Forget San Diego.
The past few years of large scale comic book conventions have been a slide into Big Media madness — expensive tickets to see expensive advertisements for usually lackluster entertainment products. That’s boring, and frankly I find the whole scene pretty antagonistic to what made comic book conventions so awesome in the first place — grassroots, do-it-yourself nerd-dom. Local comic book conventions are a chance for artists, illustrators, writers, and fans to do their thing without the overpriced overhead of a major convention. And really, this is where the real action happens in the world of comic books and geek culture anyway. This is where the big names in comics come from — where they grow. They sweat it out on the floor of a rec-center gymnasium for hours at a time. They shake hands and network until they can’t see straight.
Fort Collins Comic Con has been the go-to Con for northern Colorado and southern Wyoming nerds since 2015, and has raised over $75,000 for the Poudre River Public Library District in their mission to “bring together geeks of all ages and types into an affordable Con experience.” The now annual convention also bolsters local business revenues and has shown to increase materials circulation at the local library overall. Bringing together an impressively wide array of vendors (both on the convention floor and the outdoor food truck cantina), FoCoCoCO still manages to keep crowd size and inconveniences to a manageable level. This is an easy, family-friendly experience that delivers on good times and great reads. I can’t wait to go back next year.
I’m not usually this optimistic about anything, but look — people are reading. Stories are being told here and art is being made right in your backyard. Parents are reliving their childhoods. Kids are learning that it’s alright (maybe even pretty cool) to be a bit nerdy. You can see the magic happening right in front of you and it all feels like such a personal experience. New discoveries are made — new fans are created. The past is once again a strange and distant planet. Fort Collins Comic Con — Live Long and Prosper.