Over 2,000 fans packed the Mile High Ballroom at Denver Comic Con on Friday night for a special event, the DCC Opening Ceremonies. This special event was free to anyone with a 2015 Denver Comic Con badge and allowed fans to appreciate both Denver Comic Con and its associated nonprofit, Pop Culture Classroom, and celebrate the numerous fandoms that are part of the Denver Comic Con experience.
Fans were treated to an opening montage of dynamic moments from a wide variety of films and television programs that help fuel Denver Comic Con fandom, including ng crowd-pleasing moments from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Firefly, Animaniacs, the Terminator Franchise, and more.
The event was kicked off by a very special guest, Stephen “Brer Rabbit” Brackett, the lead singer of Denver-based and internationally acclaimed rock band The Flobots.
“When you’re buying things out there tonight and this weekend, you’re making it possible for young people to learn In schools, in after-school programs, and giving them the chance to learn how to read,” said the MC. “So, thank you. Give yourself a round of applause. So when you see these guys walking around Denver Comic Con, thank them for what they’re doing. And then thank each other for what you all do for each other.”
“Brer Rabbit” next brought out Sam Fuqua, the Executive Director of Pop Culture Classroom, to explain what the nonprofit organization does all year in the Denver community.
“We develop literacy in young people,” Fuqua said. “We ignite imaginations. We engage reluctant readers. We celebrate diversity. We accomplish all of this through the tickets that you bought to be here tonight. We work in classrooms, after-school programs, correctional facilities, community centers, anywhere that people want our help, because we know it works, and you know it works. Not only is there a strong body of evidence that using comic books works in a literacy curriculum but we also know this approach works because it’s our personal experience of reading comics.”
“So when you’re out there this weekend at Denver Comic Con, I encourage you to take advantage of the more than 400 hours of programming that we have on offer this weekend,” Fuqua continued. “I strongly encourage you to visit the PCC Kids’ Lab right in the middle of the main convention floor. Also, check out the E.D.G.E. Gaming and Development Area, which is new this year.”
“Everything that we do in the community and here at Denver Comic Con is only possible because of your support. We are one of only two comic cons in the country that is run by a nonprofit organization. We are very proud of that fact. We are homegrown, we are independent, we are volunteer-driven, we are committed to education and that’s how we are going to stay.”
After a short speech from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock praising Pop Culture Classroom’s work in educating young people in the Denver community, MC Mars launched into a raucous rap-rock set that was heavily geek-themed including his new songs “Dragon Blood,” featuring Daenerys Targaryen from HBO’s Game of Thrones and a tribute to Herman Melville in the track “Ahab.”
The evening was closed out with a full concert by The Protomen, the mysterious American rock band whose fist-pumping brand of geek rock is heavily inspired by the Mega Man video games.