An Interview with Artist Zak Kinsella

meet zak
Ink and watercolor #MeetTheArtist piece

Fresh from Denver Comic Con, we met up with Denver comic book artist Zak Kinsella about his work, what inspired him as a kid, his views on how Denver is changing, and what’s next for him. Artist and writer on books like Midspace,” King Maul, and Outré Veil,  Kinsella’s wit, expression and honesty is what draws readers to his work. He has also worked for the Westword and The New York Times and has some exciting news about where he might be headed next.

Hush Comics: What made you want to be an artist?

Zak Kinsella: I think it really popped into me in junior high. I was always drawing beforehand. My mom’s an artist… Mostly it was just getting back into comics when I was in junior high, like X-Men. That really popped for me. I thought, “I’m going to start drawing these things. These comic books.”

HC: Did you start with drawing those characters?

ZK: Yeah. I had been used to drawing before so drawing outside in the real world, like life drawing, [I thought] “well, let’s try drawing some muscly dudes.” And then I realized I love it.

HC: How did you get started doing that professionally?

ZK: I decided I wanted to. I started putting out my own books and before I was an illustrator— a pretty successful one, too— and I’m a pretty successful one right now, too, but you get to a point in the road where you think, “Man, illustration’s really cool and I’ve done cool work but it’s still not comic books.” They have this really weird grasp on you. They’re really the road less taken and they’re way more fun than drawing for Men’s Health or something like that or even New York Times, which I’ve done before. I mean, that’s big name stuff but it’s still not [as] fun [as] comics. I didn’t want to be one of those people that was stuck in what they hated doing.

HC: What about comics inspires you most? What about X-Men inspired you as a kid?

ZK: I moved around a lot as a kid, but we grew up in Texas and I don’t like football, I don’t play sports [except for] swim team… so that’s kind of like the outcast. If you’re not playing football, you’re not accepted. [Reading] the X-Men as a kid it was like, “These guys are always getting crapped on while they’re trying to do a good job at something.” And that was like, “I’m on the swim team!” “Oh, great job. You don’t play football. Let’s punch you…” A lot of those themes are repeated throughout the X-Men, plus, with those comics they’re exciting because they’re not like a lot of the other mainstream comics. They deal with a lot of progressive feminism and acceptance and love and stuff that’s just really cool while all at the same time [there’s] dudes in tights punching each other. It made progressive-ism accessible to a young man. It’s not your typical power struggle fantasy. It straddles those boundaries but if you look at their best character Storm. I mean, she was punk rock Storm.

HC: Is she your favorite character?

ZK: No, I was actually more of a Nightcrawler [fan] and more than anything else I was a Cyclops fan. Everyone’s like, “Okaaaay,” but I love that guy. He gets the job done. Everyone thinks he’s a tool but tools get the job done.

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Zak Kinsella at Denver Comic Con

HC: You seem to illustrate for a lot of projects in the science fiction vein. What do you like most about that genre that keeps you coming back for more?

ZK: It’s what I grew up on. X-Files was a big thing for me, but also growing up as a kid I used to read these things called, Time Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown. They were just these dumb books about the outer limits. Twilight Zone was a big thing [for me and so was] In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy. All those things and then, a healthy dose of British science fiction on PBS. I lot of these things came from my mom, honestly. We’d watch Doctor Who thirty years before anyone followed it. [We thought,] “Oh, Doctor Who sounds pretty cool.” [I also liked] the obvious stuff like Star Wars. A lot of that stuff is influential. Science Fiction does such a great job of critiquing humanity while being like, “Hey, this takes places with robots in outer space.” It’s just cool.

I feel like [in my own work] I feel like I have much more of a creative license. I can make stuff up. “I have no idea what this planet would look like. Let’s just make it up. What the hell.” I also find space to be a very romantic backdrop. Like in The Final Frontier, there is so much space unexplored. You can’t even believe what we’re going to run into out there and that leaves infinite possibilities for storytelling.

HC: What’s it like working with a comic book writer? Can you explain that collaborative dynamic?

ZK: I’ve had a couple of good experiences and a couple of bad experiences. Sometimes their excitement can bleed into anxiousness and then they’re always bugging you…

HC: Kind of feels like they’re nagging you?

ZK: Yeah. I mean, it’s exciting and it’s something we’re both stoked to work on together, but I have to balance the book I’m working on right now with freelance work… But it has to be a collaboration or that sort of thing just sort of starts to grow like a cancer in a friendship and kills it. I had a really trying experience with that last year. I had to walk off a book, and I have no regrets about that. It was just too much for me.

HC: It’s a lot to deal with. You both are sort of demanding on each other.

ZK: Well, yeah because you want it to be the best and put your best foot forward, otherwise what’s the point? But, you have to set boundaries. I’ve left a couple of books like that where I’ve said, “Look, this isn’t working unless we figure this stuff out. We gotta put our big boy pants on and deal with this.” I generally like working with writers, but I’ve also come to realize that I’m pretty good at writing myself, so that’s why I’ve started branching out. I wouldn’t not recommend [working with a writer.] “Never work with a writer,” that’s dumb!

HC: What’s your favorite type of collaboration? What dynamic do you prefer?

ZK: Last year when I worked on King Maul I worked with a guy who used to be an editor for Marvel and it was a great experience because he knew when to lay off and when to put the pressure on… Someone who knows what they want to do and is free to let me experiment a little and find my own voice in the mix [is what I prefer] because I find that if it starts off as collaboration and then ends up with me just getting told what to do then it’s like, “Well this kind of sucks. I don’t have control over how the story’s going to look. I’m not trying to change plot parts of it really, but I like to have some sort of input into where it’s going.” That’s really the best part of it. If you’re just going to be a gun for hire, then I don’t see the point. You need to have room to spread your wings. I’ve known a lot of guys who get in there and do big books for big companies and it just leaves them emotionally drained and they’re like, ‘I want time to do my own book but I can’t afford that,’ so they kind of paint themselves into a corner. But it’s changing, so that’s good.

HC: How do you feel like it’s changing?

ZK: I can kind of trace it to Image [Comics], really. All that Walking Dead money? They’re like, “Yeah, let’s put out some cool stuff and get some real big creators in to do it.”

HC: They do a lot of indie stuff.

ZK: [Laughing] But not like “sad-bastard-depressed indie.” To put it subtly. That kind of indie is good too, but… They’re like a television station that’s not like Syfy… You’ve got a variety of things.

HC: There’s an Image comic for everyone.

ZK: I’d say so.

HC: You say on your website that you sketch and ink by hand and color digitally. Why do you prefer that method?

