Tag: Denver Comic Con

TOTLB 088 Pre Con Relaxation

This episode, 88, is our relaxation time before all of our Denver Comic Con Coverage. Juan, Gabe, and Doyle sit around and talk about what has happened in the last month. We discuss Rick possibly leaving The Walking Dead, Roseanne being racist, and Samantha Bee getting reprimanded for a word used in other countries as “normal.”

We also talk about some of the interviews that we have for Denver Comic Con, and some of the other comic cons that we have coming up for the rest of the year. This is our episode to relax, before our schedule gets insane. So mostly, just enjoy a very easy going conversation between all of us.

Remember, you can ALWAYS let us know what you think! We can only think of so many things to talk about every other week, and would LOVE to get some feedback and ideas from all of you out there who are listening!! You can send mp3s and email to our email address. Also, join the conversations on our Facebook Page and Twitter Page. Also, if you have good feedback, please leave it for us on iTunes and Stitcher!! That’s one way to help us climb the ranks into podcast glory!! You can ALSO leave us voicemail!!! Call the Michael Kuyrk memorial 970-573-6148 and leave us a hilarious message!!!

Hall of Justice Comics & Collectibles
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Credit – Jonthan Garnett, Juan Muro, Gabe Llanas

Denver Comic Con General Thoughts

My initial sentiments of it all…….WOW, Denver Comic Con 2018 surpassed ALL of my expectations!! Every year for us, I feel is a small step forward, and this year did not disappoint!

First things first. We got the Convention Center back to what it was like two years ago. No more being confused (I’m ALWAYS at least a little directionally confused), as the floor was not backwards. We had our entrance back, which was only a little bit of a wait on the first day, as a lot of the smaller exhibitors hadn’t setup the day before. But overall, I felt like Denver Comic Con was running on all cylinders, as far as the lines, entrances, bag checks, and all of that is concerned, and we were in, in a flash the other two days!!

The first day is ALWAYS the daunting one!! Not because of the amount of items on the agenda, as I typically keep the first day light, but because of my nerves about the event, as a whole. Coming into the show, we had about 20 total interviews, and panels, scheduled through the whole weekend. Plus any interviews that would come on the showroom floor, as we walked through. For me, Comic Cons are work, and that is what makes me nervous. Work I don’t get paid for, but is always judged. Mostly by us, but judged none the less, and I want to make sure we put the best product that we can, out for the listeners!

So, getting the first interview out of the way, is always a way to get those nerves out, and just move forward!! That first interview was actually our first surprise of the weekend. About two years ago, we did a #popcultureclassic segment on the movie, Monster Squad. Much to our surprise, we were contacted for an opportunity to interview Andre Gower, and Ryan Lambert, from that movie. We spoke to them about their new documentary, “Wolfmans’ Got Nards.” “A feature film exploring The Monster Squad’s 30-year impact on film and its fan base from script to cult classic” is the tagline for the movie. They were fun, and could have spoken for a LONG time about the documentary! Their screening was well received a the comic con that evening!

With that first interview done, my nerves were gone, and it was full force moving forward!! For all those friends who tried to stop me through the weekend, I’m sorry to have given you the “hi/bye” at the same time! We always tell ourselves that we are going to catch up with everyone, but the nature of the show sometimes gets in the way! Friday seemed pretty standard for a comic con. It was busy, but you could definitely tell that people were probably still at work, maybe still commuting to the show, etc. The actual busy day, both for the con, and for us, was Saturday!

Saturday was going well, and then something happened at about 10:30am that morning. We were walking into our interview room, to speak with Matty Cardarople, and who was standing in front of us, finishing an interview of his own? None other than legendary “KING of Rock,” DMC, Darryl McDaniels. Audibly, Gabe says, “holy shit, that’s DMC!” To which our press director laughed, and replied, “do you want to interview him?” (surprise number 2) I mean…..what do you say to that, aside from YES! So we arranged that, excited as could be, for later that day.

