As I’m only attending one convention for the year, I chose to attend Denver Comic Con. ❤ They announced a mini-Buffy reunion and Nathan Fillion, so it was a given from there, lol! We decided to not stay in a hotel however, to save some money, as later this year, my fiancé and I will be getting married and going on our honeymoon. ❤
Friday, we arrived later than planned as I had to go to court (as a witness, I’m not a bad kid, lol), so we missed any crazy lines outside. We got decent parking a few blocks away for $15 and I was dressed as Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They changed the entrance from the normal area to the other side of the convention hall and set it up for prop and bag checks. The latter two aspects were a joke; some items were checked thoroughly, while others were not. It would’ve been insanely easy to sneak items into the convention, which many people did do.
Once inside, the layout was backwards to the usual years. We went upstairs to the exhibit area and purchased our Fillion photo opportunity, which surprised us with a higher price than listed online. We then went and met Mercedes McNab (Harmony from Buffy) and Juliet Landau (Drusilla from Buffy), before heading off to hang out with friends. We briefly checked out the Cosplay Canyon, which was in a poorly lit back hallway, so the photoshoot area had everything turn out dark on camera. First Aid’s station was back there, and the only one, which would make any emergency a little hard to get to. They also were serving alcohol at this little area, but didn’t ID anyone and we easily could walk past the “No Alcohol Beyond This Point” signs everywhere without anyone saying 2 words.
We left early on Friday, as I was exhausted and my feet were killing me. They wouldn’t let people exit anywhere except at the entrance door area, so again, walking allllll the way around the building. Super awesome.
Saturday, we arrived later than planned again, but after reading stories online… I was quite okay with that. Apparently, the morning into afternoon had terrible lines, and people were cutting in them, which caused several fights to break out. I later confirmed these with several volunteers for DCC. We parked in the same area for $5 this time and I was in White Phoenix from X-Men. I was warm (understatement) and even on our arrival still had to go through a line, and another pathetic bag check. Once inside, we went upstairs and got Khary Payton’s autograph (Walking Dead/Teen Titans) and some prints from David Mack (Marvel Comics, Kabuki). From there, food and drinks with friends were had.
Now, at this point, they had opened up another area to allow drinks to be served and more food vendors to come in, but again, lack of ID checks and stopping people from leaving areas were happening again. Several food vendors also ran out of food halfway through Saturday because they had also helped serve 2 other conventions that were there Friday and now gone.
Needless to say, we wandered around some more and left to meet friends for dinner. We didn’t check out any after-parties, as again, super tired times happened. So, we headed home for the day.
On Sunday, we arrived to cheap parking again and no lines in our Inara Serra and Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. My fiancé and I finally walked around to check out the exhibit hall and realized that everything was so mish-mashed together that it was hard to navigate. The comic vendors were all stuffed into one area, the artists and guests were all over the place in the vendors, and the only actual organization was with the Kid’s area and Author Singing area. Otherwise, it was chaotic and hard to find specific tables. I made a purchase of a Loki Kotobukiya figurine (I was a good kid and it was exceptionally underpriced) and then we went to do our photo opportunity with Nathan Fillion. That ran pretty fast and we were done earlier than expected, which ended up with a hilarious story and us getting his autograph.
With nothing else extremely outstanding, we left right before the con closed and came home.
So, TL;DR version: The guests, while not as many as years past, were awesome and interactive, but pricing was changing left and right. The layout all over sucked for navigation and few things were labeled. The cosplay photo area should NEVER be in the same area it was again as it was cramped and the lighting sucked. The extra security measures DCC had to abide by due to Argus Events was an absolute joke. I could’ve snuck in booze, a knife, or a gun without them knowing. I know how bag checks should be done, as I work security on a daily basis. Prop checks were also a joke, as people snuck in items or rules changed to be an inconsistent mess. The cosplay rules? Also a joke. I personally broke them and no one said a word. I watched others do the same without repercussion. The food vendors were inconsistent with stock and pricing was way too high for what you got. The Dealer’s area was big with a lot to choose from, but the layout was a mess. The higher police presence was awesome, but the new line system and such was a clusterf*ck. I can’t say anything on the contest or panels, as we didn’t attend any this year.
I plan to attend again, but I may not go all three days. I need to see Argus make some more intelligent decisions and work with DCC to cater to the attendees a bit better. Guess we’ll see what 2018 entails.