ZK: I like to make a mess. No Wacom stylus is ever going to give me the same feeling that a brush does. Really with art, whatever tool works for you, good, you know? If you’re going to use Manga Studios to make your comics, cool. That’s awesome. It’s just not for me… I use a lead holder and that helps give me brush lines with my pencil. My pencils aren’t too tight anymore, either. The brushes do the heavy lifting. I would have to change my pencil style if I ever got an inker. I just love the feel of the brush. That’s honestly all it is. With coloring digitally, I’ve been using a lot of watercolor lately and ink wash and graphite. You can manipulate those in different ways to get different types of texture with your digital coloring as well… Digital also allows me a physical piece I can sell to someone afterwards and I do sell a pretty decent amount of work at conventions and online.

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HC: I love your “Disappearing Denver” piece. What struck you personally about Five Points that inspired you to draw that?

ZK: When I first moved there a couple of years ago it was still pretty grim and gritty, if I can relate it to comic book terminology. But the thing about that place is it had so much class. A lot of the buildings are just beautiful. It reminded me a living in the South.

HC: How so?

ZK: Just the architecture style and the fact that’s it’s not all white washed [but] now it’s becoming gentrified.

HC: I really hate a lot of modern architecture.

ZK: I do as well. I find it to be absolutely ugly, lego, Chipotle architecture with only mutual colors. I think a bigger part of it is people come in and they don’t respect the culture of the area. I chose that neighborhood because the rent wasn’t too expensive at the time and… I used to go to a lot of warehouse shows and Larimer Lounge shows. Monkey Mania was over there. That place was cool. I was so sick of being in Highlands Ranch or Littleton and the only person of color you’d see if mowing a lawn, you know? It’s like, “Dude this place f***ing sucks, man.”

Now…it’s just a breeding ground for violence with people coming out of the Rockies games drunk… My neighbor’s been there since 1942. His family has been in that house next door and some of the stories he has of the neighborhood changing over the last 60 years is just gonzo. So, you start to lose that sense of history and love and culture. That’s what brought it around for me. I just thought it was sad… And that’s the cool part about comics is that I can make a comic about that and have it speak as loud as anything else out there… Art should be a pipe bomb… A lot of people who complimented that strip said, “Wow, this is what’s going on. This is exactly what’s going on.”

HC: I read an article in Westword that mentioned your involvement with a comedy show called “Picture This.” Can you talk a little bit about that collaboration?

ZK: It was really cool. They’re a touring comedy troupe. They’ll do a set of standup comedians and have an artist pair up with each of them and they animate their set live. I did really quick sketches. I had the opportunity to work with Adam Cayton-Holland… I love standup. It’s awesome. I think comic book artists and comedians share some of the same— not saying great qualities but— we love this and it doesn’t pay a lot… but it’s what we’re going to do… A comedian has a totally different set of tools [than I do] and they have to be up in front of people doing it, which is…[ He shakes his head, his eyes wide with faux fear.] Nope, nope, nope…. Adam did like ten minutes of standup while I was drawing right behind him to kind of mimic that. We were rifting off each other. It was pretty cool. We have very similar senses of humor and tastes…

HC: Was that nerve-racking to be in front of people?

ZK: No, I was off in the corner. He would point out to me and he’d ask me [something] and I’d draw in response. It’s so cool because [Holland] has a TV show on True TV now… and he’s from here. It’s freaking awesome… That was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to do it again, actually. It was a little nerve-racking but at the same time it was pretty cool. I just worked at Rock Comic Con drawing live in front of crowds so that doesn’t bother me anymore. [It’s the] same thing with conventions. I’ll do commissions while talking to people. I have no problem drawing anywhere at any time anymore.

HC: Why do you think most of your audience is female?

ZK: I’m not afraid to talk to people without that judgmental tone, like “You haven’t read Superman #238 where he rides a robot?” Like, who cares?

HC: I feel like a lot of nerds try to play gatekeeper. Like, “shut up. There was a time when you didn’t know anything about this, that or the other thing.”

ZK: Right, and that’s the thing with gatekeepers… [There was] that kid who had [a] Doctor Strange thing who was saying, ‘Oh man! They’re making a Doctor Strange movie! Awesome!’ and the dealer kicked him out of his booth because he didn’t know anything. Like, what kind of a short sighted dipshit are you to say [that?] Instead, “Oh, you want to know more about him? I’ve got 40,000 books about Doctor Strange. Dip in on this, bro.” [He said something like,] “Ugh. Get out of my booth you unworthy maggot!”… If I was at that convention I would have gone and taken a dump in that guy’s booth. “F*** your elitism.” Right? I won’t deal with it.

Outre veil

HC: I’ve been told you have some exciting news. What’s next for you?

ZK: [He hesitates.]

HC: Are you not allowed to give away any big news yet?

ZK: I guess I can talk about my experiences with what I’m working on right now. I went to Emerald City Comic Con and Vertigo was giving out appointment times. They were like, “Hey, come pitch to us. We’re looking for new people,” basically. I got one by the end of the show and at the end of the show I went there and I pitched something that I’m working on right now called Outré Veil… and they liked it a lot so they gave me their card to follow up with them. For the last three months you can go through a workshop process with the pitch. Ends up Vertigo decided not to do Science Fiction. They were like, “We’re going to pass on this. However, we might want to use you as an artist here soon, and we’re open to more ideas from you.” So I’m working on another one with them right now. But I’ve got some buddies who want to do some books for me as well, too so I’m working on a pitch for another company right now and that one I definitely can’t talk about. That one’s pretty exciting. It’s going to be really cool.

I just want to get Outré Veil done and I’m working on a book about my uncle, too… I had never done comics [that are] autobiographical because I was like, “This is a bunch of sad sack of shit.” I respect it, but it’s not for me. And then I went through- it wasn’t a bad breakup but it was really tough because it kind of came out of nowhere. I was like, “This sucks.” So, I started going to Denver Drink and Draw and one of my buddies there was like, “Why don’t you make a comic out of this?” and it just came out of [that.] I love that group because we challenge each other. And it’s always an open environment. There’s no real shaming [or] judging… So I put out a short comic just trying to work out my feelings and it went over really well. If you think putting your artwork out there that’s about chimpanzees in space… it’s nothing compared to putting something out about someone you have a breakup with… It was a huge, huge thing to do. But when I put it out, I got a lot of, “Wow, this is awesome. What’s next?”

And then it just kind of hit me, “Man, I should make a book about [my uncle] Dan.” You’re just trying to suss out your feelings about things. Growing up, he had a lot of issues like ADHD and drug addiction, you know? And finally, as he was cleaning up his life- spoiler alert- he dies in a motorcycle accident. He died instantly, which was kind of nice. I always decided to do it in a sketchbook format. It’s tiny. I come here [to City ‘o City] and I work with Noah Van Sciver a lot. He’s been doing all his comics that size so I thought, ‘Why don’t I do them like that?’ It’s been really good.

