Denver Comic Con: A Top 5 Reflection

I have lots to talk about in this post, but it all stems from this past weekend’s trip to Denver Comic Con.  We were graciously asked to present our panels by Pop Culture Classroom, a partner of ours and an organization also working to make the classroom a more approachable place for students and teachers alike.  Please check out their offerings here.

And here, in no particular order are the Top 5 highlights from the con and the trip to Denver.

1.) I must say, the cosplay at this con was some of the best I have ever seen!

Here are just a few examples of the awesomeness:

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And while I heard some teen call Robot Itchy and Scratchy “Robot Ninjas from Hello Kitty,” I must forgive the teenage ignorance and embrace the ingenuity of the Denver cosplayers.  Kudos to you, creative peeps of Denver!

2.) We were able to bring our expertise to seven different panels at DCC.

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As you can see, we had packed rooms and amazing panelists.  Above from left to right: New Literacies panel with Ronell Whitaker, Jason Nisavic, Tod Emko, Michael Gianfrancesco, Adan Alvarado, and Adam Ebert; me waving in front a packed house on the “Creating Safe Spaces” panel; an amazing STEM line-up including Matt Brady, Tarek Cattan, and Mike Espinos.  Add these panes to the other amazing panels that we ran and were a part of, and add that to the number of amazing people we met at these panels, and you get a nice little world of people dedicated to making the world better with comics!

3.) Tod Emko and A Piggy’s Tale

If you do not know about A Piggy’s Tale and the work of the group, please click the link above.  Tod Emko and the people that work for this fabulous non-profit deserve props.  Not only because Tod is one of the nicest dudes that I’ve ever met, but because their work is important, and we can all learn a thing or two about being selfless.  I had one emotional moment of the weekend, and that came after I acquired a special Piggy themed tribute print recognizing the victims of the Orlando shooting.  Here is what the print looks like:

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It’s a very powerful image.  And even as I type this sentence, I am pausing due to a lack of words describing how this print and the situation makes me feel.

4.) I had some great experiences at the con that were a bit more organic, and these can be some of the best experiences.

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Here are a few more of the highlights from left to right: Jason and I caught an early panel Sunday morn with some 7th graders and their teacher explaining how they use role playing to create stories (see Jason there on the right playing the game with other volunteers?); the second pic is me helping my homie Chris Prunckle…I was helping him run his booth so he could assist on other panels (check out his art here); and finally, an X-Wing (how cool is that?).  These three pics can only begin to layer the experiences that I had this past weekend at the show.

5.) The show gave as a reason to start www.thecomicseducationaloffensive.com

Yep, our little group finally has a web site dedicated to helping educators join the fight for comics in the classroom.  The site is young and underdeveloped, but it will grow a bunch by the end of the summer, and we look forward to the process.  Also, we are always looking for peeps to join the fight, so let me know if you want to know how you can be more involved.

I could have done more than 5, but let’s start there, and I will push out more experiences from the con in more specific content later in the week.  By Friday, I will post an article about the importance of comic publisher/educator relationships spawned by our budding relationships with three comic publishers.

Happy reading!

Looking forward,

Eric

@comics_teacher

mr.kallenborn@gmail.com

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