Archive for Educational Programming

Announcing the 2017 Denver Comic Con Ticket Drops!

Pop Culture Classroom is excited to announce that we will be doing a limited number of ticket drops for Denver Comic Con 2017! Denver Comic Con is supported by Pop Culture Classroom, whose goal is to inspire a love of learning, increase literacy, celebrate diversity and build community through the tools of popular culture. As part of this mission, over the next few months we’ll be traveling to locations all across Denver and nearby cities with bags containing two (2) 3-Day Passes to this year’s Denver Comic Con and exclusive DCC’17 swag. General locations will be announced 24 hours in advance of the drops on the Pop Culture Classroom Facebook and Twitter accounts, and when the ticket drop goes live we will post a picture/video of where to find the swag bag in that location. Be sure to stay tuned on those sites and be the first to know where the drop will be. Don’t miss out on your chance attend the hottest event of the summer! Check out this video for more information!


DCC’15 Celebrates Children’s Book Week

cbw-logoWe’re really all just big kids here at Denver Comic Con HQ, so it’s our pleasure to celebrate Children’s Book Week, May 4th (Be With You!) through May 10th. Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes – and DENVER COMIC CON!

Dig it—out of KidsComics.com’s “Top 25 All-Time Favorite Graphic Novels,” Denver Comic Con is bringing a whole bunch of kids’ favorites to this year’s event, including:

DCC15-princeless-coverWe’re also serious about kids’ comics in our education efforts. Action Lab Entertainment’s PRINCELESS #1 will be included in our updated version of Pop Culture Classroom’s “Storytelling Through Comics” curriculum that will be offered to educators through our online store very soon. Action Lab Entertainment, home to comics like Princeless and Molly Danger, is a community partner of Pop Culture Classroom and Denver Comic Con.

We also encourage all the friends and fans of Denver Comic Con to buy local—our friends at Time Warp Comics and Games will have Children’s Book Week activities this week as well as offering a fantastic selection of age-appropriate comics. Check out their website at www.time-warp.com for details.

HOW FREAKING COOL IS CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK! WHAT ELSE ‘YA GOT??

  • BOOM! (KaBoom!) Studios is partnering up with the Cartoon Network on a Clarence miniseries that will make its official Debut at Denver Comic Con 2015, featuring the creative team with writer Liz Prince and artist Evan Palmer. Look for this DCC’15 exclusive at both the BOOM! Comics booth and the DCC’15 Merch booth.
  • BOOM! Studios is also featuring a PEANUTS exclusive celebrating the comic’s 65th anniversary and upcoming animated movie from Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox. Also available at the BOOM! Booth and our merch booth.
  • Art Baltazar has created special art featuring his own creation, Tiny Titans and our new DCC mascot Captain Colorado that will be featured on a Con Poster, Souvenir Book Cover, T-Shirt and Con Convention Bag. The Tiny Titans T-Shirt is currently on pre-order at the PCC Online Store until May 15th.
  • Other Kids’ Comics creative guests include Carey Pietsch, creator of Keepsakes and The Snapdragon Queen; John Sazaklis, who creates kids’ comics about Batman and Superman for DC Comics, and friend of Pop Culture Classroom Mike Kunkel, creator of the Eisner Award-winning Herobear and the Kid!
  • We encourage all kids and parents to look out for these amazing guests and more in the PCC Kids Lab, which is running all weekend long at DCC’15. In addition to working alongside these amazing writers and artists, kids can visit the lab to create comic-themed crafts, learn how to apply professional Hollywood effects makeup, visit The Flash’s Forensics Lab, build Stark Tower and the Bridges of Gotham City, and much, much more.

Thanks for joining us to celebrate Children’s Book Week here at Denver Comic Con, and we’ll see you in just a few weeks for the show!

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PCC announces first-ever comic book contest for kids!

DENVER, March 22, 2015 – Are you a comic book aficionado or graphic novel guru? Do you spend your free time sketching caped crusaders, alien landscapes, giant robots, otherworldly creatures, and other kinds of super-powered art? Then you’re exactly who we want to submit to the first-ever Pop Culture Classroom Kids Comics Contest, which offers young artists the chance to show off their talents during Denver Comic Con 2015 and beyond!