HC: I feel like creative non-fiction affords a lot to both the author and the reader.

ZK: Yeah. I’ve been thinking of doing more personal ones not so much about death as well but dating right now is such a shit show with all the apps and being broken up with over text and stuff like that. Are you all just devolving? What’s going on? I’m trying to make it so it’s not whiney and awful.

HC: Honest but not “Woe is me!”

ZK: Right, because you read so many comics that are like that on the alternative press. It would be nice to have something that’s indicative of the times right now that someone can look at 50 or 40 years back and think “Alright. That’s how it was.” Separating the ego from the artist can be an uphill battle. It’s like reading a Hemingway novel. It can be like walking through mud, reading that guy’s prose. It’s just tough.

HC: A lot of literature romanticizes pain. A lot of authors don’t have a bullshit detector. That’s why I like stuff like The Fault in Our Stars or Juno. It talks about heavy stuff but it doesn’t romanticize it.

ZK: There’s nothing romantic about this. It just kind of sucks. How do you make this point of “this is hurting. This sucks,” but also to be optimistic? To be like, “Look, it’s not always like this,” and I’m having a lot of fun [drawing about pain] but holy shit, this can be draining. And that’s how comics are. This is tough, man.

You can find out more about Zak Kinsella and his work on his website, Facebook page, tumblr and DeviantArt page.

All art and photos belong to Zak Kinsella.

Santa Fe Comic Con Wrap Up

Santa Fe Comic Con has come and gone and now in our candy fueled stupor, we reminisce about how much fun we had that weekend. There were a ton of awesome guests at SFCC and while we couldn’t possibly write an article on each of them, you could feel the excitement in the air over their presence there. The events such as the Open Wounds Film Festival and Costume Contest were well put together and fun to attend.

The City

Santa Fe is a relatively small town but packed full of art and culture. If you come to SFCC next year and don’t live here, take the time to visit some of Santa Fe’s amazing art museums and vendors on the Downtown Plaza. It’s thirty minutes away from the convention, but definitely worth it to stay an extra day for the culture. It’s no wonder the convention attracted so many comic book artists. The city is brimming with art to begin with!

How SFCC Worked

When you checked in you were given both a wrist band and a badge. The wristband gave you access to the con and the badge told people what type of attendee you were “Guest” “Press” “Artist” “General Admission” “VIP” or “Volunteer”. While having both was a little annoying, it did help differentiate who was who.

While there were only two panel rooms, one room for the Open Wound Film Festival, one room for Dealers and one for Artist Alley, there was still a lot to do at the convention and everything was very easy to get to. I would have liked to have seen more panel rooms, but given the size of the event, it worked well.

Our Reactions

Charlotte: SFCC was a smaller convention than most I’ve gone to and that added to how much I enjoyed it. I had more time to hang out and talk with the guests I was excited about seeing. I talked with Linda Blair about the mistreatment of Pitbulls in Colorado for several minutes. Had I been at a bigger convention, I wouldn’t have had two seconds with her.

I also really enjoyed how much the convention organizers cared about the cosplayer attendees. Having a lounge to lie down in and an on hand cosplay assistant really took a lot of the stress of cosplay off my shoulders. My friends and I were able to sit down and wait for panels when we were tired and had any of our costumes malfunctioned (which thank god did not happen) we wouldn’t have to worry. There were also tons of water dispensers throughout the con with ice cold water and cups readily available for thirsty nerds. Considering I forgot my water bottle each day, it was nice that I didn’t have to worry about hydration.

The cosplay was top notch and I was excited to see so many Harley Quinns throughout the con, especially on the day I was dressed as Catwoman. There were also a lot of Green Arrow cosplay and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Raya: As someone who’d only ever been to one convention before SFCC, it was very exciting. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place with so many people in cosplay and so many people with similar interests as me. After a very long day on Saturda,y I was still out of bed much too early on Sunday, all ready with my Winter Soldier makeup on long before the doors even opened. My only frustration was that no one else cosplayed Hawkeye! I was the lone Hawkeye in a sea of Green Arrows.

Maria: SFCC was the first American comic convention I had ever been to. When we got there I was surprised by the fact that this was a much bigger con that I had expected, with stands that varied from comic book artists to celebrities that had participated on several different shows. I enjoyed the fact that it was an event for all ages and the amount of families that participated on cosplays was heartwarming.

Regarding the panels, they were enjoyable, especially due to the fact that the convention wasn’t as crowded as I had originally anticipated. People in the crowd had a much better opportunity to talk with the panelists and have a more intimate moment. It was a nice experience and something that I look forward to in the future.

If you missed Santa Fe Comic Con this year, don’t fret! Albuquerque Comic Con is put on by the same wonderful people. Tickets for that convention are on sale now for $40 for the whole weekend. It will take place January 9th through 11th, 2015. If it’s anything like Santa Fe Comic Con, you’ll have as great of a time as we did.

Saturday at Santa Fe Comic Con: Cosplay Events and Service

Santa Fe Comic Con

Saturday at Santa Fe Comic Con was filled with amazing Cosplayers. Every time we turned the corner, there was a Harley Quinn or Starlord or Captain America posing for photos. Not only were there a lot of Cosplayers at the convention, the way they were treated is possibly the most hospitable I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter. Everyone (with the exception of one creepy guy who asked for our photo) seemed to know the rules and expectations of Cosplay etiquette. This may have something to do with the very first panel of the the day “Cosplay Safety” which gave both Cosplayers and spectators alike advice on how to create a safe convention space. I was very happy to see this on the schedule and was even happier to know that as an incentive to coming to the convention, they gave out one extra Cosplay Contest token to each participant. Rosanna Rocha invited the audience to have a serious conversation about Cosplay and consent, informing people what it was and what sort of behavior was acceptable. You can find out more about that movement by reading our article here.

Another SUPER awesome service made available to Cosplayers was an active member of the International Cosplay Corps. They are  a small group of cosplayers and Cosplay enthusiasts who travel from con to con offering assistance to Cosplayers.  Gunny Gotch-Yo-Back was readily available to help with any cosplay repairs. Her Cosplay itself was awesome, with a sewing thread bandolier across her chest, duct tape hanging from a multi-layered tool belt around her hips, and tons and tons of safety pins for any Cosplayer in need. A patch on her shoulder read “Free Cosplay Repairs”. This woman is a Cosplay angel and was a godsend for any Cosplayer who forgot their sewing kit at home.

