Charlie LaGreca‘s love, passion, and vision came to life in the second annual Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo. DINK took place last weekend Apr 8-9, 2017 in downtown Denver, CO. The next generation of talent was featured this year along with wide-open eyes, food trucks, cocktails, panels, and activities for everyone. The youth of all ages took over three floors that were bursting with creativity, passion, and love at the newly restored McNichols Civic Center Building. According to one of the Guests of Honor, Mario Hernandez (Love and Rockets) said that he was inspired by the crowd. “All these young people. Just seeing them. Seeing that people are saying oh boy; comics! They’re relevant, and I’m like thank you.” Comics are always relevant and events like this bring out the best in people.
DINK had floor after floor of activities. Ready to get serious? There were panels on kickstarting that comic, indie publishing, diversity, and workshops for kids. Saturday night there was the coloring and cocktails event where crayons took center stage. Of course, the main event was the DINKY Awards ceremony where excellence in independent comics was recognized. The show was as hilarious as it was inspirational. It was hosted by Alan Brooks with “Drunk Vanna” handing out the DINKY awards. The winners were honored and the audience was entertained.
This year’s event featured indie art, literature, zines, and underground comics. There was so much to do. Kelly Shortandqueer with the Denver Zine Library held some arts and crafts fun with Zine Making 101. Not only did he dish out pens, paper, and fun instructions, he shed some light on why making a zine can be for everyone. Zines can be created on any type of paper with all manner of stories. It can even be published on zebra pink duct tape. Kelly’s advice to our youth is to “just do it. Put it on paper and say something. You’ve created something, and there’s no limit.”
One of the tables on the second floor was run by Mateo Cantu with Paper Dream Productions. Mateo was excited to be a part of DINK because it was an indie show. He loved that it was local and was a big family get together. “It’s kinda nice to just draw bionic bears,” Cantu said. People dig that, instead of hey can you draw Wolverine 13 times.” That is what this expo was all about, and fans look forward to next year.