Along with a pair of 3-day passes to Denver Comic Con 2015, contest winners will have their artwork prominently featured in the official DCC 2015 souvenir program and admired by thousands of Con attendees. Additional prizes include exhibition of artist’s work on the PCC website and a special meet-and-greet session with a professional kids comics artist.

About the Contest

Running from March 24th to April 13th, the PCC Kids Comics contest is open to all ages and students, including those who have been or are currently involved in PCC classes and workshops. Students may submit previous artwork as long as it has not been published elsewhere and is age-appropriate.

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Five contest winners will be chosen from all contestants and announced by April 30, 2015. We will also be selecting non-winning entries for inclusion in our PCC yearbook, which will be published at a later date.

Artwork & Submission Requirements

  • Artwork must be in the form of a comic or graphic text.
  • Submissions can be any length. If the winner’s artwork is more than one page, we will print the first page of the comic in the DCC souvenir program, with the rest located on our PCC website.
  • Email artwork to contest@popcultureclassroom.org (highly preferred). If possible, please scan artwork in color, at 300dpi, and send as a PDF or JPG or Send via “snail mail” to PCC’s offices at 1391 N Speer Blvd, Suite 360, Denver, Colorado 80204.
  • Deadline for contest entry is April 13st @ 12 noon (MT).

For any other questions and concerns regarding the contest, please email us. We look forward to reading and enjoying your submissions!

 

PCC to host a model competition at DCC’s Pop Culture Laboratory

DENVER, March 19, 2015 – Calling all builders, tinkerers, designers, and creators! PCC is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking contest in which you can design, build, and show off your very own models at DCC’15 —plus win mind-blowing prizes along the way. Judged by the CoMMiES (Colorado Model Militia Enjoying Sci-Fi) organization, this unique, family-friendly contest is an exciting addition to Denver Comic Con’s all-new Pop Culture Classroom La-Bohr-atory.

Running from May 23th to May 25nd, the CoMMiES model competition, which combines aspects of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) and pop culture, offers a one-of-a-kind experience for participants. Not only will competitors be in the running for tickets to DCC’16, prize packages with DCC swag, but the four winners will get to have their models on display throughout DCC and featured prominently on the PCC website. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, read onward!

To enter the contest, please follow this link and fill out the survey form by May 20, 2015. All participants must purchase tickets to one or all three days of DCC’15 by the time of the competition. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis, with submissions capped at 100 participants per day.

About the Competition

Whether you’re an origami master, a mechanical genius, or Lego guru, this model competition is for you. The competition is open to all ages and is limited to 2 models per participant.

Materials used and contest categories are fairly open to interpretation, though we highly encourage you build something that relates in some way to pop culture—whether that be comics, cartoons, games, movies, real-world subjects, or otherwise. Past submissions have included plastic models of the Star Wars spaceships, paper models of DC Superheroes like Batman, and detailed recreations of fantasy worlds from bird’s eye view.

Suggested categories:

  • Mecha Models: robots power suits featured in Gundam cartoons and movies like Chappie and Pacific Rim.
  • Vehicles: Real-space and science fiction space vehicles, as well as atmospheric, ground, and sea craft. Millennium Falcon, anyone?
  • Creature: Animals, dinosaurs, monsters, and the like.
  • Figure: Human/humanoid beings, including representations of anime characters and cartoons.
  • Dioramas: Settings, alien landscapes, and fantasy worlds. Dioramas will be judged in part by the strength of the theme or story.

Competition Submission & Rules

To enter the contest, please follow this link and fill out the survey form by May 20, 2015. All participants must purchase tickets to one or all three days of DCC’15 by the time of the competition. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis, with submissions capped at 100 participants per day.

Additional rules:

  • Every participant must select one day during DCC’15 (May 23rd -25th) for his or her work to undergo judging.
  • Participants must bring and register models to the Pop Culture Laboratory by 11:00 AM on their chosen judging day. Models will be placed in a secure area to ensure their integrity and safety during judging.
  • Daily contest winners will be announced at the end of each day by 4:30PM.
  • The overall winner will be announced on May 25th by 4:30 PM.
  • All models—excluding winners—MUST be picked up by 5:00 PM of the competitor’s judging day. Winning pieces can either be picked up the last day of DCC’15 or can be picked up at the offices of Pop Culture Classroom after 06/01/2015.