Gunny Gotch-Yo-Back repairing a fur lining for a cosplayer.
Gunny Gotch-Yo-Back repairing a fur lining for a cosplayer.

Yet another wonderful Cosplay service was a specific Cosplay lounge separate from the general outside lounge. The quiet, secluded space had big, comfortable chairs and couches for Cosplayers to kick back and relax as well as tables to work on any unanticipated rips in their costumes. As Cosplayers ourselves, we took full advantage of this. It was extremely helpful to have a relaxing space readily available for when our feet started to hurt, our eyes started to droop, and our social media needed attending to. So few conventions have rooms like these, that it was a real treat to indulge in a little private, no photos allowed time. For the sanity of Cosplayers everywhere, more conventions should start doing this.

Here are some of the awesome Cosplayers we met at Santa Fe Comic Con!

Cosplay Contest!

The Cosplay Contest, hosted by Rosana Rocha and the Geek Girls team, was absolutely amazing. There was not one costume that did not make the crowd go nuts and a few family Cosplay groups that were face melting adorable, one of which won the “Most Fun” prize.

The contest worked on both a token and judges system. Cosplayers collected tokens throughout the day from attendees who liked their work. When 7pm rolled around, all Cosplayers counted up their tokens and gave them to the judges at sign up. The Cosplayer with the most tokens won Best in Show, which ended up being an amazing Odin Cosplayer who had a hammer, sword, eye patch, and a musical horn; the works. He was also seriously in character the whole time and lead the crowd in a Asgardian cheer. “May you all find Valhalla!” he shouted as he excited the stage.

There were a ton of Cosplayers in the contest and each paraded in front of the audience, posing, saying quick little skits, and joking around with the audience. The skill and craftsmanship of each costume was breathtaking. There were very close ties for both Most Fun and Most Impressive. I honestly don’t know how they made up their mind. A few children who couldn’t make the Kids Cosplay Contest taking place Sunday also took part and were a major cute factor.

In the end there were four categories in which to place: Best in Show, Most Fun, Best Token Pouch, and Most Impressive. As I said, Odin took home Best in Show, Most Fun went to a family group of Mad Max Cosplayers, Best Token Pouch went to a Guardians of the Galaxy couple, and Most Impressive went to a Hush Comics fan Lea, who was dressed as a Dragonborn from Skyrim.

What was most heartwarming was when the owner of the convention came on stage and pointed to a top hat and cane sticker on his shirt that all the staff were wearing. He said they were wearing them in memory of a dear friend and fellow con-goer who died just a few months ago. This sign of memoriam made many of the audience, including myself, very emotional. Our hearts at Hush go out to those grieving this weekend.

Cosplay is always a super fun part of conventions and Santa Fe Comic Con definitely made sure their costume dawned guests were taken care of. From Cosplay Safety, to relaxation, to emergency sewing guru, it’s been a great weekend to be a Cosplayer.

Photography by Raya Jade Lieberman with the exception of Gunny Got-Yo-Back photo courtesy of Gunny Got-Yo-Back.

Logo courtesy of Santa Fe Comic Con

Santa Fe Comic Con: Preview The Official Schedule and Our Highlights!

Santa Fe Comic Con

Santa Fe Comic Con is finally upon us! There are tons of things to do this weekend from celebrity signings, to panels, to the cosplay contest, attendees are bound to have a great weekend. For those of you attending the convention, we’ve put together a little must-see list so you can spend less time running around the convention center deciding on things to do and more time doing them.

The events are split into five major sections: Panels (split into Room A and Room B), Concerts and Night Life, Daily Events, The Open Wound Film Festival, and Photo Ops. We’ve included the entire schedule below for your convenience, but here’s a few things we’re especially excited about.

Saturday

Comic Con Cosplay Safety Meeting – Panel Room A – 10-10:45am

As a cosplayer myself, I was very happy to see this on the schedule. As detailed in a earlier cosplay article, Cosplay safety is extremely important at conventions. These artists are not props to be ogled at, and they deserve respect. Every attendee should go to this panel. As an incentive, SFCC is offering an additional free cosplay token (for use at the Cosplay contest) to everyone who attends the panel.

Power Rangers Nakia Burisse and Blake Foster – “Spin Kicks and Back Flips. Behind the Scenes with the Power Rangers.” – Panel Room A – 11-11:45am

Want a backstage pass to the action behind the Power Rangers? Attend this panel. Kakia Burisse and Blake Foster will be giving attendees some Behind the Scenes insight on how the infamous Power Rangers was shot.

Naomi Grossman “Play with me. Inside American Horror Story.”- Panel Room A- 2-2:45

If you love American Horror Story, you HAVE to attend this panel. No specific details yet on what she’ll be covering about the show, but everything about this panel demands attention. Just going off the title, this sounds like a lot of fun and perfect for the Halloween season.

Cosplay Contest!

Hosted by Cosplay Legend Rosanna Rocha, this contest promises to have some really amazing talent. Attendees will be able to cast their vote via tokens given to their favorite Cosplayers. There will be four categories in which to place in: 1) Best in Show will be the Costume that has the most coins with a prize of $100 cash and Free 3 Day pass to Albuquerque Comic Con. Any tie will be decided by the final vote by ROSANNA ROCHA. 2) Best Coin Bag will win a prize of a Free 3 day pass to Albuquerque Comic Con. 3) Most Fun will be decided by Girls of Geek and the prize will be an autographed Girls of Geek Calendar as well as a Free 3 Day Pass to Albuquerque Comic Con. And 4) Most Impressive will be decided on by Rosanna Rocha and will be awarded a personalized autographed print and a Free 3 Day pass to Albuquerque Comic Con.

Making Comics your Living Gene Ha and Andy Kuhn – Panel Room B – 3-3:45pm

If you’re an inspiring artists or writer, this panel is a must-attend. Comic Book professionals Gene Ha and Andy Kuhn will give their tips and tricks for how to make your own comics more lively.

Spider-Man with Sam De La Rosa – Panel Room B – 4-4:45pm

Spider-Man! Spider-Man! If you’ve been on as much of a Spider-Man kick as I’ve been on lately, you’ll want to visit this panel. Spider-Man artist, Sam De La Rosa will be speaking on what makes Spider-Man so great. Details about the panel to be announced.

Sunday

Kids Cosplay- Judged by Rosanna Rocha and special guests – Panel Room A- 12-12:45pm

You should go to this contest if only for the cute factor. Supporting young Cosplayers is always worthy of your time. Not only is it adorable, it furthers their passion for art and comics, and that’s never a bad thing.

Linda Blair “Still turning heads after all these years” – Panel Room A- 2-2:45pm

This title makes me laugh. If you’re a fan of The Exorcist and have always wondered what that demented little girl has been up to all these years, check out Linda Blair’s panel!

