Archive for Denver Comic Con

Why It’s the Perfect Time to Recognize and Celebrate Graphic Literature

When we came together to create the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards, the first question we asked was whether there was a need for such a thing; would it be different from all the other comics-industry awards? The answer is an unwavering yes.

Why We’re Doing This

We need to recognize the best in comics and graphic novels because there is nothing like the EGLs, whose purpose is to cast light on those works of graphic literature that the public should be reading – especially teachers and librarians, parents and their kids.

We may implicitly understand the education and communication value of graphic literature, but most people don’t. The time is now to help fully inform the public through the teams of publishing industry professionals who are currently submitting, scrutinizing and voting on the best of the best.

Why We Think Now is the Perfect Time

Readership tastes are constantly evolving, and the publishing industry has started to recognize this fact. As the previous generation of creators started increasing the length and broadening the topic of their stories, the current generation of student readers have come to expect a variety of books that reflects their culture and beliefs.

Both comics and book publishers have recognized this paradigm shift and are working to hire the hottest creators and publish the best books for this growing audience. Simultaneously, educators and librarians are eager to learn about the sheer scope of these offerings and feature the best of the best for their students and readers.

But the current review and ordering process is outdated, leaving these parties frustrated by the lack of accurate information about what readers want and what is available to fill their needs.

Through our year-long submission, judging and awards process, the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards will shine a spotlight on these superior works.

Our hope is the award will establish a recognizable high-water-mark of industry credibility and quality, helping publishers more quickly identify the best creators, help educators more confidently choose books they present to students, and help eager students discover their next great read.

Why We are Calling it “Graphic Literature”

Why not just “comic books” or “graphic novels”? While we are grateful that comics are finally getting their due as a legitimate art form having literary merit, the term “graphic novel” is in danger of becoming so overly-broad that it is misleading.

For example, while they are certainly graphic, seminal literary works such as Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Rep. John Lewis’ March, relate factual stories of profound historical significance and as such are anything but novels.

In addition, we want to give publishers and creators the ability to submit for peer review works that don’t neatly fall into the GN or comic book categories, such as illustrated works that may contain as many words as pictures.

The key is that these will be works of literary and educational merit, that children and adults can enjoy and benefit from, that parents and educators will be confident of their literary value, and that students will enjoy at the same time they are learning.

Each jury will consider fictional works, but unlike other awards programs, works of non-fiction will have their own category to raise public recognition and awareness in a way that helps educators justify their use in classrooms.

In addition, even more than 60 years after Dr. Frederick Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, great works like Maus and March have not been able to diffuse the stigma of the term “comic book”.

Our goal, therefore, is not only to highlight the year’s best graphic works with the greatest educational and literary value, but also to help publishers and educators undo the damage of seven decades of “bad press”, by highlighting those creators and their works of the past year which have the most literary and educational merit.

For Next Time…

We hope this helped answer some of the questions you may have, but as always if you have more questions or would like to suggest a topic for us to cover, feel free to write them in the comments below, post them on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages, or send them to egl@popcultureclassroom.org.

Keep an eye out for our next posts coming in a few weeks. We’ll be introducing the major award categories, along with general topics regarding the awards and advice on how to get more involved with graphic literature both in and out of the classroom.

Be Well, Read More.

DCC’15 Update, 14 Days To Go!

You wanted the best, you got the best!

(Wait, that’s KISS. We meant “badges.” Not “best.” It’s totally “badges.”)

Guys, we have 14 days to go until Denver Comic Con and things are kicking into high gear around here. We have some important announcements to make sure everything is awesome this year, so let’s all synchronize our watches and let’s make a game plan.

First of all, we know you have all been waiting “patiently” (not) for your DCC 2015 badges. Badge mailing will start on Monday, May 11. You may all squee quietly for the next thirty seconds, and then we need to move on to more updates.

If you have not bought your tickets, BUY YOUR TICKETS ALREADY. Three-day passes for adults and children are gone, as well as speed passes. Tickets are still available for Saturday, Sunday and Monday but there will be little to no warning when they disappear. No ticket? That’s totally on you, dude.

Second of all, keep a close eye on the DCC website starting next week. We have lots of important bulletins coming and programming information is hurtling towards us every day between now and Con. As you know, Denver Comic Con has one of the largest and most diverse programming schedules in the country, so you’ll want to make a plan so you can see as much cool stuff as you can.