And then Matty Cardarople walked in. He is honestly, probably like 6 foot 3, or so. But he is soft spoken, and an absolutely hilarious human being. As Gabe is not always the best when it comes to names, he asked Matty how to pronounce his last name. Matty instead, declined to answer, saying that it would “be a thing” for the show, and laughs didn’t stop from there!! You might remember him from, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Selfie, or Dumb and Dumber To, but you’ll never forget his roles in Jurassic World and Stranger Things. He is an actor that, no matter how small his part is, it’s usually one of the funniest parts of the show/movie.

We did awesome interview, after awesome interview on Saturday. From Pamela Ribon, to Gene Ha, Mairghread Scott, Sanya Anwar, and the list goes on and on! Wow, did we get some amazing interviews for our listeners! I got an email during the day, that our DMC interview was moved to a different spot. This would be the third room, that we would interview people inside of. Getting to see the people walking around downstairs on the showroom floor was very different from being on the floor itself. Watching all the people go, getting their autographs, or taking a break, it’s just a different feel, as a spectator. A few minutes before the interview starts, the nerves start to come back! Gabe even says that he might throw up. BUT, the moment DMC sits down on the couch, and the interview begins, instead of being the nervous “camera guy” I become the intrigued, fan. He was hyped, he was full of energy, and most of all, you could FEEL the great vibes coming off of him, and in his words! It truly was one of the best interviews we have EVER done!!

At the end of the day we finished with a panel, which brings me to probably one of our only “complaints” about Denver Comic Con. The panel itself was about Roller Derby, and being someone who knows nothing about the sport, and is not the biggest fan, I wasn’t sure how many people would or wouldn’t show up. BUT, even with a more well known panel going on, we happened to be going on AT THE SAME TIME as John Barrowman. Come on, what panel goer, wouldn’t want to go see the amazing John Barrowman? One of our other panels was situated DIRECTLY across from a Ron Perlman panel. Now, I don’t know what the answer to problems like these are, because I feel like it makes the panelists who are attending panels, opposite MAJOR stars, feel bad, or like the panel shouldn’t even be going on? Maybe less panels all going on at the same time? Maybe not have panels on the same topic, like five times throughout the weekend? I KNOW that the volunteers “grade” each panel as it is happening. The panels are “graded” on how many people attended, did the moderator start/end on time, were there any problems, etc. I assume they have the data to show what we are seeing, but I’m not sure. I hope all who attended panels had much fun though!

Now, onto Sunday’s adventure, which brings us into Surprise number 3! In order to tell this story, I have to tell you two things. One, Gabe took the morning off from the con on Sunday, in order to spend some much needed time with his family at their traditional pride fest celebration!

Now for the second thing, I have to backtrack to a moment of worry of mine, on Saturday morning. Saturday morning, before we leave for the Con, we get the opportunity to sit in on a press conference with co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman! Now, I know that Gabe is going to be gone in the morning when the press conference will take place, but I’m not going to miss out on the awesome opportunity! So we reach out to Kevin Eastman superfan, and friend of the show, Keith Shimabukuro!

So, Sunday morning is here, and it’s time to meet with the famed artist! We are the first of the press corp to show up, so we get seats front and center! This is not a normal event for Keith so, much like Gabe and I yesterday, he is very nervous. But, he does great. He got to ask a question, and hangout with a hero for a while that morning! Many thanks to Keith for stepping up, and helping out some friends. Especially because he volunteers for Denver Comic Con, and could have easily been too busy to help!

Now, it was time to go have my fun, while Gabe was finishing the last few things of the day/con. Because of the Matt Smith cancellation, my schedule had to be messed with, in order to figure out the substitute photo ops. YES, I go to a “comic con” for photos with celebrities, it’s one of my favorite parts, sorry die hards! For the most part, all of my photo ops were on Sunday. On Saturday I did have the opportunity to take a picture with David Harbour, of Stranger Things fame, and the new Hellboy. Early Sunday I got to meet another actor who sometimes has small parts in movies or TV shows, but they’re show stealers, Sean Gunn. He was super quiet, but it was awesome! My last two photos were Doctor Who heavy!! Originally I had a Matt Smith/David Tennant “team up” photo op! With Matt gone, I still HAD to meet David Tennant. I mean, who the F doesn’t want to meet a Doctor? His face is priceless! Immediately after that, I nailed one down, that was 3 years in the making. The few times I’ve had the opportunity to see/meet/get an autograph from John Barrowman, the stars never aligned! But I got the picture with him AND Billie Piper (Rose)!!!! It was a perfect ending to a damn near perfect comic con!!

