Colorado Springs Comic Con 2017

Although Colorado Springs Comic Con (“CSCC”) is only in its second year, the con is run by Altered Reality Entertainment, who also runs Rhode Island Comic Con and Terror Con, and has some connections within the con community. Colorado Springs lacks a true convention center, but CSCC was able to increase their footprint by moving the con to Altered Reality Events Center, a retrofitted space within a semi-abandoned strip mall. Like most “comic cons”, the comic books really take a back seat to the celebrity guests. CSCC’s strategy is to cast a wide net of minor celebrities from many different eras in order to attract as many people as possible. Even though the focus is not necessarily comic books, the artist alley were pleasantly stocked with good talent and big names.

The Venue

Colorado Springs is the second largest city in Colorado, but it lacks a true venue like the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The space was big enough to house many vendors and guests, but there was only one panel room. Another major flaw was the parking. A strip mall is not made to accommodate thousands of con goers all at once, and finding alternate parking to the venue was a little bit of a pain.

The new location of CSCC

That being said, there were a lot of vendors. The space was used very strategically to fit in as many vendors as possible, while the aisles were wide enough to easily maneuver around. This year, there was also a dedicated artist alley which was a huge improvement from the first year. Last year it seemed that artists were scattered all around the con with no rhyme or reason. One thing that they could improve upon is having more concessions, and having places to eat and rest. I had to leave the con to go find food, which is something that CSCC should totally be capitalizing on.

The Celebrities

This is the strength of CSCC. They had stars from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, like Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Beverly Hills Cops, Karate Kid, Power Rangers, and of course Walking Dead. The most popular Celebrities were Sting, Billy Dee Williams, Jon Bernthal and Michael Rooker. They even brought in Joey Fatone (from N*Sync) for all the ladies!

This year’s comic guests were quite impressive. Like the celebrities, they cast a wide net by bringing in veterans like Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck, Neal Adams and Mike Beatty, and brought some of the younger talent like Jim Mahfood, Rob Guillory, and Ahsley Witter. I was able to easily get on the commission list for Joseph Michael Linsner, Rags Morales, and Witter, which all came out fantastic. This is definitely a great con for meeting comic celebrities and getting sketches.

The Comics

This is the weakest link of CSCC. Like most “comic cons” these days, there just aren’t a lot of comic books being sold. It was good to see that 3 local springs shops were representing (Escape Velocity, Kapow Comics & Coffee, and Muse Comics), but besides them there were only 4 other comic book dealers, most who tour the local comics scene regularly. There were not a lot of big keys for sale, and really not a lot of long boxes besides one dealer. I don’t typically hit up big cons expecting to find deals on books, but at least let me dig a little!

Thirsty con goers could get all you can drink soda!

The Verdict

CSCC is a great venue if you want to meet celebrities of all sorts and comic book creators and artists, but not a great show if you are actually looking for comic books. This is a common theme in the con world of today, and it really is unfortunate that most cons are really pop culture conventions. There were issues on Saturday with long lines to get in, an AC unit that was not working in Hall A, and large crowds inside. CSCC has potential to become a good convention, but with the focus on celebrities and not on comic books or panels, it won’t break the mold of being a pop culture convention. I enjoyed the ease of being able to meet comic creators and artists and getting on commission lists, but miss digging in long boxes. CSCC is trending in the right direction as there were noticeable improvements from year one.


Tidbits from the Con

I spoke with Rob Guillory about Chew ending, and he said it was planned all along to end at issue #60. But fear not Chew fans, Rob is planning to release his own book that he is writing and drawing sometime in early 2018.

Ashley Witter is a rising star, and her work on Squarriors is phenomenal. She caught a huge break by doing some big 2 covers on Harley Quinn and Star Wars Doctor Aphra, and now she is set to become the regular cover artist on Aphra! Hopefully she will be doing interiors soon.

Timothy Zahn stated that although Admiral Thrawn is canon, the stories that he wrote prior about him are not. Thrawn has already appeared in Star Wars Rebels, but it would be cool to see him on the big screen!

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