About the Judges

According to CoMMiES founders Daniel Holmes, Rob Merrill, and Brad Guy, the club was formed out of a common desire to share in the enjoyment of scale modeling—and, of course, show off what they were building. After meeting on a science fiction modeling forum, these three masters of the small-scale soon began recruiting members and running modeling contests. Since then, they have gained members from all across the world.

In addition to the contest, the CoMMiES will also be providing free “Make-and-Take” sessions at the PCC Lab in 2015. Novice modelers will be provided materials, tools, and instruction to help builders construct their own model kit from paper or plastic. There will also be demos for older, more seasoned modelers interested in re-sparking their modeling passion.

In all, the CoMMiES founders consider scale modeling is more than a hobby—it’s an art form that anyone can learn to embrace. According to Brad Guy, “Those who are interested in pop culture in 2015 can find a lot of satisfaction in building a piece of that culture with their own hands.” More than anything, they say, the CoMMiES is about enjoying the craft itself. “We have one rule, and that’s to have fun,” explains Daniel Holmes, though Rob Merrill puts it in even simpler terms: “Largely, we just like gluing things together.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE EMAIL US!

 

Wanted: Mad Scientists to Live on the E.D.G.E. at Denver Comic Con 2015

We attract all types of people here at Denver Comic Con: celebrities, writers, artists, cosplayers, fanboys and fangirls and an army of volunteers dedicated to making sure that everybody has as much fun as possible during the upcoming convention May 23 to 25. But for our next trick, we’re looking for someone…different. Are you the kind of person who likes to live on the E.D.G.E.?

See, you’re not here to serve, or consume, or sit idly by while other people are bringing fantasy to reality. You’re a creator. A maker. A builder. You bring to life things that are truly sensational and you’re passionate about sharing them with others and helping to teach them how they can do the same.

What is the E.D.G.E.? It’s our gaming 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.

Gaming is still a big part of this dedicated festival within Denver Comic Con, but it’s going to be so much more this year. The idea is to have publishers, creators, makers, distributors, retailers, developers and more not only showing off their creations but engaging with guests in a meaningful and interactive way. We can’t yet say which wiz-bang companies are coming to the E.D.G.E. yet but have faith that some of the biggest names in Cool Stuff will be elbow-to-elbow in our creative space when the Con comes around.

General call for makers and developers to participate. Please fill out the following form to be considered for placement in the EDGE Programming section of Denver Comic Con 2015.

http://denvercomiccon.com/edge-gaming-and-development/

Maybe you’re a dreamer, a mad scientist and a hardcore gamer, all trapped in the same body like Firestorm. Maybe you’re a sculptor with the spirit of Da Vinci whose brilliance is imbued inside the works of a 3D printer. Perhaps you’re on the tipping point of launching a podcast empire with the depth and breadth to make Chris Hardwick tremble at its awesomeness. On the blasted fields of tabletop gaming, you’re a life taker and a heartbreaker ready to claim the spoils of war. You’re writing game narratives that make Telltale’s The Walking Dead look like a Little Golden Book. Maybe you’re the amateur filmmaker ready to give Neil Blomkamp (Chappie) a run for his money on your way to becoming the next Ridley Scott. Perhaps you’re on the verge of an advancement in robotics that leads to the development of a fully enabled artificial intelligence system that achieves consciousness on…wait, that last bit is freaking us out a bit. Maybe dial it back down to, say, Big Hero 6-style back alley robot fights for now. That timey-wimey stuff in the Terminator: Genisys trailer totally weirds us out.

Anyway, the point is this: you make stuff. And Denver Comic Con wants to give you a showcase to show it off. And that’s why we want you to bring your stuff to the E.D.G.E.

