This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on March 9, 2018.
DiNK, the Denver Independent Comics & Art Expo, will be held on April 14-15. This is the event’s third year and it has proven itself to be an invaluable new gathering for creators and fans of the comics medium. In a convention scene packed with celebrities, DiNK emphasizes the individuals who create comics, zines, and other related artforms. This weekend celebration, complete with awards show and workshops, has a lot to offer anyone who enjoys comics.
One of the most obvious attractions of DiNK is their list of exhibitors. They run the gamut from some of today’s most talented cartoonists to a burgeoning array of up-and-coming artists. Individuals like Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT, Dept H.) and Jeff Lemire (Black Hammer, Sweet Tooth) have made their mark on both superhero comics and the creator-owned scene. Whether you love Lemire’s mind-bending take on Moon Knight or can’t get enough of Kindt’s watercolor odysseys, they will both be in attendance to meet fans and share wisdom. They’re far from the only stars attending either. Charles Forsman, creator of the Netflix-adapted The End of the F***ing World, Box Brown (Andre the Giant), and Joe Kelly (I Kill Giants) will also all be in attendance, along with plenty of other beloved creators.
DiNK has more than 250 total exhibitors including artists of every style, shape, and fashion. The show offers a fellowship to help 13 creators facing financial hardship attend each year, helping fans and creators who might not connect otherwise. That fellowship is intended for newcomers and established artists alike. It’s intent is to attract a more diverse array of artistic talent and ensure creators facing hard times are still given opportunities to build their fanbase and visit the great comics community of Colorado.
There are also the annual DiNKy Awards, a new awards show designed to promote great comics art based purely on merit. It emphasizes small press publications and a diverse array of entrants in an awards show that goes much more quickly than the Oscars. Winners receive an ink pot-shaped statue and should be placed on every comics fans must read list for 2018.
The location of DiNK is another attraction. Based in the heart of Denver, DiNK provides great options for hotel, shopping, and recreation after hours. Denver’s thriving arts community and restaurant scene offer plenty of reasons to stay an extra day and avoid sleeping during the weekend. There’s simply too much to take in both at the convention and beyond its walls. The show also features some unique packages for visitors coming from outside of Colorado.
No matter how tempting the rest of Denver may be, the number one attraction of DiNK remains obvious: Comics. It’s a word that is tossed around a lot in conventions today, but DiNK is one show where comics are still king. Attendees can expect to meet some of today’s greatest talents and discover plenty of work from cartoonists just starting to make their mark. Everything about DiNK, the panels, workshops, awards, and more, is focused on the art. Whether you’re an aspiring creator, dedicated fan, or someone who’s just curious what comics are about, then there’s no better convention in the Great Plains to attend than DiNK.