Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thoughts on Denver Comic Con, Year 4

First off, I'd like to give a huge shout-out to Pop Culture Classroom for bringing us to Denver Comic Con this year. If you're not familiar with their mission, go check out their website and read up on what they do for the community.

This year was different for us because we didn't have a table. It meant that putting together interviews was a bigger challenge, forcing us, not only to rely on the schedule of our interviewees, but also the media room schedule. As a result, we got a lot more interviews at guests' tables in the middle of the show floor than we have in years past. In my opinion, this is actually a good thing. Sure, my legs STILL hurt from all the walking and standing I did over the weekend (over seventeen miles!), but we got out onto the floor, into panels we may not have attended, and into Main Events we might've otherwise had to skip.

The biggest highlight for me was going to see James Marsters. I may not be an uber fan who has to track down every project he's worked on, but I really loved his work on Buffy, and his narration of The Dresden Files audio books. And when he got up on stage to start talking, it was obvious that he's a down-to-earth guy who loves what he does and loves his fans. I even heard that if people couldn't afford an autograph, he was letting people walk the "signing" line to just come up and say hi. I don't know if this was all weekend, but my wife told me that on Friday he would just chat with fans for a casual meet-and-greet at his table. Which he REALLY didn't have to do.

His stories were amazing, too. He knows how to share anecdotes, to draw in the crowd and get them engaged. He can make the audience laugh, sigh, and cheer. And, again, he comes across as an average guy who just happens to act and sing.

The Diana Gabaldon/Andrew Gowan event was cool, too, and I have to give some serious props to Emily Singer (my fantastic co-host!) for doing such a great job as moderator. She was a little nervous before the event started, but up on stage, she asked amazing, insightful questions, engaged both of the guests, and kept the audience involved and moving with the Q&A. She's a real pro, and no one can convince me otherwise.

All in all, this was the best year for us, in my opinion, especially because it forced us out of our comfort zone. Made us grow, figure out how to get the most out of the con so we could give back, and we also had more freedom to enjoy the entire weekend. Do I miss having a table? Maybe. It's nice to have a home-base with a place to sit. But as I look back, it really limited us in how we covered the convention.

I also want to give a special shout out and thank you to Jason and Margaret from D Street who helped us when we needed to figure out how to cover the con without a table. They ran the media booth fantastically, and coverage of the con would not be the same without them.

Stay tuned to our podcast feed for more of our con coverage, and if you want a sneak peek at what we're releasing, you can sign up for our Patreon.

Giles is excited for next year's Denver Comic Con, and he's still psyched about how much awesome content Beyond The Trope got from the weekend.

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