Aztlan Center, Fort Collins, CO
August 27-28, 2016
Fort Collins Comic Con is a new convention in Northern Colorado that has only been going on for two years! This is a wonderful convention where all of the badge proceeds benefit the Poudre River Public Library district here in Colorado. This year they were able to raise a total of about $30k which is pretty incredible. So not only does this con bring together the nerd community in Northern Colorado and the surrounding area, but it also gives back to the public.
What I loved about the con was the friendly community between the vendors, the volunteers, and the con-goers. Just about everyone that I spoke with was kind and genuine. I got to meet some amazing local artists, including my current favorite artist. Her name on Youtube is Hullo Alice and she has some incredible work that I highly recommend everyone to check out! I also got to speak with some incredible cosplayers. It truly amazes me how cosplayer’s style and techniques differ between Chicago (where I used to live) and Colorado. It’s hard to explain, but the populace is so different and I’m grateful to be involved in such diverse communities. Since this was such a small convention, I was able to really get to know the vendors and con-goers between the two days. I was able to meet someone on Saturday then recognize them again on Sunday which was a wonderful change. At large conventions it is nearly impossible to meet with the same people on separate days just because of the massive crowds! Don’t get me wrong, I love my enormous conventions, but it was a nice change to be so close with the community.
Since I mentioned what I enjoyed about this specific convention, I believe it’s only fair to mention a few things that could be improved upon. In general, the whole setup was a little disorganised, which mainly has to do with how the building is set up. For what they were given, I think the convention directors did the best they could, but it was difficult to make your way around. Second, I know many people, including myself, were unable to sign up for the costume contest due to technical difficulties. The only available application for the contest was online and it would either not allow people to sign up even prior to the deadline, or completely discard your entry in some cases. When the cosplayers I spoke with asked the staff to be placed into the contest, they refused. I would understand this if there was no space left in the show, but I was explicitly told there was still space so that left me confused. The final thing that upset me during this con was the overall lack of respect I and other cosplayers received from a few of the photographers. I’m an advocate for the movement Cosplay is not Consent, meaning that you can in no way take advantage of someone because they are in cosplay. There were photographers hired by the con who were disregarding the privacy and wishes of cosplayers in order to get a photo. When I spoke with them about respecting the cosplayers' wishes, they ignored what I was saying and continued what they were doing. I know in Chicago, the Cosplay is not Consent movement is growing and being heard, now I hope the same can be said here in Fort Collins.
Overall I really did have a good con, despite my lengthy criticism. I brought a bunch of my new friends here for their first ever comic con experience and it was definitely a convention I was proud to take them to. I mean I’m opening a huge part of my life to people I’ve known for about a week at this point, I wanted to impress them with a good con, and overall Fort Collins held it’s ground. Based on my experience this past weekend, I am excited to see what other Comic Con adventures Colorado has in store!
Overall rating: 5/10