Jeremy Shada and Jessica Dicicco “What time is it?” – Panel Room A- 3-3:45

ADVENTURE TIME! This panel promises to be just as fun as the show. If you’re a big fan of the Cartoon Network kids show, check out this panel with the voice actors behind some of TV’s most lovable characters.

Thomas Churchill “From Concept to Packaging, the do’s and don’ts of shooting your indie film” – Panel Room A- 4-4:45pm

CALLING ALL FILM MAJORS! This is a must-attend panel if you’re an aspiring film maker. Known for his zombie films, Thomas Churchill will teach you everything you need to know about how to shoot your own indie film. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to learn from an incredibly talented film maker.

Al Niuman: The History of Harley Quinn – Panel Room A- 5-5:45pm

“Call me Harley! Everybody does!” If you LOVE Harley Quinn as much as I do, you were just as excited to see this on the schedule. As much as I’m squeamish about what DC has done with Harley lately, I’m excited to see this panel on one of my favorite characters. Plus, there will be prizes throughout the panel! What’s not to like?

Open Wound Film Festival

Just in time for Halloween, the Open Wound Film Festival promises to be a brilliant event for all horror fans. Here’s what the Open Wound Films website had to say on the event. “The Open Wound Horror Film Festival is an independent film competition/film festival, developed by and for Horror Fans. Our festival is being held at Santa Fe Comic Con which will provide countless unique opportunities including Panels, Q & A sessions, signings and more!” The festival will include much of SFCC’s horror themed guests such as  Linda Blair of The Exorcist, Fred Williamson of Dusk Till Dawn, Naomi Grossman of American Horror Story: Asylum, Priscilla Barnes of The Devil’s Rejects, Ernie Hudson of Ghostbusters and The Crow among many other guests! Don’t miss this awesome festival! Film schedule to be announced.

We can’t possibly cover everything the convention has to offer, so here’s the full schedule!

Hours of Operation

Friday 4pm -8pm (Celebrities do not come to this preview night)

Saturday  10am – 8pm

Sunday  10am – 6pm

Panel Schedule

Saturday: Panel Room A

10-10:45 Comic Con Cosplay Safety Meeting (extra voting token to all who attend)

11-11:45 Power Rangers Nakia Burisse and Blake Foster – “Spin Kicks and Back Flips. Behind the Scenes with the Power Rangers.”

12-12:45 Jim Steranko “Nick’s Fury, blast your way inside the mind of Jim Steranko.”

1-1:45 Fred The Hammer Williamson

2-2:45 Naomi Grossman “Play with me. Inside American Horror Story.”

3-3:45 TBA

4-4:45 Manu Bennett “How to stick a piece of metal in your forearm and use it as a hand with AZOG the defiler”

5-5:45 Ernie Hudson “Who you gonna call?”

6-6:45 Tim Murphy “Son’s of Anarchy- Antagonist This”

7-7:45 Cosplay Contest- Format – Token swapping- give your token to your favorite cosplayer.

Saturday: Panel Room B

10-10:45 Lisa Loring The Original Adams Family

11-11:45 Voice Acting with Jamie Marchi and Ian Sinclair

12-12:45 Mark Bode the Art of Being Artsy all the time

1-1:45 Star Wars with Bruce Logan, John Morton, and Dicky Beer

2-2:45 Friday the 13 Part One with Ari Lehman

3-3:45 Making Comics your Living Gene Ha and Andy Kuhn

4-4:45 Spider-Man with Sam De La Rosa

5-5:45 Cherry Comics the first best adult comic Larry Welz

6-6:45 Indi Press Jon Hughes Overground Comics

7-7:45 Closed for the Costume Contest in Panel Room A

Sunday: Panel Room A

10-10:45 Tim Murphy “Sons of Anarchy- Antagonist This: Day 2

11-11:45 Manu Bennett “From Deathstroke to Crixus”

12-12:45 Kids Cosplay- Judged by Rosanna Rocha and special guests

1-1:45 Star Wars with John Morton, Dicky Beer and Bruce Logan

2-2:45 Linda Blair “Still turning heads after all these years”

3-3:45 Jeremy Shada and Jessica Dicicco “What time is it?”

4-4:45 Thomas Churchill “From Concept to Packaging, the do’s and don’ts of shooting your indie film”

5-5:45 Al Niuman The History of Harley Quinn. Prizes throughout the hour

Concerts and Night Life

Friday Night Oct 24th LAUNCH PARTY $5 Cover

8pm to 11pm- Shadeh Night Club. Ari Lehman and First Jason will be performing

11pm to 1am Local Bands from Buffalo Thunder and radio promotion.

1am to 4am Club open for dancing

Saturday Night Oct 25th AFTER PARTY $5 COVER

Noon to 5pm DJ Saunders Playing all ages music within the Shadeh Night Club.

6pm to 10pm UFC VIEWING PARTY WITH HERB DEAN

10pm to Midnight FIRST JASON will perform

Midnight to 4am DJ SAUNDERS

Shadeh Night Club official club party

Sunday Night Oct 26th FREE ADMISSION

12 – 6pm DJ Saunders performing all ages dance music in Shadeh Night Club.

Daily Events

Saturday and Sunday

*DJ Saunders Live ALL AGES in Shadeh 12 noon to 5pm *Sunday Noon to 6

*Bar will be open for 21+ as well as a dance floor for all ages with age appropriate refreshments.

*Blood Drive in the parking lot

*Walgreens Flu Shots in the parking lot

*Ghost Busters Car Photo ops in the parking lot $5 each $50 with Ernie Hudson (see his schedule)

*Anime and Film Screening will be going on in Vista Room B (By escalator)

Photo Ops

Photo ops by FROGGYS PHOTOS

Saturday:

12:15…..Manu Bennett

1:00…..Sarah French

1:15…..Three’s Company (Jayce Dewitt/Priscilla Barnes)

1:40…..Ernie Hudson

2:00…..Ari Lehman

2:15…..Linda Blair

2:45…..Fred Williamson

3:00…..Lisa Loring

3:15…..Tim Murphy

3:30…..Naomi Grossman

3:45…..Power Rangers Nakia Burrise/Blake Foster

4:15…..John Morton

4:30…..Fred Williamson

4:45…..Thomas Churchill

5:00…..Manu Bennett

Sunday:

11:15….. TBA

11:30…..John Morton

11:45…..Naoimi Grossman

12:00…..Fred Williamson

12:15…..Thomas Churchill

12:30…..Manu Bennett

1:00…..Ernie Hudson

1:15…..Three’s Company (Jayce Dewitt/Priscilla Barnes)

1:35…..TBA

1:45…..Linda Blair

2:00…..Ari Lehman

2:15…..Sarah French

2:30…..Nakia Burrise/Blake Foster

2:45…..Tim Murphy

3:00…..Lisa Lorina

Well, that seems to wrap things up. We can’t wait to see what this convention has to offer. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, it’s not too late! Tickets for the whole weekend are $35 for adults and $15 for children. VIP tickets are also available starting at $75. Police, Active Military, and Fire Fighters get in for free! Get them here!

