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

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

Categories: Comix

The creative mind behind Comix Brew, which will be Denver's first free comics-only newspaper, reached his $3,000 Kickstarter goal yesterday and plans to publish the first issue in late April or early May.

Lonnie Allen had been thinking about the idea for years, but decided to make it a reality one night after having a few drinks with his girlfriend. "She had heard me mention it more than once before and she was kind of like, 'You have all these ideas all the time, you should just do it.'" So he did, finding funding in just two weeks.

See also: Denver Comic Con: Convention heads respond to co-founder Charlie La Greca's allegations

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Denver Comic Con: Convention heads respond to co-founder Charlie La Greca's allegations

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Denver Comic Con attendees
Since its founding in 2012, Denver Comic Con (DCC) has become a powerful force; it attracted 61,000 attendees last year, making it the fifth-largest comic convention nationwide. But as in comic books, with power often comes turmoil. Yesterday morning, co-founder Charlie La Greca posted an open letter on a new "Save Denver Comic Con" website alleging he was forced out of the operation and that the DCC and its affiliated nonprofit, Comic Book Classroom (CBC), are plagued with mismanagement. Now La Greca's former colleagues -- convention director Christina Angel and CBC education director Illya Kowalchuk -- have responded to his accusations.

See also: Denver Comic Con rift threatens the event's founder and his original cause

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Denver Comic Con rift threatens the event's founder and his original cause

Denver Comic Con co-founders Frank Romero and Charlie La Greca.
There have been rumors about trouble among the Denver Comic Con ranks. But today, DCC co-founder Charlie La Greca posted the following letter on a new Save Denver Comic Con website.

Hello my name is Charlie La Greca. I am a cartoonist, lifelong comic fan, and lover of all things geek.

This is an incredibly difficult letter to write but I feel the need to tell you about an injustice and ask for your assistance in attaining its correction.

Comic books are my life. I grew up in Denver, Colorado and in the 1990's moved to the East Coast to pursue my dreams of working in comic book publishing. It took years of hard work but eventually, I established myself in New York City working in the industry that I love. After working for such notable companies as Disney, Nickelodeon, and DC Comics, I moved back to my native Denver to embark on the next chapter of my dream.

I reconnected with my lifelong friend, Frank Romero, to figure out how we could apply our passion, experience, and networking within the industry to bring something very special to my hometown. I have completely and utterly devoted my entire being to this endeavor for the last 5 years and it was with our intention to encourage learning and ignite imaginations in children that Frank and I envisioned creating a pop culture convention that, with its proceeds, would fully support a good cause - children's education and literacy. To that end, in 2009, Frank and I founded Comic Book Classroom (CBC) to raise literacy through comics, and we devised the Denver Comic Con (DCC) to become an institution that funded CBC.

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Comedian Roger Norquist on Paul Auster, postmodernism, and not having sex with people who don't read

Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Roger Norquist is a comedian, podcaster and self-styled occultist. As co-host of the Lion's Lair open mic, Norquist is a Denver comedy-scene ambassador for the scores of novices who cut their teeth at the legendary Colfax dive. Norquist, who's known for his absurdist one-liners, also co-hosts the resurgent Werewolf Radar podcast, which has returned from a brief hiatus better than ever, releasing episodes on its website and on itunes every week and recording a live show the first Wednesday of every month. Tonight, Norquist will join co-hosts Jordan Doll and Nate Balding and guest Bobby Crane and Chris Charpentier for a live podcast recording at El Charrito. In advance of that event, Westword caught up with Norquist to discuss Paul Auster, postmodernism, mythology and a John Waters quote about refusing to fuck people who don't own books.

See also: Total Ghost's Randy Washington on living in Japan, Haruki Murakami and SNL

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Denver Comic Con announces first stars, ticket sales date for 2014

Categories: Comix

Danielle Lirette
He got his tickets to the 2013 Denver Comic Con!
The third annual Denver Comic Con and Literacy Conference is still months away, but it's not too early to start planning. Tickets for the event go on sale on December 2 -- Cyber Monday, of course -- and the DCC has already announced its first guests, including celebrities from such pop-culture phenomena as the Power Rangers, Star Trek and The Walking Dead and creators from comics like Avengers vs. X-Men, Batman and Robin and Sandman.

See also:
Meet the people of Denver Comic Con 2013 in this video

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Photos: Comic Con pops up at the Colorado Symphony

For Saturday night's performance at the Colorado Symphony, the scene wasn't the classic crowd. In place of stuffed shirts and pearls, there were Star Wars stormtroopers and Star Trek crew members wandering the lobby of Boettcher Concert Hall, along with a whole zoo of other comics, sci-fi and gaming characters. And that was just the beginning of "The Hero's Journey -- A Symphonic Tribute to Comic Con," a full evening of Denver Comic Con-approved compositions, with a guest spot by DeVotchKa's Nick Urata on theremin. Photographer Danielle Lirette caught it all for Westword, bringing back these images and more.

See also: Austin Wintory to bring award-winning Journey video game score to CSO's Comic Con tribute

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The top ten geek events in Denver in November

Dr. Who turns fifty.
The leaves have turned and the weather's gone cold, but we geeks aren't concerned -- all of our favorite activities take place indoors, anyway. And this November will give Denver geeks plenty to be thankful for between now and Thanksgiving. In addition to the usual buffet of turkey and pumpkin pie, we get a cornucopia of geek fun, from brony cons to far-out films.

See also: Ten milestones in competitive gaming

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Five reasons to read The Oatmeal

Categories: Comix, Lists

Under the name The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman has made a career out of making absurd, hilarious comics. Whether the subject matter is mundane (grammar, cats) or bizarre (the sex lives of angler fish, utilikilts), his particular genius lies in tapping into the Internet zeitgeist and delivering the kind of belly laughs that get shared, liked and posted all over Facebook. You can also get those comics in book form, with collections like his brand-new Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, which he'll talk about on Thursday, October 17 at the Tattered Cover LoDo. To bring people who aren't familiar with the peculiar genius of Inman up to speed, we've helpfully compiled this list of five reasons why you should read The Oatmeal.

See also: Nikola Tesla's career is re-energized by cartoonist Matthew Inman

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Pop culture's top five demon hunters

The Winchesters hunt demons and look dreamy, all at once.
Demons are bad news. They're powerful, usually immortal -- or damn close -- and almost invariably pure, undiluted evil. When you've got demon problems, you've got serious problems. And when that happens, who are you going to call? Not the Ghostbusters. Yeah, they did best a demon or two, but they almost leveled New York in the process. Too risky. No, you want someone who deals with demons as a matter of course, someone who can take them down without risking total annihilation via some shoddy backpack nuclear reactors. You need a demon hunter.

This Thursday, September 26, Littleton's Alamo Drafthouse is hosting a one-day showing of Blue Exorcist: The Movie, the big-screen followup to the popular anime series. The film depicts the work of two demon-hunting brothers -- one of them half-demon himself -- working to save their home from an invasion of demonic hordes, a mission we can all get behind (well, all of us except the demons, anyway). To get psyched up for the event, we've compiled this list of pop culture's five most badass demon hunters.

See also: The six best onscreen pairings of robots and the apocalypse

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