With that, Denver Comic Con is over. It’s crazy to believe that we are almost on our 4th year as a team, our 2nd year as Denver Comic Con Press, and we have been accepted as press to other comic cons as well. Our insane little team has accomplished so much in those 4 years, it’s insane. I’m so very proud of us all. While Jonthan wasn’t with us during the festivities, he was there manning the booth for his very successful comic book store! He’s a great friend, and deserves all his success!! It’s crazy to think that we will be officially covering San Diego Comic Con in one month. The emails for different opportunities have already started to pile up……………….here come the nerves again!

Juan Muro



Denver Comic Con Day 3 Wrapped

I got to spend a good chunk of the parade with my family, before me and my two oldest daughters headed off to the Denver Comic Con in one of the most harrowing of pedicab rides I have ever had. Guys on cell phones were narrowly missed, red lights were run, pedestrians were made upset, but Baleigh, Sophia and I lived through it.

When we got to the convention center it was off to the races one last time. First up a panel on Diversity in Comics, that was very lightly attended, but the conversation between the panelists was fantastic. Georges Jeanty, Spike Trotman, Ron Wilson, Greg Neri, and Joe Pimienta all had really interesting things to say about their time in comics and how it has been changing.

Then we went over to do one of the interviews that I have been looking forward to the most this weekend. Terry Moore was fantastic to talk to and I can’t wait for you guys to hear what he has to say about being a musician, and a prose writer and how he has incorporated those two things into his comic book writing. On top of it all he literally cleaned off a chair for me, and even gave my shoulders a light dusting. It was truly a great interview.

Then we went to do the Art of the Comics Cover. It was the end of the con and the panelists that were there ended up having a great conversation because they all seemed a little slap happy. Even Arthur Adams was nice to me this round. At least the light hearted tone of his ridicule indicated to me that he probably didn’t hate me. Other members of the panel included, Chris Stevens, Joyce Chin, Adam Kubert, Joe Eisma and Chrissie Zullo. It was a ton of fun and I learned more that I ever thought I would doing the panel about the business of creating comic covers, and the lives of secret high end sketch books.

Finally the last two interviews of Denver Comic Con, Jen Vaughn and Chrissie Zullo. They are both great comics creators. Jen largely dealing with licensed properties or her own books. Where as Zullo is more of a covers artist. Both are talented an in their own but very different ways. It was neat to get a change to see different sides of the industry through their eyes.

Then that was it, a little bit of wrap up recording and then I spent the rest of the evening with my daughters, walking around the convention, seeing my friends and just enjoying the rest of fathers day with a couple of my kids.

That makes a wrap on Denver Comic Con 2018. Next up San Diego Comic Con!


Denver Comic Con Day 1 Wrap Up

What do you mean today was our slow day!

Holy shit what a whirlwind of a day. First off, if you have to make an hour long drive don’t drink a shit load of coffee and water, because when you have to wait in line for a half hour you have to pee so bad, and it is awful. In the door and its off to the races. I didn’t really have a lot going on for the first half of the day so I walk the floor, seeing what I could see and prepping for some of the floor interviews that I wanted to do.

Made a bee line to Terry Moore, there will be more about that in the Sunday wrap up though.

First on the docket was Andre Gower and Ryan Lambert from the new documentary “Wolfman’s Got Nards” about their time making Monster Squad and it’s resurgence in popularity. It is always amazing to chat with the creators of your childhood memories.

Spent some time walking the floor talking to some of the independent creators. There is so much great stuff out there that I know you will love to hear about on our DCC episodes. Pickle Noir, new illustrators, Cartoony Apocalyptic comics, and the most amazing 3d paper cutting I have seen in my whole fucking life.

Got a chance to sit with Wendy Terrion next, writer of the Jason Lex series. What a great read these books are, and as always she is an engaging interview. I hope you all take the time to read these fun fantasy novels about cryptids and secret societies. You will not be disappointed.

Next got a chance to moderate my first panel for Con season. Talked with G. Neri, Gale Galligan, Kurt Lustgarten, and Melissa Jane Osborne about graphic novels that kids should be reading. Had a good chat with them about their books, and books that they suggest for kids.