Santa Fe Comic Con: Comic Book and Cosplay Guests

Santa Fe Comic Con

For those of you living in New Mexico or willing to make the commute there for a great convention, Santa Fe Comic Con is quickly approaching (Oct. 24-26)  and they have a great line up ready. From guests like Manu Bennet to events like the Open Wound Film Festival, SFCC plans to be a great closeout event to the convention season. In the next four weeks, we’ll be highlighting events and guest happenings so you spend less time figuring out where and when the best events are and more time actually attending them.

What Comic Con would be complete without comic book talent to get excited about? This week— the week of the convention!— we’re focusing on the comic book artists and Cosplayers who will be attending the event.

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Jim Ferguson

Jim Ferguson is a major pop culture artist and former NASA engineer; a worthy geek indeed. He is shown regularly at the Hollywood Studio Gallery 1988. He is most known for his artwork in The Princess Bride, Adventure Time, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Ghostbusters. Jim Ferguson will be at SFCC Saturday and Sunday.

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   Sam De La Rosa

  Sam De La Rosa has been a full-time comic book                   professional since 1982 and is best known for his art and     inking work on Venom, Spiderman, Green Lantern, Spider       Woman, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man.         Sam has crossed all over the Comic Book spectrum               working  for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse Comics, and Disney       Comics just to name a few. He will be at SFCC Saturday       and Sunday.

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CCP Comics

It wouldn’t be a Comic Con without at least one comic book publishing company. CCP Comics will be represented at SFCC by McLain McGuire, Atom, Dale Carroll, Jimmie K Rankin, Eric Lumas, Kristeen Parmeter, Patrick Canter, Robert Saiz, and Bill Andres. They are a group of self-publishing comic book artists and writers and are one of the most popular up and coming in independent comic book publishers in Texas. CCP Comics will be at SFCC all weekend.

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   The D’Arda Sisters 

  Cosplay is an integral part of any convention. Well known     for being a dynamic duo in the cosplay community, sisters   Remi and Noelle d’Arda make up The D’Arda Sisters. The     two artists grew up around sewing. With a vast variety of     skills, these sisters have won several awards for their             cosplay including best in show as well as being recognized   for their workmanship and performance. Not only are           these sisters amazing seamstresses, they also have               background in dance and martial arts which makes for         incredible performances. Don’t miss this incredible duo         this weekend at SFCC.

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Rosanna Rocha

With over 100K followers it is no wonder, Rosanna Rocha has been asked to be a Cosplay Special Guest of this weekend’s convention. She is an incredibly skilled video gamer to cosplayer artist and is known for a huge number of cosplays ranging from DC’s Harley Quinn to Disney’s Esmeralda to Morrigan Aensland from Darkstalkers. She is also well known for her pin-up prints which she will be signing during the convention. That is, when she isn’t busy running the Cosplay contest.

So that wraps up our coverage of the many guests that will be attending Santa Fe Comic Con 2014. We’re very excited to see what else this convention has to offer. Look out for our pre-convention panel suggestions later this week and don’t forget to buy your tickets here. Tickets for the whole weekend are $35 for adults and $15 for children. VIP tickets are also available starting at $75. Police, Active Military, and Fire Fighters get in for free!

Santa Fe Comic Con: Anime Guests

Santa Fe Comic Con

For those of you living in New Mexico or willing to make the commute there for a great convention, Santa Fe Comic Con is quickly approaching (Oct. 24-26)  and they have a great line up ready. From guests like Manu Bennet to events like the Open Wound Film Festival, SFCC plans to be a great closeout event to the convention season. In the next four weeks, we’ll be highlighting events and guest happenings so you spend less time figuring out where and when the best events are and more time actually attending them.

This week— only a week away from the convention— we’re going to highlight the Anime related guests that will be gracing the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino. There are some really big stars from these this genre such as Adventure Time’s Jeremy Shada and Jessica DiCicco.

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Jeremy Shada

What time is it?! Adventure Time! Jeremy Shada hardly needs introduction to fans of the popular Cartoon Network show Adventure Time . Jeremy is most known as the voice of the beloved character and main character of the show, Finn. He’s also known for his voice acting work in Team America: World Police and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Jeremy will be the guest of honor at SFCC Saturday and Sunday.

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 Jessica DiCicco

  Another voice actor from Adventure Time, Jessica DiCicco     is best known for her role as Flame Princess and has             grown a cult following because of the character. Jessica is   a widely popular voice actress, starring in a variety of             popular children’s shows such as  Giffany and Tambry in   Gravity Falls, Selina in Winx Club, Malina in The Emperor’s       New School, Gwen in The Mighty B!, Shelby in                         Dreamwork’s Over the Hedge, and Young Viper in Kung Fu   Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five. She will be at SFCC           Saturday and Sunday signing autographs and taking             photos with fans.

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Ian Sinclair

Known for his work as Whis in Dragon Ball Z, Nile Dawk in Attack on Titan, Nathaniel in Salem, Dandy in Space Dandy, Haydi in Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker, and many other roles, Ian Sinclair is an established voice actor in anime and video game field. He has been a professional voice actor since 1995 and continues to churn out great work. He will be at SFCC Saturday and Sunday.

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  Jamie Marchi

  When it comes to American Voice Actors, Jaimie Marchi is     one of the most successful. From Masane Amaha in     Witchblade to Ellie from Borderlands II, to Anka                       Rheinberger in Attack on Titan, Jaimie has an impressive       career in both acting and writing. She has voiced in over      100 films, TV shows, and video games. SFCC is excited to     have her join them all day Saturday and Sunday.

If you’re an anime fan, you’re bound to have an amazing time at this event, especially with these top name anime stars. While none of the stars are slated to have panels as of yet (subject to change), don’t forget to stop by their autograph and photo booths for these once in a lifetime opportunities. Again, be sure to buy your tickets for Santa Fe Comic Con here. Tickets for the whole weekend are $35 for adults and $15 for children. VIP tickets are also available starting at $75. Police, Active Military, and Fire Fighters get in for free.