To that end, we have doubled the space dedicated to our game development area, created dedicated arenas for makers, robotics fans and media creators, and moved tabletop gaming to a large, open-air space in one of the enormous lobbies of the Colorado Convention Center. The E.D.G.E. is guaranteed to be a destination feature of Denver Comic Con that brings a combined maker faire, film festival, bot-fighting arena (Okay, “Robotics Expo.” I wish you guys would just let me call it bot-fighting already. Jeez.) and gaming festival right to the middle of Denver Comic Con. You can think of us as the secret fringe festival that lives within the Con. Are you in? There’s no password or secret handshake or anything.

(I lie. There’s totally a secret handshake. But you have to come with us to learn it.)

Everyone is welcome to be a part of the E.D.G.E., and we encourage everyone who is interested to get in touch with us. We’re looking for teachers, schools, robotics companies, makers, community groups, game developers, DIY-ers, kickstarters, podcasters, crafters, coders and more. Anyone who loves creating amazing objects, products and experiences will definitely find their tribe in the E.D.G.E.

So don’t miss your chance to be a part of the fastest growing pop culture convention in the nation! To find out more and reserve table space at E.D.G.E., contact Chris Abbey, our groovy and only slightly off-kilter Manager of E.D.G.E. Programming at DCCEDGE@popcultureclassroom.org and use the hashtag #DCCEDGE to share news and updates and promote DCC E.D.G.E. to the masses. (Also: secret locations of underground bot fights. Shh.)

Clay Moore
Pop Culture Classroom – Writer/Contributor
www.claywriting.com

 

DCC’15: Page 23 Announces Call for Papers

Call for Papers, Panels, and Presentations

500 word abstracts for papers, panels, and roundtables, offering a critical approach on comics are being accepted for a scholarly conference at:

DENVER COMIC CON
COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER
DENVER, CO

May 23-25, 2015

The standard length of a comic book is 22 pages. What comes next? Page 23. Through page 23’s LitCon (formally ROMOCOCO), scholars establish comic books and graphic novels as important canonical texts that echo far beyond their final panels. Teaching comics, creating academic analyses, publishing the work of fellow comics scholars – this isn’t a revolution it’s just what’s next.

We seek abstracts from all disciplinary and theoretical perspective related to not only comics and graphic novels, but you gaming, television or film, anime, action figure studies – any pop-culture topic is welcome! We’re also especially interested in panels centered on the pop-culture pedagogy, aimed at current teachers at all levels. Editorial, interdisciplinary, and creative proposals are also welcome, along with the traditional academic papers. Multimedia equipment will be available to all presenters, and we encourage and prefer visually engaging presentations. Page 23 LitCon has no registration fee and acceptance includes a three day pass to Denver Comic Con.

Proposals due February 13, 2015

Email abstracts in a brief personal statement to: page23@denvercomiccon.com

[CLICK HERE FOR THE PDF VERSION OF THE CFP]

ROMOCOCO announces name change

True Believers!

Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels (ROMOCOCO) has a new name! After reading through all of your suggestions, we found that one theme united them all: progress. Doing work that picks up right where a comic book’s last panel leaves off. It was then that we wondered, “If the standard length of a comic book is 22 pages, what’s next?” It was then that we had our new name.

PAGE 23.

PAGE 23 represents everything we’re working to create: the next scholarship, the next curriculum, the next publication. Therefore, in the coming CFP, and at the coming conference, you’ll see ROMOCOCO re-branded as PAGE 23’s LitCon. We’re still tied to Denver Comic Con, and will still be holding the LitCon at the same time as DCC. For now, our old ROMOCOCO email address still works (we’ll update everyone when that changes). Our page, however, will change.

Because Facebook seemed to be a fan of our old name, they wouldn’t let us change this page to PAGE 23. So we made a new page, here:

https://www.facebook.com/page23litcon

If you have a chance, visit us there and like the page. If you don’t, no worries. We’ll be migrating over all the content, links, and “likes” this week. After that, we’re going to shut down the ROMOCOCO site, knowing that all our content will be preserved on PAGE 23’s page. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out on the PAGE 23 Facebook page.

Thank you so much for your continued support! We look forward to seeing you in Denver.

Page 23 supports comic book scholarship through its LitCon, which is partnered with Denver Comic Con, and occurs annually in Denver, CO.

PAGE 23
We’re What’s Next

DCC’15: Panel Submissions opens Monday December 1st

Denver Comic Con is dedicated to present great sessions and panel content that focus on our mission of education.

