There and Back Again: DINK 2017

Denver, Colorado!

It's about a 8 or 9 hour drive from Kansas City to the mountains, but the mind-numbing traffic we hit at rush hour on Friday added an extra hour to the trip. But hey, at least there were mountains to look at! Affordable hotels can be found in the greater metro area and the Saturday and Sunday journeys into downtown for the con were quick commutes from them (and thankfully devoid of that traffic of terror).

From a journey to Lake Dillon.
DINK is a young con that has seemingly been born as a response to Denver Comic Con's current giganticism, popularity, and celebrity-focused appeal (which is not to single it out - most bigger cons run on the exact same threads). Conversely, Dink has no celebrities from movies or television, it's cozily situated in a historic, three-level building where you can see most of the exhibitors from any spot on your current floor, and it prides itself on its independent culture.

Walking around, there was a refreshingly different selection of books being pitched, from self-made zines to high-quality graphic novels. Most looked political or subversive, pop-culture or counter-culture in nature, perhaps especially so as a reaction to the election. I used to think Mayflower looked somewhat 'alternative' (whatever that means) at most cons where superhero stories populate the artist alley tables thoroughly, but at DINK I felt like my books looked like Saturday-morning cartoons (in better days when those actually existed).

One of the highlights from DINK was talking to Felipe Echevarria (http://www.felipeechevarria.com/) whose sequential work is reminiscent of the style of art and storytelling I've been studying lately to improve my own work. I went home with his advice and almost immediately turned around some the problems I was currently struggling with in Mayflower's sequentials.

Felipe Echevarria's art for a Psycho adaption.
Sales were okay. While the con's focus was refreshing, alternative and niche also seems smaller. From behind my table, it felt as if there was a lot of young adults but very few families, and the Weed-Tours were interesting - at least the guy selling black-light posters looked like he was making a dime!

If I lived in the area I would definitely attend again. With the car running on fumes as it is right now, I'll likely let the con grow a couple of years before returning.