What’s the story?
Fort Collins Comic Con has donated $75,000 over the last three years for the Poudre River Public Library District by bringing together thousands of geeks, pop-culture enthusiasts, gamers, fans, artists, writers, creators, cosplayers, and more into the Northside Aztlan Community Center.
Led by a team of super geeks who love to build community and help fellow nerds, Fort Collins Comic Con brings the full convention experience to a small-scale event (last year’s attendance was 3,200).
What’s the goal of the Con?
Simply put: A fun, locally-organized, affordable Con 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 huge events like Denver Comic Con and StarFest, typically at great cost for attendees and vendors alike.
Our goal is to bring together 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.
What can you do at Fort Collins Comic Con?
Fort Collins Comic Con will feature two whole days of interesting panels (classes, hands-on demos, open forums, lectures, and screenings) for you to learn something new, find new connections, and explore your fandom. You’re encouraged to dress up as your favorite character or something totally unique and there’ll be plenty of photo areas available for you to get an awesome picture.
The Vendor area will be filled to the brim with over 140 artists, writers, creators, and local shops – find the perfect geeky compliment to your office or commission one of your own. Come and connect and converse with the names behind your favorite Comic Book Superheroes.
An awesome table-top gaming room hosted by Gryphon Games and Comics will be packed to the brim with awesome tabletop drop-ins and demos. For our tech-savvy geeks, there will be a multiplayer Minecraft gaming setup utilizing a private server and a lounge filled with virtual reality opportunities and retro video games!
The Cosplay Catwalk happens at noon on Saturday and Sunday so you can show off your awesome costume. Beyond the panels, special events, meet-and-greets, and signings happen throughout the con, and a whole lot of fun activities also occur around the con – including TEEN NERD PROM! held at Old Town Library (for kiddos in 6th-12th grades). Cosplay is highly encouraged for these events (for fun).
For our tiniest geeks, there will be a superhero and Ghostbusters training camp, young creator panels, and activities and games. There’s also a “paint and chill” room where instructors teach you how to create your own take-home comic-themed art.
How has FC3 grown over time?
Fort Collins Comic Con 2015
Held at the Northside Aztlan Community Center on September 12, 2015 with a sell-out crowd of 1,800 raising $15,000 for the Poudre River Public Library District. Featured on 9News, CTV, in the Coloradoan, in the Wyoming Tribune, the Loveland Reporter-Herald, podcasts like Thinking Outside The Long Box and even some vlogs – including InvestComics and EVE DRAWS! Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell showed up and declared September 12 “Local Heroes Day”!
Fort Collins Comic Con 2016
Held at the Northside Aztlan Community Center on August 27 and 28th, 2016 with a sell-out crowd of 2,500 raising $30,000 for the Poudre River Public Library District. 3 guest stars in attendance, including Gigi Edgley, Richard Hatch, and Robert Meyer Burnett. Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell showed up and declared August 27 and 28th “Local Heroes Weekend”. First annual Kessel Run held on 5/4 with 150 attendees raising an additional $1,000 for the Poudre River Public Library District, along with Nerd Prom and Teen Nerd Prom.
Fort Collins Comic Con 2017
Held at the Northside Aztlan Community Center on August 26 and 27th, 2017 with a total crowd of 3,200 raising $30,000 for the Poudre River Public Library District. Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell showed up and declared August 26 and 27th “Local Heroes Weekend”. We revamped our Costume Contest into a Cosplay Catwalk and had record participation. Notable guests included Disney animators Greg Guler and Michael Toth and show runner Victor Cook. 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. A T.A.R.D.I.S. was built on-site by the Local Makerspaces!
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 Digital Gunslingers 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.
The next step was to hold a volunteer meeting to figure out interests, needs, and abilities. A team quickly assembled – Candice joined us as the Vendor Coordinator, Nathan and Jenny as the Cosplay Coordinators, Ali as the Programming Coordinator, James as the Volunteer Coordinator, and Chalice as the Hospitality Coordinator.
In 2016, Mary and Mayette joined us to coordinate Programming, Todd joined us to coordinate Vendors, and Rachel, Amanda, and Kelsey joined us to help coordinate volunteers. Stephen joined us to help coordinate cosplay events.
