As far as pop culture conventions go, Denver Comic-Con has a few years to go before it can even expect to match the incredible attendance numbers of its New York and San Diego counterparts. However, for only its second year, the first con to rock the Mile High City is certainly making a name for itself. Big name celebrities are flocking to the spacious Colorado Convention Center in droves, shooting the event into the national spotlight and guaranteeing an even better turn out for next year. Stan Lee, the con’s main draw, cancelled a mere two weeks before its start due to scheduling conflicts with Marvel, but the event’s coordinators bounced back immediately by convincing William Shatner to fill his MASSIVE shoes as Guest of Honor. For many, this unexpected change was upsetting, but the fact that the people setting up the con replaced such an iconic guest with someone just as influential and beloved speaks for the con’s growing appeal. Read on for a list of the most notable people who graced the convention floor and helped make Denver Comic-Con a weekend to remember.
In addition to hosting the original James T. Kirk, the con also boasts the appearance of George Takei, Shatner’s co-Enterprise crew member and one of the best known names in sci-fi. Takei, while known for his role as Captain Sulu, has more recently taken to the internet and become a sensation of sorts, posting hilarious memes and various news bits occasionally separated by passionate posts about different societal issues and controversies.
Originally slated to appear only on Saturday and Sunday, Takei surprised fans by hitting the convention floor on Friday night to sign autographs. His enthusiasm and kindness towards his admirers made his presence that much warmer and more welcoming, and I was extremely pleased with how genuine he was. He also was the subject of a panel on Saturday, which unfortunately I was unable to attend. However, I did have the distinct pleasure of briefly meeting him, which remains THE highlight of the convention for me. I sincerely hope he makes it next year.
Also in attendance was Felicia Day, star of the wildly popular web show The Guild and Neil Patrick Harris’s love interest Penny in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, who was at her booth for hours, smiling at the eager faces of her fans and signing whatever they placed in front of her.
Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor in BBC’s hit series Doctor Who, traveled “across the pond” to attend the convention, and his presence at the event shows how hot Denver is becoming for convention-going. Baker wasn’t the only piece of Who to be found at the con. Daleks and Matt Smith Doctors could often be seen posing for a picture or scurrying to a panel, further confirming the longevity of the series.
On the comics front, industry notables Fiona Staples(pictured with me and a friend) and George Perez were present all three days to sign books, sketch on those same books, and to meet and chat with their fans. Fiona Staples, who currently draws the incredibly popular indie comic Saga, was particularly kind to her admirers, often drawing full character sketches on their most cherished books but always wearing a genuine smile on her face. George Perez, a comic book writer/artist whose work ranges from The Avengers to Teen Titans,wasn’t nearly as vocal, but he was just as kind and receptive to the praise his fans showered on him.
Obviously, there were MANY more celebrities and guests at the convention than those I listed above, so I’m currently working on Part 2 of the Celebrity Round-up to give you, the reader, a better idea of who was there and how they acted, spoke, reacted, etc. Check back for Part 2 soon!