(Editor’s Note: This article was turned in extremely late by Teh Ben as he has spent the last two weeks recovering from being kidnapped and sold to organ traffickers in Tijuana. He managed to make it out alive, but one of his butt-cheeks ended up being removed by a back-alley surgeon.)
The Denver Comic Con has once again flooded the Denver Convention Center, scribbled anime penises on everything and then disappeared back into the shadows again from whence it came. The people behind the convention managed to score a larger and even more impressive group of celebrities from the realm of sci-fi than they did the year before. There were more vendors and so many incredible artists from around the globe selling incredible artwork and signing comic books. Just like it did last year, the convention sold out completely.
I arrived Saturday morning better prepared than I did last year. I brought my SLR camera and my HD video camera in hopes of better capturing the sights, sounds and groups of strange people walking around with 15 foot tall swords crafted of the finest cardboard. I even took it upon myself to read a couple of guides on the internet for “How to use Your SLR” five minutes prior to arriving at the convention. Last year I just showed up with a half-charged Samsung phone and my dashing good looks. I managed to snap about five terrible photos before the battery died. I don’t know if you have ever been to the Denver Convention Center, but I am sure they are secretly funded by DARPA and are running some sort of electromagnetic direct-current draining field that completely blocks your cell phone reception while draining your battery faster than a Candy Crush marathon on the crapper.
As well equipped as I was this time, I still showed up with social anxiety disorder in the full effect surrounded by a huge group of socially awkward people in skimpy clothing. As I carried gear for the GrooveyTV crew, I realized that if I didn’t get over my handicap I would not be outgoing enough to get good photos or videos. That’s when I realized suddenly that there were many vendors selling alcohol there. I quickly turned to Groovey himself and asked him:
“So, what are the rules about drinking on the job?”
Groovey turned to me with a dumbfounded look on his face and exclaimed
“You are kidding me, right?”
And to make matters even better, Breckenridge Brewery had a custom brewed beer made specifically for Comic Con, known as “Brews Wayne”. It was a little pricey, but it was absolutely delicious and available in great quantities, although the collector’s beer pint glass was one of the most sought-after collectables of the entire convention. So I bought two large plastic cups of this magical social lubricant for The Groovey One and myself and proceeded to enjoy this beverage that tasted amazing while it did its job by lowering my inhibitions and calming me in a never ending sea of Daft Punk dudes and Master Chiefs.
We shot one interview, and in the time it took to film I managed to polish off my first drink. After we wrapped on that interview, I started talking to the cosplayers walking past and I managed to ask Juliet from Lollipop Chainsaw if I could take her photo. She was super nice and more than happy to pose for me and that really broke the ice for me. I’m just so used to the costumed drunks on the Las Vegas strip begging for ten bucks a photo. I got a few more decent shots of people in costumes being very cooperative and then proceeded to get more beer.
Just like last year, I went on a quest to try and find the “gaming” section of the convention, but I was unable to find it. I missed the large celebrity panel by a few minutes so once again I wandered the hallways looking for science-fictiony things to immerse myself in.
But all I found was another beer stand. Of course I got another tall cool glass of Brews Wayne and took some more pictures of people in awesome homemade costumes, searching the crowd for the ever-elusive Anorexic Kratos. I really wanted to get a shot of him, because Hades has no fury like a 98 lb. God Of War.
I headed back to the vendor level and decided that I should have lunch, which consisted of a healthy pairing of more beer and some Dippin’ Dots which truly are the ice cream of the future. I headed back to the convention halls and managed to get herded into a panel for a Kickstarter-based independently filmed television show. I was staggering and kind of loopy at that point, so I figured sitting down to rest for a minute and getting to watch a couple episodes of a new show was a good way to get my bearings back. It was extremely confusing to try and follow it in my state of mind, but from what I could understand it was something that involved bizarre time travel with special effects that looked like they came straight from a fast food training video.
As I stumbled out, I managed to miss yet another high-powered panel of actors so I purchased another drink to dwell on my timing misfortune. I was seeing lots of new stuff, but was being pretty consistent about missing the big events. Between sips of my drink and taking pictures in the halls and rooms I was noticing that almost every lady there was wearing a blue dress thing that had “PHONE” written across the top. I think that was the official costume for people that wanted to be costumed like the cool kids, but didn’t want to put in a whole lot of effort. I think the blue phone thing has to with something about “Dr. What” show or some such shit (I’m pretty sure it was a Broadway sequel to “Cats”). Whatever it was, these blue spandex-clad people were an army that was starting to swirl around me and force me to continue drinking and snapping photos that seemed to be getting progressively worse.
I took a right from the bottom landing and kept walking down a long, empty hallway where people were sulking, texting and sleeping. As I pressed on, I managed to finally find the gaming section that had eluded me for so long. There were several arcade cabinets, with all the classics like Ms. Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Street Fighter. A little further down they had a small sound stage set up where people were playing Rock Band and busting out a totally wrecked version of “Charlene, I’m Right Behind You”. A few feet beyond that was a fenced off demonstration area for the local LARPing union. It was strange to witness the public approving of a sweaty twentysomething guy attacking a large group of children, NERF sword in hand,with the tenacity of Braveheart. It was so completely disturbing that it forced me again to drink.
I was starting to forget why I was there and more importantly, where I was. The walls of the rooms were starting to flex and bulge and I was getting lost in a sea of people dressed as Final Fantasy characters and Gumby. I dropped what was left of my beer and tried to get outside to get some fresh air to try and sober up a little. I had no luck there but I did run into David Bowie again who assured me that this was indeed all a dream and he was going to keep my little brother chained up in his Goblin Castle. I then decided that I was done with Comic Con for this year. I screwed up and treated the con like it was the bar at the airport. Disapointed with my behavior and inability to control my drinking, I stumbled my ass directly on to the light rail where I continued to take photos on the train of a more voyeuristic nature. But I’m keeping those for myself.