Were you at DCC 2014?
Were you inspired to present your own session?
Are you an expert in Vintage Comic Books?
Know more about Starships or Utility Belts than the average person?
Are you an artist and like to teach?
Would you like to present a workshop or demo on Photoshop?

We welcome your panel and session submissions from December 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015.

Remember to read all the rules and restrictions before you submit.  These details will be available on the sign-up page when it goes live this Monday on our Denver Comic Con website: denvercomiccon.com

Sign-ups start @ 12noon.

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Did you know: Every year Denver Comic Con features over 300 hours of educational programming, demonstrating Pop Culture Classroom’s continuing mission to provide educational content that shows the value of comics and other pop culture media in improving literacy and inspiring everyone to learn more about the world around them.

Education Wrap-Up: Denver Comic Con 2014! (Part 2)

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PCC developing video art lessons for teachers. Comic book artist, Yannick Paquette is giving a demonstration on how to draw backgrounds and set dressing!

So where do we go from here, true believers? Up, up and and away!

Right now, Pop Culture Classroom staff and volunteers are teaching the Comic Book Classroom Curriculum at seven different Denver locations in partnership with Youth One Book One Denver (YOBOD). The program was first developed in 2012 by a coalition of youth-focused organizations to help develop a culture of reading in youth ages 9-12 and help combat summer learning loss.

In collaboration with Pop Culture Classroom, Mayor Hancock of Denver has selected the 2009 children’s fantasy novel Savvy by Ingrid Law as this year’s YOBOD selection, and Pop Culture Classroom is developing specialty content that aligns perfectly with the relatable and enduring adventure in the book. Many of the youth leaders who work with YOBOD participants are using the lessons of Comic Book Classroom to create comics and cards about the Savvy universe, reaching over 2,500 students across the Denver area.

(Shh. Don’t tell anybody, but Pop Culture Classroom is planning a showcase as a celebration for these students. Students will get to exhibit their art and take part in a dynamic, learning-focused arts and technology convention. Keep it under your hat, or come on down the to the McNichols building on July 23rd and be a part of the celebration.)

A small staff and an indefatigable army of volunteers keep driving Pop Culture Classroom and the Comic Book Classroom curriculum to new heights. Post-Con planning is already in the works, as the team pursues a variety of goals including:

  • Creating a long-term strategic plan for educational outreach
  • Investigating, building and nurturing strategic partnerships to support educational outreach
  • Executing high quality programming with students across the state and nation
  • Developing new educational resources in other pop culture media

The team recognizes that technology is key to disseminating these creative endeavors. Pop Culture Classroom is currently building a robust website with input from technology experts, teachers, Comic Book Classroom graduates, and other constituents who are invested in the mission of Pop Culture Classroom.

For example, one of the concerns expressed by teachers looking to use our curriculum is that their drawing skills aren’t on par with their teaching skills. In order to make the Comic Book Classroom curriculum accessible to all educators regardless of their comfort level with sequential art, Pop Culture Classroom is preparing to launch a YouTube Channel featuring mini-videos with art lessons from professional creators, including Yanick Paquette.

Paquette is a comic book artist from Canada who has worked for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Topps and Antarctic Press, and has been a regular contributor to the adventures of Batman, Superman, and the X-Men. Inspired by Pop Culture Classroom’s mission, Paquette stayed in town after Denver Comic Con to record six videos for our new YouTube Channel. These are just the first of many videos for educators that are slated to air on the Pop Culture Classroom channel starting later this summer.

“I’m stunned by the enormity of everything that we have accomplished together,” said Pop Culture Classroom’s Education Director Illya Kowalchuk. “I am thrilled and humbled that my simple desire to connect with and reach marginalized students has blossomed into such an amazing organization. I can’t wait to capitalize on this powerful opportunity on a much larger scale to enrich the lives of Denver youth and beyond.”

Want to know more about Pop Culture Classroom and Denver Comic Con’s educational endeavors? Please email: info@PopCultureClassroom.org

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In collaboration with Pop Culture Classroom, Mayor Hancock of Denver has selected the 2009 children’s fantasy novel Savvy by Ingrid Law as this year’s YOBOD selection,

Education Wrap-Up: Denver Comic Con 2014! (Part 1)

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Avengers Assemble! DCC’14 guest George Perez, the artist legend behind comic books like the Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, the Avengers and others, leads the charge for children’s literacy at the Comic Book Classroom Kids’ Corral at DCC’14!