Then it was a chance to talk with Amy Chu, Sanya Anwar, Gene Ha and Tony Medina about social consciousness in comic books. This was a great discussion that was really heart felt with a little treat. I got to watch as Gene Ha spend the panel answering questions, and taking pictures with his iPad of people that he was interested in. He would then put pencil to paper, and then using and ink brush created a portrait. In the middle of the panel he would get up, walk over to the person that he was drawing and hand them a picture of themselves. Not gonna lie, I was a little jealous that he didn’t draw me! Can’t wait to sit and interview Sanya and Gene over the next couple days.

It was a great day filled with awesome interviews, and time seeing some of my Denver friends. My day was made even better by Mike, Matt, Marika, Randy, Dylan, James, Jeremiah, Meghan, Michael, Ryan, Erik, Smurf, Tim, Dom, John, Alicia, Karissa, Jon, and a whole slew of other people that I’m sure I have forgotten because I’m exhausted. So now I’m gonna sleep, then get up early and get my ass back to Denver for my fucking busy day!


Denver Comic Con TOMORROW!

Well, our first Comic Con of our working season is tomorrow!! Denver Comic Con is FINALLY here!! With more than 100,000 people expected, it is sure to be a crazy, but amazing time!! There will be more than 200 celebrities, artists, authors, and more than 600 hours of different panels/programs. We will even be moderating 6 different panels!! With Denver Comic Con being tomorrow, here are some tips, information, etc. about the show, that you might need to know!


To promote a quicker and more streamlined entry process, Denver Comic Con has implemented Flash Seats, an ID-based digital ticketing system that allows guests to enter the event with an ID, the credit card used to purchase tickets or with the Flash Seats mobile app, which also allows guests to sell, buy, and transfer tickets. For more on Flash Seats, visit: https://www.flashseats.com/FAQsDetails.aspx?ss=0&a=1#g1

Even with the new, more efficient ticketing system, guests should plan for lines, particularly for some of the more popular events, sessions and guests. Entry lines will be longest when the Con opens at 10 a.m. each day, with the longest lines of the weekend expected on Saturday.

Early badge pick-up will be available Thursday, Jun. 14 at the Colorado Convention Center from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the entrance near 13th St. & Welton St.


Denver Comic Con’s top priority is the welfare and safety of guests. With that in mind, DCC staff works closely with the Denver Police Department and security contractors throughout the year on a variety of measures to enhance guest safety at the event, including training, bag checks and prop checks throughout the weekend.

Please note that the 2018 cosplay guidelines have been updated, and NO prop firearms will be permitted. Guests seeking the optimal fan experience are encouraged to carry in as little as possible with them. Minimizing outside items will expedite security checks and maximize efficiency at points of entry. For details about prop and cosplay guidelines, visit:  https://denvercomiccon.com/show-info/policies/

 General Event Info

Denver Comic Con is one of Denver’s largest consumer conventions, and a program of Pop Culture Classroom, a Denver-based non-profit that brings education and literacy programs to classrooms throughout the Denver metro-area. Last year’s con brought in more than 110,000 attendees and reached all corners of pop culture including film, television, comic books, tabletop and video games, anime, manga, cosplay, horror and science fiction and web comics.”

Remember everyone! Denver Comic Con kicks off tomorrow, June 15th through Sunday June 17th. The doors will open at 10am and close at 7pm, except on Sunday, when the show floor closes at 6pm! All the fun is at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202. This year there are TWO entrances for guests with tickets. You can enter via:

14th Street & Stout Street
13th Street & Welton Street

“The con also features more 10,000 sq. ft. of floor space dedicated to the Kid’s Lab. A space for kids and teens to explore pop culture through projects and talks from industry luminaries.” We personally have had our kids want to stay in the kid’s lab for HOURS! There are different activities and panels catered just for them, and it’s loads of fun!!


TICKETS: Ticket prices start at $38.50 for adults and $8.25 for children. 3-day passes are sold out, and single-day tickets are moving quickly, but still availability. You can purchase your tickets here if you have not done so yet!

