Sorry it’s been a couple of days, but I’ve finally gotten the time to do this wrap-up of the 2017
Denver Comic Con
from this past weekend.
Now, I’ve already covered Day 1 and Day 2 (click to see that coverage), but I wanted to finish up by going over some of the general con stuff, good and bad, that I’ve gathered, both from my experiences, and from talking to other folks who attended the event.
First, for the last two years I have LOVED the fact Denver has such a HUGE area dedicated as “Celebrity Summit.” This is plenty of room to move around and line up (even, for the most part, the crowds for the in-demand celebrity). Epic Photo Ops was on their game keeping the photo lines organized and moving (though it seemed like there wasn’t as big a demand for photo-ops as there has been at other cons I’ve been to, which may have been a factor).
One thing I didn’t like about it was the fact that ZERO photography was allowed in that area, even of cosplayers (even by media), and even if it wasn’t being shot in the direction of any celebrity. I get and fully support the need to control the unauthorized, “candid” photography of the guests (which was rampant, BTW, especially in Nathan Fillion’s autograph line), but some common sense needs to be used in this regard.
Speaking of Celebrity Summit, one thing I noticed myself, and heard others mention more than once, was the lack of any signing information at the celebrities’ tables. It doesn’t help to tell people how much an autograph will cost if they have no idea when the guest might be there to sign. Putting that information out there helps people plan their days more effectively. And a happy attendee is an attendee that spends $$$. If they’re not standing in line for hours waiting for a celebrity that isn’t there yet, they may be with the vendors and artists, supporting them.
Just a thought.
Entry into the facility was changed up, as I’ve noted before, likely in response to the Phoenix Comicon security debacle earlier this year. A single point of entry, bag checks, and weapons checks all slowed down the entry process. I have been told the bag checks were often barely cursory in nature, so I’m not sure how much good they were actually doing. However, I have also heard weapons checks were being done as people were waiting in line to get in, thus speeding up that aspect of the process, so that certainly helped.
As a last note on entry, I would like to point out a seeming contradiction concerning venue entry in Denver, and many other cons: pre-registration.
Pre-registration is supposed to speed up the entry process for people by allowing them to exchange their tickets for lanyards/wristbands prior to the event, thus negating the need to stand in that line on the day(s) of the event. One unexpected consequence of this? It is often faster to go through the redemption line than the “already picked up my crap” line, as the pick-up line leads directly into the venue. I’m not sure which way to go to fix this phenomenon: have more access points for folks who pre-registered or force same-day pick-ups to return to the back of the entrance line?
It’s a puzzler, but one that definitely needs to be worked out by the folks in Denver–and other conventions, as well. Spending over an hour standing in line to get in, after picking up stuff early (ostensibly to speed up the entry process), isn’t acceptable.
Now, onto the subject of weapons and cosplays, it seemed as though the guidelines DCC published months ago concerning the “family friendly” nature of the event (which I don’t really care one way or the other about) were disregarded in a couple of ways.
One, the ban on “guns,” even clearly fake ones, was announced when DCC revamped their guidelines, but apparently they were allowing those in on Friday. I hadn’t really been paying attention to guns until Saturday morning, when organizers announced via Facebook that guns would not be allowed, despite the fact they had been allowed in on Friday, in apparent violation of their own, previously published, policy.
Other weapons were still totally okay by the rules, however, as evidenced by the seemingly endless supply of Harley Quinn’s hammers and Negan’s bats, along with the ever-more-ridiculously absurdly bladed video game/anime swords.
Also, the costuming standard of no nudity or the appearance of nudity seemed a bit suspect, as there was plenty of cleavage, butt-cheek, and whatnot to go around. Look, I’m not an avid cosplayer, and I certainly don’t have the body to be showing off my massive pecs and incredible abs, but if you’re going to make a rule/have a standard, then please, for the love of all that’s holy, enforce it. And enforce it consistently or not at all.
As for panels, I didn’t attend that many, and only attended one that took place on one of the two main stages (Nathan Fillion’s* awesome panel Sunday morning). While I love that the theater seating made viewing the panels extremely easy, emptying the audience was a laborious process, riddled with bottlenecks and stoppages. Perhaps a staggering of panel start and stop times might help alleviate the problem in future years. I don’t know, but it’s something that deserves being looked at.
I would also like to compliment the organizers on their last-minute replacements of cancelled, high-profile guests, of which there seemed to be an inordinately high number for one event (Morena Baccarin, I’m looking at you). Kudos for being able to go out and reel in some big names to make up for that.
Finally, a big “Thanks” to the folks at DCC for allowing us media-types access to the floor prior to opening. This allows us all to get good, clear footage without inconveniencing the attendees, and often gives us moments to talk to vendors/artists/exhibitors without cutting into their time with fans. Also, allowing media to enter with the ADA folks in order to find a decent spot to shoot some photos/video was nice, as well.
It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it can be.
I hope all cons will look at making this the standard of operations, because I think it gives us the opportunity to provide events with better coverage, which is what having the media present is all about, isn’t it? Coverage?
Overall, as I’ve said before, I had a good time in Denver, and I hope to be back to provide coverage again next year.