Photos Courtesy of Santa Fe Comic Con

Denver Comic Con 2014

Get your best People’s Eyebrow on, because finally, Hush Comics has come back… to Denver. It was just one year ago that we stepped in the Colorado Convention Center for the Second Annual Denver Comic Con and our eyes were open to what Hush could do. After the local convention blew us away, we started venturing to other conventions around the country – well, as much as our budget allows. This year, we were a well-oiled machine. We were handing out cards and stickers (hit us up if you want one because we have a few extras!), mingling with fellow con-goers and doing almost everything there was to be done. We took a bunch of pictures of cosplayers, attended a bunch of panels and even got to interview some of the hottest artists at the convention, all of which you can find at the links below.

In this article, you will find one of the most complete Denver Comic Con 2014 experiences on the web, all of which came from a diverse team (see Special Thanks To at the end of the article) of nerds that we have the pleasure of calling our own.

See also:

Denver Comic Con 2014 Cosplay articles

Denver Comic Con 2014 Panel articles

Denver Comic Con 2014 Interviews

Spotlights on 30 of our favorite DCC 2014 guests

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

The City

The Mile High City is home to the fastest-growing city of nerds in the country. In only its third year, the estimated attendance of nearly 75,000 people has sky-rocketed it to the fourth-largest comic book convention in the WORLD, right behind San Diego, New York City and Toronto – cities with at least four times the population than that of Denver. Google “Nerdiest cities in America,” and there’s a good chance you’ll find Denver on any given list.

One of the greatest qualities of the nerds here in Denver is how diverse they are, making comic cons here a hotbed for the Mile High community. A hardcore Star Wars fan might know all there is to know about but know nothing of Doctor Who and comic books, or vice versa. This diversity usually leads to tons of pocketed groups, meaning that there is always somebody that you can strike up a conversation with pretty much anybody at any time about anything. Most convention goers I have spoken with are nice enough to tell you about their respective fandoms.

The city of Denver isn’t actually all that big, but several large suburbs make up a fair percentage of the land and population. Thanks to years of construction projects, navigating the city from any particular section is fairly early when taking the RTD Light Rail system. The best part was boarding the train with a ton of cosplayers, decked out in their extravagant costumes, sitting right next to people who had no idea Comic Con was even going on. Also, if you wanted to drive, you don’t have to roll the dice on a spot downtown or settle for an expensive lot; there were plenty of parking spots across the street from the Colorado Convention Center at Metro State University.

If you’re staying downtown, there is plenty to do on the weekends. One of the nerdiest attractions is the 1UP bar, a full-service bar that has a plethora of old-school arcade games like Mortal Kombat IITron and Paperboy – even a real-life giant game of Jenga with 2 x 4 blocks of wood. The Pavilion area on 16th street is also quite the fantastical place, full of street performers, eateries and shops to pass the time. Theater nerds can geek out at the Denver Center of Performing Arts, which hosts a variety of plays and events all year long.

There are multiple comic book stores in the metro area, and additional ones in surrounding suburbs. Each shop offers a different experience and has a specialty of sorts. All C’s Collectibles in Aurora is a great place to find sports cards, coin collections and back issues. The shop has been in business for over 25 years and is the go-to spot when I’m on that side of town. I Want More Comics is an up and coming store in Northglenn (about 10-15 minutes of highway North of downtown) that has a lot of trade paperbacks and unique collectibles. It’s hard to spend less than an hour per visit there. The store we go to for books is Mile High Comics, which has four locations in the metro area. Their Glendale store on Colorado Blvd is pretty much home to me, where Aaron and Jay always hook us up with our weekly books and specialty figures. Mile High’s Jason St. warehouse is just that – a warehouse, and the biggest comic book emporium in the world. Whether it’s a rare back-issue, an out-of-print trade or a toy you didn’t know you needed, you can find just about anything in the world of nerd at that warehouse.

Denver is a city that makes itself very accessible to nerds, and is very accepting of the culture, in general. It’s one of the contributing factors that makes it one of the best cities in the country for young professionals, hipsters, and relocation. The continued diversity of people Denver gets only adds to the attraction of events like Comic Con. The best part is that the event hasn’t even been saturated; there are still thousands of people who either couldn’t go or need to be converted. Denver is a nerd gold mine right now, and it’s great to see how many people are striking big in the Mile High City.

How Denver Comic Con Works:

Let’s be honest; last year’s Denver Comic Con was poorly organized. It wasn’t DCC’s fault, either. There was just no way to prepare for the explosion of attendance that happened between the inaugural year, which saw a modest 28,000 people attend, and 2013, where attendance ballooned to 63,000 people – making it the fifth largest convention in the world after only two years. The problems were more logistical than anything, and this year was a great reaction to the issues that plagued the previous convention. The entire exhibitor’s hall was organized in a much more logical fashion, volunteers were actually informed of what was happening, and people were actually let in the doors when the Con opened.

This year, DCC saw a reported 75,000 attendees flood the convention center. Some were looking for autographs and art sketches, some were looking to go to panels and look at cosplayers, and some were just so absolutely lost in the chaos that they walked the exhibitor’s hall like a group of Amish at Best Buy. I would venture to say that a majority of the attendees knew what they wanted to do and how to get there. Artists and creators were located at the back of the hall, while retail shops and displays took up most of the front. Off to the side was the celebrity signing booths, where various celebs took to signing for large blocks of time. Meanwhile, panel rooms were sprawled out on the first floor. Convention food could be found in multiple places, and aside from the $4 bottles of water, it was reasonably priced and tasted delicious.

Due to the fact that we had a team of BAMFs (Nightcrawler or Pulp Fiction – either analogy works) networking, attending panels, and taking some great cosplay pics, we were free to do so much more than before at a convention. For others, it was a bit more difficult. Due to the small size of the Main Even and Mini Main Event panel rooms, it wasn’t uncommon to wait for an hour just to get a seat in a panel. We noticed the same thing when it came to getting a sketch from an artist or an autograph from a celebrity. At that point, it’s all a matter of prioritization. There were definitely things we didn’t get to do or see over the weekend, but I feel like had they been our top priorities, they would have gotten done.

There is so much cosplay going on at the Denver Comic Con that it punches you right in the face as you walk in the doors. The sheer volume was amazing. I’d guess that I saw more people dressed as Harley Quinn here than I did people dressed up altogether at Houston’s Comicpalooza. From Dragonball Z to Dark Crystal, the diverse crowd really made for a thoroughly entertaining game of Guess Who? People we talked to said they came to DCC specifically for the cosplay, and the hard work put into their costumes proved their validity – especially in the contest winning Mr. Freeze. The dedication didn’t just stop at costumes. Colorado Movie Cars had a fleet of nerd-inspired vehicles for attendees to look at, including the Ghostbusters‘ Ecto-1, Knight Rider‘s K.I.T.T., Bumblebee’s Camaro, Herbie and the TMNT Party Wagon, which it has become my new goal in life to build. There were also two Batmobiles in the house (Burton and West) and the Umbrella Corps Dodge Magnum.

