Denver Comic Con 2016: Day Two
Jun 19, 2016 09:43AM
● By Randy Robinson
A family cosplaying The Incredibles
It's Day Two of the 2016 Denver Comic Con. Yesterday, things remained chill.
But today was Saturday. And Saturday's the day when things get seriously popping.
According to the Denver Post, the headcount at this year's Denver Comic Con broke last year's record (which broke the one before it, too). With Saturday's numbers blowing past the 100,000 mark, Denver's very own comics mega-convention kept its title as the third largest in the United States.
That's not a huge surprise. Day Two tends to always be the busiest. Saturday falls right in the middle of the weekend schedule, and that's when the event's biggest names come out to play.
Those names included Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Ian Somerhalder, Cary Elwes, Hayley Atwell, and the cast of the Karate Kid series.
The biggest name, however, eclipsed all the others.
That name is Stan Lee.
The Cameo Man
Of all comics creators in the West, Stan Lee is undoubtedly the most famous. He created landmark titles such as "The X-Men," "The Avengers." His characters evolved in to everlasting trademarks on par with Disney or Coca-Cola: Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Hulk, Jean Grey, Black Widow.
Altogether, Marvel films based off his stories cashed in over $19 billion worldwide. To think: just 20 years ago, film producers shied away from movies based on comics. Today, Hollywood can't get enough comics material, and every year studios flood the theaters with sequels, prequels, and premieres that originally graced heavily-inked pages.
He also stars, albeit briefly, in every Marvel film made since 2000 – that may have a little something to do with that international fame, too.
Glamour aside, Stan Lee didn't just change how we're entertained. His storytelling style, his fixation on themes of power and oppression, and his unconventional heroes forever altered the landscape of not only pop culture, but of our cultural perceptions, too.
After a brief introduction, Lee took questions
from an audience of 3,000 fans:
Who's his favorite character? Spider-Man.
His favorite line written? "With great power comes great responsibility."
Favorite villain? Dr. Doom. And why?
"Dr. Doom," he explained, "is really not a criminal. All he wants to do is rule the world. Any of you can walk up to a policeman, at any time, and say, 'Officer, I want to rule the world.' And he can't arrest you. Because it's not against the law to rule the world. So, I don't know why they make a big thing out of Dr. Doom being a bad person." To which the audience erupted in laughter and applause.
Lee relayed tales of his time in the comics industry. How he got Spider-Man on the page without Marvel's approval. How his cameo in the movie "Mallrats" got him into trouble with his wife. How he came up with Iron Man.
At the end, he dropped a surprise on True Believer fans and newcomers alike: He's got a new superhero coming out, after all these years. The character is "The Annihilator." That's all he'd tell us, despite the crowd's groans and pleas.
You can catch Stan Lee's full panel at the Denver Comic Con YouTube channel, presented by Pop Culture Classroom.
Denver Comic Con's visitors brought a little of their own homespun celebrity power, too. Cosplayers from beginning level to master status showcased their best efforts on Day Two, and the sights were splendid. Professional photographers set up impromptu studio areas throughout the front portion of the convention, transforming the lobby and garden areas in to veritable catwalks exclusively for geeks.
Children and teens came out in full cosplay force, but so too did parents and non-child-attending adults. Unlike most nerd conventions in Colorado, Denver Comic Con remains unique because of its visitors' diverse age range. Seniors dawned capes and cowls while babies rocked little Spidey and Superman outfits from their strollers.
Kids are expected to dress up at these events. But what about adults, adults with families and full-time jobs?
I asked a few older cosplayers about their thoughts regarding cosplaying. When I asked one if he felt out-of-place at something like Comic Con, he replied, "This is where we come to feel in place."
Another added, "For the first few minutes, I feel a little odd when I show up and see all the younger people. Then I realize, 'Isn't this why we're all here? For this? Then I stop caring, and I have a ton of fun."
As I noted yesterday, families often come to Comic Con dressed as a team. In the main image for this, there's a family cosplaying as The Incredibles. Other themed cosplays from families included Adventure Time and the X-Men.
Denver Comic Con's showroom – the upstairs area – closed at 7 pm. The lower area, however, stayed open until 11 pm, as panels continued long after Artists' Alley and the Celebrity Summit closed. A number of independent films, and not-so-independent films like The Karate Kid, were screened. Random groups of cosplayers, either waiting for rides or eager to not let the day end, stuck around, aimlessly wandering the halls of the Convention Center.
Fortunately, for older attendees (i.e. those 21 and up), Denver Comic Con sponsors late-night parties with contests, food, and drinks. Two of these parties were thrown in downtown Denver, so party-goers literally just had to cross the street and walk a couple of blocks if they wanted to celebrate until the wee hours of the morning.
The Saturday night revelries don't mark the end of Denver Comic Con, though. There's still Sunday. There's still Day Three.