Follow Denver Comic Con on their social media:



Document all of your fun using the hashtag #dcc2018

If you see us, stop us to record some content for our show! We hope to see everyone there!!

TOTLB 087 DCC Beer Release 2018

Denver Comic Con has released their 2018 beer, made by Breckenridge Brewery!! This is our recording at that event!

No formal interviews, but we interviewed MANY people who attended the fun event. Some were in costume, and some were just there for the beer!! We focused on what everyone thought about the beer, as well as what they were most excited for, when it came to Denver Comic Con in general!

While it wasn’t super “formal” we did speak with Ryan Workman of Breckenridge Brewery to ask him about why/how they came up with the beer that was made this year. We also spoke with the President of the Board of Directors, for Pop Culture Classroom, Tone Ellis de Jesus. He tells us about Pop Culture Classroom, the goals, and the overall environment of the group. We get to hear about some of the amazing volunteers, and what it takes to really put on a show as great as Denver Comic Con!

Remember, you can ALWAYS let us know what you think! We can only think of so many things to talk about every other week, and would LOVE to get some feedback and ideas from all of you out there who are listening!! You can send mp3s and email to our email address. Also, join the conversations on our Facebook Page and Twitter Page. Also, if you have good feedback, please leave it for us on iTunes and Stitcher!! That’s one way to help us climb the ranks into podcast glory!! You can ALSO leave us voicemail!!! Call the Michael Kuyrk memorial 970-573-6148 and leave us a hilarious message!!!

Hall of Justice Comics & Collectibles
Our Stitcher
Our iTunes
Credit – Jonthan Garnett, Juan Muro, Gabe Llanas

Comic Cons – don't always believe what you read!

Hello everyone!! It’s been brought to our attention that there have been some weird rumors (April fools jokes) going on about Denver Comic Con. I won’t further disseminate the rumor, but we thought it’d be a good time to at least bring up the topic.

No matter what Comic Con you’re going to attend, there are ALWAYS rumors!

  • Guests – There are ALWAYS rumors that comic cons purposefully announce guests, knowing that they either don’t have them secured yet, or that they will cancel. Things change, there are ALWAYS going to be cancellations. Conventions take into account that these guests are busy people, and that plans might change for them in the future. Try not to go to a comic con, for just one guest, or one thing. You may buy your ticket, and things may change. Remember that “celebrities” are always taking new jobs, or schedules are always changing. It’s the nature of what they do.
  • Bans – Each comic con has their own policy guide on what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable to bring into the convention center. Just in the last couple of years there have been MANY changes to these policies because of what is going on in the world. In this case, there are actually rules written down, or posted somewhere. If someone tells you that something is banned, before you start attacking the event, do some research, and look it up. Is it just a rumor that someone started? Did you reach out to the event to see if it was true?

Those are just a couple of the weird rumors that we hear throughout the year, about our favorite shows! At the end of the day, make sure that you’re smart about things. If it didn’t come from the event page, or someone associated with it, do you think it’s legit? Don’t believe the propaganda just because someone wrote about it, or someone posted it somewhere! Reach out to the people who you know are actually involved, or find the “contact us” email on the convention website.
And remember to always have fun!

TOTLB 066 Denver Comic Con Year Three

Hello everyone!! The 66th episode, comes to you from out 3rd year at Denver Comic Con!!
This is our FIRST year going to Denver Comic Con as OFFICIAL members of the Press. Our interview episode came before this one, and you can use this as reference for that episode. This is our coverage at Frankie Serna’s kick off party, and our coverage from our booth, on the floor of the Comic Con.
At the kickoff party, we speak to two different people! First, we talk to Collect 2 Display! They make toploading frames for your walls! The frames that were on display, were housing all of Frankie’s art, and were absolutely gorgeous! They make all of the frames by hand, and make them to accentuate your art! Do NOT miss the boat on these frames before the demand goes up!
We also talk to Stickslate! They make some of the coolest backpacks that you will wear! What sets these backpacks apart, is that you can switch out (with velcro) the front picture of the backpack. They get art from different artists, and make stickers out of their art. That way, you can switch out the “skins” if you feel like wearing a different character every day! Juan personally owns one himself! They’re gorgeous, and are actually very sturdy bags!!
During the show, we talk to some of the people who are wandering around the halls, but since we weren’t at the booth very often, you hear us mostly talk with the gang of the Not So Sufferin’ Sapphos podcast! Dayna, Derek, and their intern stop by throughout the weekend. They’re amazing, and you should definitely check out their show as well.
Remember, you can ALWAYS let us know what you think! We can only think of so many things to talk about every other week, and would LOVE to get some feedback and ideas from all of you out there who are listening!! You can send mp3s and email to our email address. Also, join the conversations on our Facebook Page and Twitter Page. Also, if you have good feedback, please leave it for us on iTunes and Stitcher!! That’s one way to help us climb the ranks into podcast glory!! You can ALSO leave us voicemail!!! Call the Michael Kuyrk memorial 970-573-6148 and leave us a hilarious message!!!
Hall of Justice Comics & Collectibles
Our Stitcher
Our iTunes
Credit – Jonthan Garnett, Juan Muro, Gabe Llanas