Imagination rules here at Denver Comic Con, so it’s time to celebrate all the fantastic achievements by the kids, teachers, community supporters and volunteers who came together to create, learn, and work as a team this summer. Here are some of the highlights of the educational programming instituted at Denver Comic Con this year by Pop Culture Classroom—and stay tuned for a special sneak peak at our plans for the future.

First of all, we the dynamic nonprofit organization at the heart of Denver Comic Con. On Friday, June 13th during our first ever Opening Ceremonies, our new Executive Director Christine Tubbs presented Pop Culture Classroom, the new name for the nonprofit. Pop Culture Classroom” reflects the expansion of our educational programming into many other mediums. The original Comic Book Classroom curriculum will still be available for teachers, and will be leveraged as a philosophical model for new curriculum.

“It has worked so well in comic books, in what we are calling ‘Storytelling Through Comics,’ we are now expanding it to other areas of popular culture,” Tubbs told The Denver Post. “So, music, film, gaming are a few of the areas we’ll use to expand it.”

Pop Culture Classroom isn’t just expanding its curriculum. It also quadrupled the size of, and added many new innovative features to, the Comic Book Classroom Kids’ Corral, a safe, structured environment where children, teens, parents and educators can participate in comic culture without having to fight the crowds in the aisles of exhibitors.

Pop Culture Classroom” reflects the expansion of our educational programming into many other mediums. The original Comic Book Classroom curriculum will still be available for teachers, and will be leveraged as a philosophical model for new curriculum.

For example, one of the most exciting new areas in the Kids’ Corral was the 8-Bit Lounge, a studio on the convention floor designed to allow students between 12 and 19 years old to connect with professional creators. Writers, artists, and make-up artists (just to name a few) from shows like SyFy’s Face Off not only demonstrated their work and answered questions, but they also engaged one-on-one and in small group to create projects like stop-motion animation shorts and professional makeup jobs.

A key mission of the Denver Comic Con is to empower kids to stand up for what’s right, and that idea was at the center of our Super Anti-Bullying Team-Up with Adventure Time’s Jeremy Shada. Jeremy and his pal Max Charles (who played young Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) joined special guest Grayson Bruce to talk about bullying and how to not only deal with it, but to eliminate it. Grayson is the 9-year-old from North Carolina who took on this school’s backwards punish-the-victim bullying policy and won, so it was our honor to host this brave young man.

Other special programs in the Kids’ Corral included My Little Pony author Katie Cook sharing her experience with web comics; creator Emily Martin (Princeless) drawing Batman comics for the first time ever; and professional comic artist Yanick Paquette recording video lessons intended to support the Storytelling Through Comics curriculum.

Meanwhile, in our Arts and Crafts Labs, Denver Comic Con volunteers worked alongside local community organizations like the Denver Public Library and the Colorado Rockies to help children craft. The projects in the Arts and Crafts Labs were specifically designed to help children use their imaginations and give them free reign over design and construction. Random Acts took their project a step further by dedicating their area in the labs to the Tennyson Center for Children, one of the Rocky Mountain region’s leading treatment centers and K-12 schools for emotionally and crisis-affected children and youth, particularly those suffering from abuse and neglect. RAOK helped children in the Arts and Crafts Labs create cards for the students at Tennyson Center.

Celebrity guests at the Denver Comic Con often drop in to the Comic Book Classroom Kids’ Corral to read aloud to the children. This year, Adam West (Batman) read the bestselling If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond. Gigi Edgley from Farscape and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge read the whimsical Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox and Lydia Monks. Finally, actor and voice artist Kevin Conroy snuck away from his jam-packed Batman 75th Anniversary panel to perform Moustache Baby by Bridget Heos and Joy Ang.