In 2017, Yvonne and Jakki joined us as a Volunteer Coordinator and Social Media Coordinator, respectively.
In 2018, Brianna, Michael, Megan, Nyla, and Jeph joined the organizing team as well.
Additional helpful heroes include: Tony Raymond, Elaine Bueno, Bill Tucker, Jami McMannes, Amanda Armstrong, Jayme DeLoss, RJ Bindi, Kimberly Gonzales, Dave Graham, and every single one of our local volunteers.
How do the Poudre Libraries benefit from FC3, beyond the monetary donation?
The Library District sees immediate and sustained impacts on library services that benefitted 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.
- When is FC3?
FC3 2018 is August 25-26th at the Northside Aztlan Community Center from 9AM to 8PM on Saturday and Sunday, with Vendor hours from 10AM to 6PM.
- Are there any special guests?
Watch our homepage.
- Can I take pictures with guests or get them to sign things?
This varies on a guest-by-guest basis.
- How much are badges?
Ages 13+ Badges: $20
Ages 6-12: $10
5 and under: Free
- When do badges go on sale?
SOON! Typically we start selling our badges on 7/7. Badges can ONLY be purchased on the Fort Collins Comic Con website.
- When can I pick up my badges?
Badges should be ready to pick up from the comic book store you specified within 48 hours of your order, if not earlier. If you purchase your badge after 8/21, you will have to pick up your badge on the day of the Con. Take your receipt with you and TREAT YOUR BADGE LIKE CASH. Badges will be available for pickup from the store until ONE WEEK BEFORE THE CON, after which point you must pick up your badge from the Attendee Check-In booth at the Con.
- Will badges be available at the Con?
A limited number of badges are available at the door, but because of how our badges are priced, if you want to ensure you get a badge, DO NOT WAIT to buy your badges.
- Can I volunteer to get a badge?
Yes, absolutely. As long as there are volunteer spots open.
- When does Cosplay registration begin?
No registration required!
- Have the Cosplay rules changed?
- Can I buy my badge at the store or another website? Can I buy additional badges from the store or another website?
No, all badges have to be purchased from the Fort Collins Comic Con website. Anyone trying to sell you a badge other than us is most likely scamming you. Our badge prices are: $20 for ages 13+, $10 for ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and under.
- What happens if I don’t pick up my badge?
Badges will be available for pickup from the store until your venue of choice closes on FRIDAY AUGUST 24TH! You can pick it up on the day of the con. We don’t recommend this, as you’ll probably have to wait in line. We’ll have it at an Attendee check-in booth for you on the day of the Con.
- Can I pick my badge up on the day of the Con?
Yes, just come straight to the Con and pick up your badge from the Attendee check-in booth. We highly recommend advanced pick-up, as you’ll probably have to wait in line the day of the Con.
- Will there be child-friendly activities?
Absolutely! For our youngest superheroes, there will be a Ghostbusters and superhero training camp hosted by the Fort Collins Ghostbusters and Poudre River Public Library District. The Library booth will also have crafts and supplies to draw. Geek-inspired storytimes will be available to RSVP to, as well as a LOT of photo opportunities. For older kiddos, we have a video game lounge and table top gaming area, Minecraft room with hourly reservations, and panels specifically for kiddos who want to learn how to create something of their very own.
- Will there be panels and vending hours on Friday?
No, here’s the rough schedule:
Friday: No panels or vendor hours. Teen Nerd Prom
Saturday: Vendor Area + Panels + Cosplay Catwalk
Sunday: Vendor Area + Panels + Cosplay Catwalk
- Is there going to be food at the Con?
Yes! Purple Cup Cafe, Gunter’s Bavarian Grill, Lobster Shack, The Goodness, Ripe Tomatoes Wood Fired Pizza, Waffle Lab, Liquid N2 Ice Cream, Totally ’80’s Pizza, and Rocky Mountain Snow Caps will be serving food.
- Is there alcohol sold at the Con?
No alcohol will be sold or allowed at the Con.
- I’m coming from out of town, is there a hotel rate?
Not yet. Should we look into that? Let us know.
- Will there be an ATM?
Probably not. The closest ones available are in Old Town.
- Where do I need to park?
That’s tricky, as with any event in Old Town we have very limited parking. We highly recommend parking in the Old Town parking structures.