Day 3 Wrap Up Denver Comic Con by Juan

Day 3 By Juan Muro
Last night, we had a traditional Denver Comic Con dinner. Since I’m driving back and forth (in order to say goodnight to my babies and wife), and hour and a half, I didn’t end up getting home until about midnight. After settling into the night, and finally getting sleep, the morning came WAY to early!
Have been driving my co-host Gabe to the show, and today was no different. A couple of coups of coffee, and we were on our way. This last day is ALWAYS awesome, and bittersweet. Awesome because it’s the end of what, so far, has been an amazing comic con for us, but we are ready to be done. We’re exhausted, and food/sleep deprived. Bittersweet……….because it’s the end. It’s the end of something that we’ve been talking about, for at least half a year. It’s the end of our first year, as Press, at Denver Comic Con.
Walking into the building, we get to the booth, and have some time to reflect, before we have our first interview. We actually record AT our booth, with fellow co-host Jon. It’s the first time all weekend that we’ve all been able to record together. He owns Hall of Justice Comics & Collectibles in Parker and has a booth, and we have been running around doing interviews all weekend. But, its good to get the band together for this short time.
Our first interview is with Z, of Serenity Forge video games. We specifically talk about “The King’s Bird.” It is an absolutely stunning video game. It’s a mix of aerial moves, and parkour, which looks hard on the outside, but we were promised it was not a difficult game to grasp! More importantly than the video game, Z tell us about his life. Z almost died when he was younger, and has turned that into a “second chance.” A second chance to ensure that he is living a fulfilling life, and to ensure that he takes that time to help others. His interview is truly inspiring!

After this, Gabe tries his hand at a video game, next to Z, called “Tormentor X Punisher.” It is a crazy fast, shooting game. You’re essentially trapped in the room, with beings trying to get to you, and kill you. Reminded me of the main guys from Double Dragon, but instead of moving just back and forth, the player has the ability to travers the whole room. Picking up different weapons, Gabe came in second place, before it was time to move on.

Our second interview for the day, made Gabe fangirl for a LONG time. We interviewed Scott Sigler. Scott is an author of what his website calls, “hardcore thrillers.” Gabe, his wife, and many of our friends, have read MANY of his books, and have been stunned by how great they are. Me of course, never having read anything, was excited to hear what he had to say. Much to my surprise, Scott is also a tenured podcaster. He has been podcasting for over 10 years!! MANY of his books have been podcasts, before they were turned into printed books. This automatically makes him cooler in my book!! He tells us about the book he is giving away at his signing today, and touches on many of the books in his world continuity. I walk away thinking that “Infected” might be the best place for me to start reading. He recommended “The Rookie” as the book for people who haven’t ever read his work, to start with. I think Scott could have spoken with us for hours, it’s a shame we only were able to speak with him for about 20 minutes.
After the interview, we actually attended his book signing, and picked up the book “Alive,” and got his awesome signature. Can’t wait to start diving into his “world” with Alive, and then others. I’m legitimately excited for a book, which hasn’t happened in a while.