[View more videos on our Denver Comic Con YouTube Channel]

Ever mindful of our ongoing mission to expand our base of involved teachers in the community, we gave out nearly 200 Educator’s Passes to teachers in local and regional schools to allow them a free day at Denver Comic Con. As a special incentive for educators to engage with our teaching materials, teachers who attended 3 hours of educational programming received a free copy of the full Comic Book Classroom Curriculum.

“Our goal has always been one to inspire teachers,” said Bruce Macintosh, Director of Programming for DCC. “We don’t just want to expose them to new teaching tools and curricula, but we also want to give them the freedom to explore the other awesome panels that range from diversity topics to film-making. Our organization operates on the basic premise that comics and other popular media can effectively teach children the fundamentals of reading, as well as being an essential learning tool for changes in social culture.”

In this spirit, Illegal Pete’s sponsored the new “Experience the CoMix” program to allow 100 local middle and high school students to come to Denver Comic Con for free as part of a cultural and educational field trip.

Literature was also alive and well at the Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels (RoMoCoCo!) where authors and academics trained their critical eyes on complex issues around themes, identities, education and intellectual perspectives in comics and graphic novels.

The experience kids, parents and teachers discovered in the Comic Book Classroom Corral extended into the vast educational programming staged in Denver Comic Con’s dozens of panel rooms and Main Events halls. Over 300 hours of educational programming demonstrates Pop Culture Classroom’s continuing mission to provide educational content that shows the value of comics and other pop culture media in improving literacy and inspiring everyone to learn more about the world around them.

The Con kicked off on Saturday when DCC partnered with the Denver Citywide Marching Band to lead the children’s costume parade through the labyrinthine halls of the Colorado Convention Center, all the way to the Kids’ Corral, where they played a surprise concert for the entertainment of all.

Another example of how Pop Culture Classroom is changing attitudes about literacy and creativity came during this year’s Draw Off!, one of our most popular panels. Artists were encouraged to think outside the box and demonstrate that everyone has their own style. Instead of an old-school competition, both artists and kids drew the same object or character in a set amount of time, demonstrating that diversity of style is a virtue and not a drawback.

Over 300 hours of educational programming demonstrates Pop Culture Classroom’s continuing mission to provide educational content that shows the value of comics and other pop culture media in improving literacy and inspiring everyone to learn more about the world around them.

Meanwhile there were dozens of educational panels downstairs in the Convention Center, where tracks dedicated to education, diversity, and literature drew thousands of active participants. In the diversity track, attendees discussed ethic and racial identity in comics, spirituality, LGBT issues and working beyond stereotypes, among other topics. In the education track, guests discussed careers in pop culture, top graphic novels to use in classrooms, and the social relevancy of The Walking Dead.

Literature was also alive and well at the Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels (RoMoCoCo!) where authors and academics trained their critical eyes on complex issues around themes, identities, education and intellectual perspectives in comics and graphic novels. Over 40 hours of educational programming were dedicated to this conference alone, and featured academic experts Barbara Postema, Bart Beaty, Charles Hatfield, and William Kuskin and our own Convention Director, Dr. Christina Angel.

Even those who weren’t at Denver Comic Con couldn’t get away from superheroes that weekend. Pop Culture Classroom presented at TEDxMile High on Saturday, June 14th, where our team challenged attendees to draw a hero that could change the world according to ideas presented in other TED talks that weekend. All the drawings were collected and displayed at TEDxMile High. [View video here]

So where do we go from here? Up, up and away, of course.

Want to know more about Pop Culture Classroom and Denver Comic Con’s educational endeavors? Please email: info@PopCultureClassroom.org

TO BE CONTINUED…

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DCC’14: Pop Culture Classroom isn’t just expanding its curriculum. It also quadrupled the size of, and added many new innovative features to, the Comic Book Classroom Kids’ Corral!

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DCC’14: “Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?” – Princess Leia, Star Wars

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DCC’14: Illegal Pete’s sponsored the new “Experience the CoMix” program to allow 100 local middle and high school students to come to Denver Comic Con for free as part of a cultural and educational field trip.

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DCC’14: Ted Naifeh, creator, writer and artist of the Eisner-Award-nominated series Courtney Crumrin, stops by the CBC Kids’ Corral!

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DCC’14: From Denver’s 106.7 KBPI, poses with a young cosplayer who puts on his best “Batface”.