Fort Collins Comic Con 2017: Big Things at This Little Convention

Written by Shawn Hall

 A view from above the convention floor at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.

A view from above the convention floor at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.

There were so many things to be excited about at this year’s Fort Collins Comic Con (FC3). Featuring dozens of panels, an overflowing vendor area, a lounge area packed with video games both old and new, a room to play and demo table top games, and outdoor training camps for Ghostbusters and Superheroes at the children’s outdoor playground. This con had something for everyone of any age to enjoy.

 IA Mullin at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.

IA Mullin at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.

This was my second year attending FC3 and I was blown away at how much it had grown this year. The vendor area had a new layout that seemed like it nearly doubled the amount of space for vendors and artists. Another noticeable growth at FC3 this year was the number of panels available. They even added an extra room for panels upstairs this year to accommodate for this increase. I was glad to be able to sit in on Mike Baron’s panel, “How to Write Fiction” and listen to some of his experiences and advice. I particularly enjoyed his description of his own writing, “I like to write fiction with wild ups and downs, but has a satisfying ending” as well as his descriptions of the three commandments of writing: 1) entertain, 2) show, don’t tell, and 3) be original. The last major growth that I noticed in the convention this year was the enormous attendance at the start of the first day and the increase in cosplay that went along with it. The vendor floor was packed shoulder to shoulder with attendees, which made it feel like a bigger con.

 Ben Mikkelsen at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.

Ben Mikkelsen at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.

            I made an effort to talk with some of the vendors and guests on the vendor floor and I found several that proved interesting. Patti and Stephanie of Starlit Creations were kind enough to discuss their creation process for some of the jewelry that they make from role playing game dice as well as how they make accessories for cosplay. They started sales in 2009 when they moved to Colorado and were having a hard time making a living. Now they have an online shop through Etsy with over 3,000 sales so far. Another noteworthy vendor was Jesse Bonifazi that makes custom figures and illustrations (jessebonifazi@gmail.com). He explained how he would take old action figures, like Batman and Superman, reshape them with putty and paint them to create completely new and unique figures. He told me he could create pretty much any character as a custom order, which sounds like someone who appreciates a challenge. The guest that grabbed my attention the most was writer Ron Fortier. Fortier was extremely friendly and happy to talk about his passion for writing. He enjoyed explaining the plots to many of his own works that he had available at his booth as well as informing me of a comic book scripting class that he is going to be teaching at Front Range Community College which starts this September. The amount of enthusiasm and passion from all three of these booths was inspiring.

 Ron Fortier at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.

Ron Fortier at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.

            This was the third comic convention I have ever attended and I brought along a friend who had never been to a con before. He enjoyed the experience and liked seeing what the artists had created. He also said that he would certainly recommend this event to others. I would definitely agree with him. So whether you are familiar with or completely new to comic conventions, this is one that is certainly worth experiencing. Don’t miss Fort Collins Comic Con next year - they already have the dates (August 25 & 26, 2018).

 Shana Moura at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.

Shana Moura at Fort Collins Comic Con 2017.