal of the Con?

Simply put: A fun, accessible, and representative locally-organized Pop Culture Convention experience in Northern Colorado to encourage children’s literacy and increase access to art, culture, and local creators in our community.

Fort Collins Comic Con is meant to encourage youth literacy through comic books and other pop culture mediums. We also created the Con to fill a void for Northern Colorado geeks, who normally have to drive 2+ hours to attend a pop culture con, typically at great cost for attendees and vendors alike.

Our goal is to bring together creators and geeks of all ages and types into an affordable Con experience. Whether you appreciate comics, Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Buffy, Harry Potter, zombies, gaming, steampunk, or something else – we’ve got something for you and you can have a great time near your hometown.

How has FC3 grown over time?

2015 Highlights

2016 Highlights

  • August 27-28, 2016 at the Northside Aztlan Community Center 
  • A sell-out crowd of 2,500 and $30,000 raised for the Library District. 
  • Three guest stars in attendance: Gigi Edgley, Richard Hatch, and Robert Meyer Burnett.
  • Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell showed up and declared August 27 and 28 “Local Heroes Weekend.” 
  • Other geeky events held: First annual Kessel Run held on 5/4 with 150 attendees raising an
    additional $1,000 for the Library District, along with Nerd Prom and Teen Nerd Prom.

2017 Highlights

  • August 26-27, 2017 at the Northside Aztlan Community Center
  • A total crowd of 3,200 and $30,000 raised for the Library District. 
  • Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell showed up and declared August 26 and 27 “Local Heroes Weekend.” 
  • A revamped costume contest into a Cosplay Catwalk with record participation. 
  • Notable guests included Disney animators Greg Guler and Michael Toth and showrunner Victor Cook. 
  • A T.A.R.D.I.S. was built on-site by the Local Makerspaces!
  • Other geeky events in 2017: The 2nd annual Kessel Run was held on 5/4 with 300 attendees, 1st annual Harry Potter Weekend, 2nd annual Teen Nerd Prom, and 1st annual Back To The Future Geekend for a Cause. 

2018 Highlights

  • August 25-26, 2018 at the Northside Aztlan Community Center.
  • A total crowd of 2,800 and $20,000 raised for the Library District.
  • Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell showed up and declared August 25 and 26 “Local Heroes Weekend.” 
  • Notable guests included Disney animator Greg Guler, Erin Macdonald PhD, Val Hochberg, Gordon Purcell, and Rob Davis.
  • The Con’s very first wedding ceremony during the Cosplay Catwalk
  • Other geeky events in 2018: The 3rd annual Kessel Run on 5/4 with 350 attendees, 2nd annual Harry Potter Weekend, 3rd annual Teen Nerd Prom, 1st annual Create Your Own Superhero Day, and the 1st annual Kessel Runners Couch-to-5K Program.

2019 Highlights

  • August 17-18, 2019 at the Northside Aztlan Community Center.
  • A total crowd of 2,800 and $25,000 raised for the Library District.
  • Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell showed up and declared August 17 and 18 “Local Heroes Weekend.”
  • Notable guests included Robin Shelby, Disney animator Greg Guler, Erin Macdonald PhD, CC Petersen, Thomas Estrada, Nicki Rapp, Rich Fogel, Cachet Whitman, and more!
  • Other geeky events in 2019: The 4th annual Kessel Run on 5/4 with 300 attendees, 3rd annual Harry Potter Birthday Bash, and the 2nd annual Kessel Runners Couch-to-5K Program.

2020 Highlights

2021 Highlights

2022 Highlights

  • 2022 marked the first year since COVID that we were able to host FC3 again in-person, and boy were we glad to see you all again! We focused on excellent science panels and returning to our roots at the Aztlan Center. We joined the Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the Autism Resource Fair to help creative kids design their own superheroes!

2023 Highlights

  • FC3 brought BIPOC representation to the forefront with R. Alan Brooks and Rafael Maldonado-Bad Hand designing our posters, stickers, and signage! 2023 also launched our partnership with the Alliance for Suicide Prevention as our beneficiary, donating $20,000 to their amazing work.

Who’s behind Fort Collins Comic Con?

In August 2014, Nick Armstrong and Nathan Scott met over at Crooked Cup and began plotting. Nick’s background in organizing events like TEDxFoCo, Ignite Fort Collins, and Fort Collins Startup Week combined with Nathan’s background as Director of the Fort Collins Zombie Fest fueled the desire for a large-scale pop-culture event for geeks.

Paula Watson-Lakamp (Communications Director for the Poudre River Public Library District) joined in shortly thereafter – with serendipitous timing; the statewide Summer Reading Program theme was Superheroes! They began to organize Fort Collins Comic Con in earnest.

A team of volunteers was recruited to be Coordinators, and each year new attendees have stepped up from volunteering to coordinating. You can explore the current team here.

In 2020, a new non-profit Howdy Neighbor Events was formed to provide operational and logistical support for Fort Collins Comic Con, Founded in FoCo, and a number of other events aimed at bolstering literacy in Northern Colorado.

How does the Poudre Libraries benefit from FC3, beyond the monetary donation?

The Library District sees immediate and sustained impacts on library services that benefit library customers and the community:

  • A boost in overall circulation (materials checked out) immediately following the Comic Con each August which is maintained for the rest of the year.
  • An increase in the number of comic books borrowed via hoopla specifically. For instance, from 2016 to 2017 the Library District had a 41.5 percent increase in comic book circulation through hoopla.
  • New comic books and graphic novels purchased each month and added to the in-library reading racks.
  • Multiple books added to the collection featuring do-it-yourself costume design and cosplay.
  • The purchase and addition of self-publishing tools and content discovery resources to support local creatives: SELF-e, Pressbooks, and Biblioboard with “Indie Colorado.”
  • Unique “geek-friendly” events and programming at the libraries with mixed audience interest and all-ages participation.
  • New partnerships and collaborations with local businesses and organizations that began at the Con and evolved into other capacities like summer reading sponsorships and our Flash Your Card program participation.