Our last interview of the day, comes from Jason Salas, who wrote the “Sugar Skull Ghost Thief.” This book sounds like an awesome “mystery” kind of story. Folklore, and the paranormal, bring “Perk,” the main protagonist, many new adventures and life experiences. He has to try and help a lady and her family, from haunting’s that threaten to destroy them. Jason was super passionate about this book, making it difficult to take a picture haha. Definitely a lot of excitement at this years Denver Comic Con, for actual books, instead of JUST comic books. It’s a great change from years past, and I think it has to do with the authors being moved onto the same space as the rest of the con. Great move!

After the last interview of the day, we move onto the last panel that Gabe is moderating. The panelists are Jim Mahfood, David Mack, Kyle Higgins, Jennifer Swartwood, and Brian Haberlin. Going into this panel, I figured that it would be much like the last 3 that we have done, mostly dominated by Gabe asking questions. These panelists were absolutely amazing!! They were the most engaging group of people that we have spoken to this whole comic con. The “creator owned comics” definitely had the right people on board. Holy cow did these guys have a TON of information to help with your journey, and many stories about their own journies. I promise, you will not be disappointed when you hear this audio. What an opportunity to host this panel!!

Throughout the day, I did also get to do some “ME” stuff. Gabe and I went to do a photo op with The Hulk!! It went pretty quick, but like most celebrities I’ve done photo ops with, he was such a nice guy. We flexed, and looked small, next to a person not flexing and looking huge!

I also got to pick up to “Carnage” sketches. I pretty much have control over the basement in my home, and have turned it into a sanctuary for all things nerd. One one wall I have been collecting nothing but Carnage sketches, a big favorite villain of mine. My first sketch comes from local artist, Saro Hang. I absolutely love Saro’s art, and he created a beautiful piece. I’m proud to hang it up, when it’s time. The second, comes from friend of the show, Ben Templesmith. We had him on the show about a year and a half ago, and I have wanted him to do a sketch for me, since that time. He looked surprised when I asked him to do Carnage, and I would later find out that he’d NEVER done a Carnage drawing before. This, and lack of internet, made the sketch so much better! I love when I can have an artist do something for me, that they wouldn’t normally do, it always turns out amazing!!

Second to last, though I didn’t get a picture of all of us, I wanted to thank Dayna Himot. She had us on her show not to long ago, to promote our time at Denver Comic Con. She is an awesome listener, and an even more awesome person. In the short amount of time that I have known her, she has been nothing but helpful to us, with her wealth of knowledge, and excitement. Her team is absolutely amazing, and they have a great leader. Dayna is already more successful than us, but she will be even more successful in the future, I guarantee it!

Lastly, I wanted to thank our team. We absolutely love to podcast, and would not change our show for anything. I could not have asked for two better people to help steer this podcast ship! Jon was busy running the booth for his comic book shop, but the times that he was on the show, were/are always amazing! He brings the laughter, and the pervy, but the show isn’t the same without him. I’ve known him for many years, and have always known him to be a talented, and giving individual. If you missed him at Denver Comic Con, you definitely need to visit his shop in Parker, Colorado. Gabe ran around with me ALL weekend. I’m demanding, and the organized one, and I know sometimes that is tiresome. But he is really the heart of the show. He’s the spiritual center. Without him, the show really has no voice. Watching him interview person after person, making them all different and unique, was something else. Watching him in his element was a beautiful thing. Both of these gentleman are amazing, and I can’t wait to see where our show goes on from here! Denver Comic Con…………..it’s been good…………I’m glad it’s over……………but I can’t wait until next year. “Groovy”