This year also brought in some big name guests. Since the convention was created to promote Comic Book Classroom, a lot of the guests are people that we grew up idolizing as kids, like: Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series), Jim Cummings (the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Darkwing Duck), Adam West and LeVar Burton. We were all there to see somebody different, and our varying experiences were all equally cherished. The love didn’t stop there, though, as we were able to get some astonishing artwork and keepsakes from our favorite people in the nerd world.

 

 

Meet the Press!

Hush Comics was lucky enough to receive media passes to DCC, and we felt like we were treated with great respect. Not only were we able to get priority seating for the popular panels, but we were also granted access to the exhibitor’s hall before the doors opened. Both days we snuck in early, we were there to interview artists. We were able to sit down for an extended amount of time and speak with Georges Jeanty, who just ended his run on Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, and Yanick Paquette, who’s currently working on Wonder Woman: Earth One. Both were complete gentlemen, and the formal interview quickly turned into a completely casual back and forth. We were even able to request a commission from each of them of our favorite characters making a hushing gesture and they turned out amazing! Check them out below:

 

Like at Comicpalooza, we were lucky enough to give away a couple of 3-Day passes to a lucky Facebook fan by the name of Jumoke Emery, who is a great guy getting to enjoy his first Comic Con. Here’s his account of the weekend:

So I have a confession to make: This was my very first Comic Con experience. Mostly I spent it wandering around starry-eyed, high-fiving awesome cosplays while not the least bit tipsy off of Brews Wayne. I was most excited for the panels, yet managed to miss every single panel that I stood in line for (P.S. Comic-con lines for panels can be ridiculous, and I’ve decided that the fire marshal and I aren’t friends). However, I still had a blast! Being among my fellow geeks feels like home, now the only debate is whether I’m John Stewart or Power Man for next year’s Con. Shout outs to Hush Comics for helping me have an amazing Father’s Day weekend!

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Aside from the great interactions we had with people, it was such a joy to be able to tell people what we’ve built over the past year. It’s not the shiniest website on the web, but the hard work and hours of writing feels validated when we get such great feedback from people we randomly meet and strike up conversations with. I can only expect that we will continue to grow, adding more quality writers and covering more ground than we do now. Thanks to everybody that made this a fun and fruitful experience. See you next year!

 

Special Thanks to:

Jacob Robinson: You may have seen him dressed as Ash Bender at DCC, or just noticed his stylish mustache and dreads. Jacob wrote multiple panel articles and

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Jené Conrad: Although Jené had to leave for the weekend to attend a friend’s wedding, she was an integral part of getting set up for the convention, and was not shy at all about networking with others on Hush’s behalf.

Robert Michael: Most of the photography of the convention you see was taken by either Adrian or Robert. He also wrote a few of the big panels, like The Oatmeal and Arrow. Robert was the utmost professional and we are lucky to have him on the team

Robert LOVES reading
Robert LOVES reading

 

Alyssa Mitchell: This girl is a machine! She came to the convention after pulling night shifts, and was an absolute pleasure to be around. She’s Robert’s girlfriend, so it makes sense she was always at work – whether it be pushing the Hush name, taking media duties or helping us plan out the day.

Charlotte Renken: Our newest writer is a straight-up prodigy. We sawn her passion for cosplay inspire others in real time, and we’re lucky her unique voice has found a home at Hush Comics.

charlotte newmar

Lewis Brown: This phenomenal artist is one of our favorites in Denver. Check out his Facebook page. He’s extremely humble and personable, and he spent a lot of his time at the con doing free work for the non-profit Aurora Rise. Definitely make yourself familiar with his work, so that one day, you can tell people you knew who Lewis Brown was before he made it.

Lewis Brown Sketch 1

Scott McCauliffe: Scott has had the most unique experience at DCC among us; he has been an artist at the con, a patron, and this year, a member of the press. He was able to make it for Father’s Day, and his article on his experience is one worth reading.

John Layman

Evan Lowe: Evan couldn’t be here in person this year. He was busy completing a rigorous course to get his Master’s Degree in Social Work! The only thing he requested was a picture of Lou Ferrigno. I’d like to think we delivered. Now that his courseload has slowed down, expect more from him soon.

Lou Ferrigno Evan

Sherif and Adrian: We had to throw a little love our way… mostly so I could post these pictures of us.

 

Tips for Future DCC-ers:

  • Buy your passes early. Even if you end up not going, you can definitely sell the passes on Craigslist or at the door. When we originally bought 3-Day passes a few months in advance, we paid $55/pass. Compare that to the daily rates of $40/day they were charging the week of the con, and you’ll be face-palming yourself for not capitalizing on the situation earlier.
  • Before the convention starts, make a list of things you want to do, and plan it out according to which days things are happening. If you plan things out, there’s a good chance you can get to it all.
  • Cosplaying is amazing, but what’s even better is wearing comfortable shoes. You will spend hours walking, standing, rinsing, repeating. On a similar note, please do shower and wear deodorant. Yes, people will know it’s you, and they will judge you for it. DCC even put on a satirical PSA about “Con Funk” to reiterate the dangers of not valuing personal hygiene.
  • If you get cold often, bring a sweatshirt in the convention center; it might be 90 outside, but it’s likely refrigerated inside.
  • Know where the Guiry’s booth is. Grab any sleeves for prints/pictures you need to avoid getting them all smashed up.
  • Come prepared to buy stuff: artists prints, doo-hickies, collectibles, and of course, comic books. Also know that you will be having to bring or send this stuff back home with you. Some of the best things to prepare are:
    • Comic book portfolio: holds approximately ten issues for signing and collecting.
    • Poster tube or picture hard-sleeve: don’t let those prints/signatures get bent. Trust me, hiding it in a book will not cut it.
    • Know where a nearby FedEx is to ship back the really valuable stuff
  • Take a fair amount of cash with you. A lot of the booths and special events only accept cash – not to mention cash only parking lots in the surrounding area – so avoid getting caught cashless when a good opportunity arises. There are ATMs available around the convention center.
  • If you have time to leave the convention center, there are a lot of great, relatively inexpensive places to chow down nearby. Some of our favorites are: Cheba Hut, Snarf’s and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (kinda pricey, but worth it if you’ve never been).
  • Over-estimate the time it takes to get anywhere. Denver is largely a commuter city, so plan accordingly.
  • Prior to going to the convention center, make a to-do list of what you want to accomplish and decide what is realistic.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Ever.