Photos: Homegrown Comix and Cartoonists at the Cowtown Comics Fest

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The local comics community set up tables last Sunday at Morey Middle School for the Cowtown Comics Festival, an all-Colorado artist expo that featured everything from hand-stapled zines to hardback graphic novels. Photographer Nicki Lamson was there, and brought back these images and more from the low-key fest.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Noah Van Sciver

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Dan Stafford on Cowtown Comics Fest, Kilgore Books and His John Porcellino Movie

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Noah Van Sciver
There's no shortage of fun for comics lovers in Denver, but local creators can get lost in the shuffle at some of the bigger cons. Not so at the Cowtown Comics Fest, hosted annually by Kilgore Books and happening Sunday, November 23 at Morey Middle School. Aside from John Porcellino, who no longer lives here but has deep roots in the Denver comics scene (including founding the Cowtown Comics Fest years ago), all of the talent at the fest will be people you might see scribbling away in your favorite coffee shop. That includes renowned artists such as Noah Van Sciver, Stan Yan and Karl Christian Krumpholz, as well as up-and-coming creators you haven't heard of yet. Plus, Stafford's own documentary film on Porcellino, Root Hog or Die, complete with a post-screening Q&A with Stafford and Porcellino, will close out the day's activities. Before the fest, we sat down with festival organizer Dan Stafford to find out what to expect from the fest, why it disappeared for a few years and what's so great about Denver's comics scene.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Noah Van Sciver

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Noah Van Sciver

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#42: Noah Van Sciver

If you read Westword, you're familiar with Noah Van Sciver -- since 2008, when he started inking the 4 Questions feature in Backbeat, the hard-working cartoonist has been making observations about modern society and its many characters in these pages and online at westword.com. But Van Sciver has a professional life beyond the fourth estate -- pumping out comic creations, spreads, sketches and graphic novels like a bat out of comic-book hell, including The Hypo, his acclaimed 2012 Fantagraphics imprint about the darker side of Abraham Lincoln. We asked the rising star what keeps him going in this difficult field; learn more about the artist from his 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Westword's second annual Comics issue: Meet the winners


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Sam Spina Releases Know Me Now, His Latest Collection of Comics

Categories: Art, Books, Comix

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Sam Spina compares the attraction of autobiographical comics with the appeal of reality television. "Super-trashy reality TV gets good ratings -- it doesn't necessarily have to be good," he says. But Spina, a longtime Denver comic artist currently living in Atlanta, doesn't think it's the quality of these art forms that draws people in. Rather, it's the everyday events easily dismissed as mundane that play out in the two mediums and engage people.

See also: Sam Spina on Developing an Animated Short for Nickelodeon and How You Can Do the Same

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Denver Cartoonist Spills Colfax Avenue's Secrets in 30 Miles of Crazy!

Categories: Colfax, Comix

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Karl Christian Krumpholz is a historian of the most seamy, lurid thoroughfare in Denver: Colfax Avenue. His medium is his webcomic, 30 Miles of Crazy! where he trawls the street for stories of drunkenness, depravity, and insanity. Now he's rolled the archives of the comic into one handy paperback: the 30 Miles of Crazy! Collection: True-ish Tales of Derelicts, Bars, & Denizens of Other Low Places.

The release of the book will be celebrated with a release party at Mutiny Information Cafe on September 20 at 6 p.m., where fellow cartoonists and authors will read his stories and share their love of "The Longest, Wickedest Street in America."

We tracked Krumpholz down at one of his favorite watering holes, Tooey's Off Colfax, to tell us his own story: he dishes on the Denver comics scene, the death of Colfax's dive bars, and how he stacks up against his caricature of himself.

See also: Comic: Rufus Baxter Is Very Cool


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Photos: The costumes of Denver Comic Con

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More than 85,000 people walked through the aisles of the Denver Comic Con over the weekend, according to the folks behind the rapidly growing convention, and a lot of them were in costume. Con cosplay, after all, is an art unto itself, featuring hand-built costumery that can sometimes take months to create. Or not. Photographer Danielle Lirette brought back these images -- and more -- from the third annual event.

See also: Fans and celebrities at Denver Comic Con 2014

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Westword's second annual Comics issue: Meet the winners

Categories: Comix

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Noah Van Sciver

For our second annual Comics issue and contest, we asked cartoonists (and would-be cartoonists) to send us comics depicting life in Colorado. The winning entries tackled a variety of subjects, from overcrowding to the nightlife of Colorado's casino mountain towns. Here, we present the cream of the crop.

Having trouble reading a comic? Click on the image for a bigger version.


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Read between the lines: Deadline May 28 for second annual Westword Comics issue

Categories: Comix

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Noah Van Sciver
Read between the lines! Westword will publish its second annual Comics issue on June 5, and you can be a part of it. We're accepting submissions from any Colorado artist who wants to create a cartoon about life in the Centennial State -- whether it focuses on beer, fracking or just life at a mile high. Keep reading for the fine print.

See also:
Meet the winners of our first annual Comics issue

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Stripped tells the history of comic strips through creators and characters

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Bill Watterson's "Calvin and Hobbes."
Through conversations with friend and filmmaker Frederick Schroeder, comic artist and comic historian Dave Kellet realized that he needed to make a documentary on the life and art of the comic strip. Two successful Kickstarter campaigns later, Stripped was born. It's a deep and thoughtful look at the world of comic-strip art, as told by the creators of such iconic print strips as "Cathy," "Calvin and Hobbes," "Zippy the Pinhead" and "Beetle Bailey," as well as the new school of web comics like "Penny Arcade" and "Hark! A Vagrant."

In advance of Stripped's one-night-only showing at the Sie FilmCenter on April 23, Kellet spoke with Westword about why he chose to make the documentary and how he secured interviews with more than seventy comic artists.

See also: Denver Drink & Draw meets Kickstarter goal to fund Comix Brew, a free comics newspaper

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Sam Spina on developing an animated short for Nickelodeon and how you can do the same

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For a cartoonist, having a show on Nickelodeon seems as far-fetched as becoming an astronaut, says Sam Spina. But for the former Denverite who's currently based in Atlanta, that dream just became a reality through the Nickelodeon Shorts Program. The Xeric award-winning Spina (whose diary comic Spinadoodles was recognized in the Best of Denver 2012 as Best Comic Strip) pitched a concept about three friends who dig a hole in their backyard to Nickelodeon, and it was accepted to be developed into an animated short. We caught up with Spina to talk about the nine-month process of working with Nickelodeon, his upcoming projects and how you, too, can submit to be a part of Nick's shorts program. .

See also: Cartoonist Sam Spina on winning a Xeric grant and his daily comic strip, Spinadoodles

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