Day One Ish Denver Comic Con

Day One Ish at Denver Comic-Con with TOTLB
By Gabe LLanas @xraystyle
Mornings at the Team LLanas house are hectic at best, but when it is a work day for mom and con day for dad, there is a lot of scrambling around to make sure that everything is in order at the house before the two “responsible” adults head out the door. This kind of managed chaos was exacerbated by schedule issues, cosplay part hunting, and just general, “Gabe needs to get his shit together,” issues.
End result Baleigh and Gabe are scrambling to get in the door, looking for Juan in a crowd of thousands in the quickly moving line of the media entrance, no badges, just blank lanyards, hoping to see Juan on time. A frantic call where Gabe is panicked about getting in, and Juan is panicked about getting to the first interview on time. The chaos continued to reign, but then our first interview’s misfortune becomes our boon.
Unable to get into the building because new security rules state that exhibitors can’t bring in their own hand trucks. The first interview has to postpone and the day starts to settle into the mode that it needs to be in. With some time to kill we walked around the Celebrity Summit. As it was very early on there first day there was hardly anyone there doing signings, but I did catch a glimpse of Weird Al, before running into a friend that was about to get in line to talk to him.
First interview, Gabe has a wonderful chat with sparkly suited Andy Mangels. Currently writing “Wonder Woman ‘77 meets The Bionic Woman,” Andy is also the officiant of the second annual Unity Wedding at the end of the convention this year. As one of the first openly gay comic book writers it was wonderful to hear him talk about how much has changed over the years in the comic industry when it comes to tolerance and acceptance, noting that he is more concerned with being rejected by publishers for his age than is sexuality at this point.
Going into my first panel moderation I was nervous (as was Juan) to the point where I had to take a deep breath. Trying to find the Coast City Room ended up being tougher than I expected. After asking several of the volunteers I finally found my way to the room.
Sitting for the first of two Diversity in Comics panels that I will be doing over the course of the con I was joined by, Georges Jeanty, Alitha Martinez, Dan Parent, Dexter Vines and Justin Ponsor. We had a wide ranging discussion on the state of diversity in comics, what mainstream comics can do better, and the market forces that affecting the way comics are created. A fascinating talk that is leading into a one on one interview with Alitha tomorrow. I cannot wait to dig into her opinions on diversity in the industry.
Immediately after that was the Spotlight on Ron Marz. Ron Marz is the creator of the Kyle Rayner iteration of Green Lantern, and a long time writer for both of the big two in comics. Talking about his career and what drives him to create the way that he creates, in a very small and intimate group was fantastic. The kind of opportunity that a fan can only dream of, and the kind of opportunity that can only take place at a comics convention.
Finally after that we were able to catch up with Ian Mcginty. Artist on “Adventure Time” for Boom! And creator of “Welcome to Show-Side,” it was good to catch up with him since the last time he was on the show. His pilot for a cartoon version of “Welcome to Show-Side,” which features voice acting from Henry Rollins, has garnered a lot of interest from the Illuminati and Ian has promised that if he has a big announcement about it he will come back on the show. Check out the pilot below:

The rest of the day was spent wandering up and down Artist Alley, talking with old friends and new acquaintances alike. Talling on record with some fascinating creators of independent comics, and books. Those interviews with be through the next episode(s?). As the day wound down Baleigh and I found ourselves wandering towards the Captain Colorado hall to watch part of the “Opening Ceremony,” which randomly takes place at the end of the first day.
I see a lot of things at Con, but there is always that one moment that defines the day. My daughter Baleigh is the kind of person that isn’t about to see someone crying, and not offer to help, and as we walked down the main concourse that is exactly what she did. She saw a person crying and said, “I’ll be right back dad,” made a beeline for them and asked, “Are you ok?” Within seconds she was sitting next to this cosplayed fan of an anime I will probably never see, consoling someone who saw their significant other for a brief time during the day and wouldn’t have a chance to see them again for three months. Nothing connected them other than a shared love of nerd culture, and the way Con becomes a family.
Catching a set by Sam Adams, this guy was hilarious. Check out this bit that he performed tonight.

Cutting out early Baleigh and I made our way to the Media Mixer at 5280 Burger Bar. Sitting with Dayna (our new intern) and just chilling out with other people that are heavily invested in this community was wonderful. Conversations about how Con and the comics community in general is a place of healing for us.
Each of us has had that experience of a parent, sibling, stranger on the street, whatever; that has yelled at us, tried to drag us down, made fun of us, hurt our hearts just for loving something that may not make a lot of sense to the rest of the world. That shared trauma though, has made us two things. First, it has made each and everyone of us tougher, more willing to stick up for the things that we love no matter how trivial it may seem to other people. Second, it has made us empathetic to those around us that share the same kind of fandoms. I may not “get” furries, but I get that they come from a place where they just want to be happy doing what they love, and Con is a place they can do that. I may not “understand” Homestuck, but I understand that having a group of friends that loves the things that you love is important, and Con is a place you can be with that group with no judgements. Con becomes one big family, and I can’t wait for Day Two.