It’s also worth taking a second look at our Con Rules, Cosplay Rules, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and information for Children and ADA Guests. Please remember that these guidelines are designed to protect you and all other guests and generally regulate funkiness around this here Con.

Con survival preppers are also advised to subscribe to our Facebook and Twitter feeds and subscribe to our newsletter so you can get the latest and greatest news and information on schedule changes, etc. as they happen. We’re also going to be using the iOS and Android app Guidebook again this year to provide real-time updates, so it’s worth your while to download last year’s app and learn how it works. You’ll also want to look at our special events and areas like the DCC E.D.G.E. Gaming and Development area, our Opening Ceremonies on Friday night, the Cosplay Shindig, and all of our other Special Events.

We also encourage you to watch our survival videos, like this one on Interacting with Cosplayers. And for our sake, everyone is required to watch this instructive video on Con Funk. We have to ride in those elevators, guys. Like, all day long, for a week. No one wants to smell that. Seriously.

If you have gotten to the end of this blog post, congratulations! You are a smart and attentive guest who makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. As your reward for being awesome, we’ll tell you a secret: guest announcements are not over yet. A super-secret special surprise guest is being announced tomorrow! Keep an eye on the web page and our social media to find out who it is!

(Actually, I will, too, because it’s so secret that they didn’t tell the volunteer who’s writing this stuff for you guys. See what we put up with around here? Jeez.)

Stay tuned, true believers, and we’ll see you at Denver Comic Con in just two weeks!

Roll for Initiative! DCC E.D.G.E. Brings Tabletop Gaming to Life.

Alan Tudyk

Wil & FeliciaHey, you know what’s cool? Tabletop gaming! We’ve been celebrating tabletop gaming for years here at Denver Comic Con. We’ve welcomed past guests like Felicia Day (*we love Geek & Sundry*) and Wil Wheaton, who does a great job hosting the online show TableTop with celebrity guests including past DCC guests Kelly Hu and Troy Baker and this year’s guest Alan Tudyk. (Seriously, would it kill Ashley Burch to come record our outgoing voice mail message as Tiny Tina?)

Tiny Tina

Anyway, tabletop gaming is awesome. We’re talking your straight-up old-school board games. We’re throwing dice and leveling up your RPG action, baby. We’re crushing our tiny enemies and seeing them driven before us in our miniature war games. We’re crushing our games of GO and slapping down our Mahjong tiles like a boss. Lawful good or chaotic evil, we’ve got you covered. We fight among ourselves about the virtues of deterministic games versus stochastic games…oh, alright you caught us. We’re giant gaming nerds and we carry our twenty-siders with pride. We’re totally down with tabletop gaming and we’re welcoming some of the best gaming companies in the business to this year’s E.D.G.E. Gaming & Development area at DCC’15.

First, what is the E.D.G.E.? It’s our gaming and development experience expanded and redefined to include a wider variety of entertainment, gaming, creation and educational offerings in an experiential setting. It goes like this:

E: Entertainment, including videos, podcasts, streaming entertainment and more.

D: Development and Design, for all makers, DIY-ers, crafters, coders, engineers and developers.

G: Gamers, from the casual to the hardcore and from PC enthusiasts to console junkies.

E: Education, for like-minded people who think pop culture, gaming and other media are great platforms for teaching young people about the world.

First of all, we’re proud to welcome MINDzei Games, the brainchild of illustrator and homegrown hero Monte Moore. This independent game developer already has a whole host of cool tabletop games including the motorcycle-themed Boneyard; Grubfist, the game of Gambling Goblins; and Pirates of Gold Cove, a captivating and whimsical game for families.

Pirates of Gold Cove Main

TheWizardsChestOur many thanks to our E.D.G.E. sponsor, The Wizard’s Chest. This 8,000 square-foot superstore in the heart of Denver is a gamer’s dream come true. A hands-on play environment is encouraged throughout the whole store, and it is a rare day if you do not find someone juggling, spinning a Diabolo, or playing a new game with a staff member. Wind-up toys rattle across table tops, one of the in-house magicians astounds a budding Houdini, a young engineer buys her first solar robot kit, and a group of friends conquer an army of orcs in the corner. Visit them now in Cherry Creek and come check out their new location at 451 Broadway soon.

CORE_cards2DCC is also proud to welcome Zone 2 Games. The indie developer’s two co-founders, Nick Grieco and Cooper Heinrichs, met at music school, where their love of rock and roll and all things geekery forged a lifelong friendship. As two creative behemoths, the two collaborated on homemade Halloween costumes, music, art, and eventually games. Working together for over a year, the two are on the brink of bringing their first game, CORE, to market. Sign up today to test the alpha version of the game and come visit the team in the E.D.G.E. at Denver Comic Con.

RoarAlso on sale is the new game RoarStack, a range of fun innovative visual creativity storytelling card games where you tell a story based on what you can see in the your cards. This game exercises your creativity, visual recognition, and storytelling plus the innovative and twisty game will have you and your friends roaring with laughter. Visit their website to check out their Kickstarter Pre-Launch and visit them in person at the tabletop gaming expo in the E.D.G.E. Gaming & Development area.

Alterkine DossierAnother Kickstarter-backed favorite returns to Denver Comic Con with the makers of Alterkine: Dossier. This RPG supplement is suitable for any d20 Modern or Future campaign. Inside you will find hundreds of ways to customize your character in the world in which you are deposited. Develop your Talents and play as a member of the occult or a battle hardened warrior, a wanderer of the wastelands or a raving lunatic. With careful planning, continue on with one of more than a dozen Advanced Classes including: Confidence Artist, Goodfella, Law Dog and Ninja.


 

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Cheeky DingoSome of these companies are way out there and their games are a ton of fun to play. We’re pleased to welcome Cheeky Dingo Entertainment back to Denver Comic Con and the E.D.G.E. This diverse and imaginative game developer will have their games ElfQuest, Living Starship, HouseBoy, Drag Show, Dog Walker and more, all available to play. You can even meet one of their illustrators, comic artist Stan Yan, at the show.

Gamers LeagueFinally, Denver Comic Con is pleased to welcome Board Gamer’s League. It’s a league based playing style for board gamers.  Played in a similar fashion as a sports recreation league, where you compete on a weekly basis and have finals.  The overall spirit of the league is to enjoy the community and possible prizes, while having friendly board game match competition. Enjoy league play, prizes along the way and a chance for a free pass to the Denver Comic Con and 10 free board games.

That’s it for today’s rundown of Tabletop Gaming at Denver Comic Con. Come down to the E.D.G.E. for more tabletop games, video games, 3D-printing, maker culture, and more! There’s a ton to explore and even more to do at E.D.G.E. Gaming and Development at Denver Comic Con. (Plus there’s that whole underground bot-fighting thing. I’d watch your toes if I were you.)

Gamers

The Wizards Chest Harry Potter Harry Potter

Announcing PCC’s 2015 Kids Comics Contest Winners!

We want to first thank everyone who submitted to PCC’s first-ever Kids Comics Contest this year! We were thrilled by the response, with comics submitted on everything from Bigfoot to climate change, and we can’t wait to continue building on the contest’s success for Denver Comic Con 2016. Yay comics!

After reading, admiring, and being inspired by the work by artists of all ages and from across the nation, we’re excited to announce our 2015 Kids Comics Contest WINNERS are:

Winner#1: Drew Arnold

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Winner #2: Amanda Schroeder

Amanda is a sophomore in high school working towards a career in art.

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Winner #3: Marin Stumpf

Marin is a Broadway nerd, growing up with influences from geek culture such as Marvel, Star Wars, and much more. She spends her time watching Disney movies and drawing her favorite barricade boys.

Marin Stumpf_Winner1_p.1

Along with their artistic talents, each of these young artists showed incredible creativity and self-expression in their submissions—revealing just how powerful and diverse comics can be. We are delighted to reward their hard work and ingenuity at DCC 2015 and beyond!

In addition to a pair of 3-day passes to Denver Comic Con 2015, these 3 lucky winners will have samples of their comics prominently featured in the official DCC 2015 souvenir

program, where they’ll be admired by tens of thousands of Con attendees. Winners will also have complete versions of their work displayed on the PCC website. Plus, during the Con weekend, winners will attend a special meet-and-greet session with a professional kids comic artist.

Please join us in congratulating these talented winners, and keep an eye out for their work at DCC 2015 and on popcultureclassroom.org in the near future.