Bring me your Marvel and DC nerds, your gamers and Trekkies, your Potter and Anime fans. The call went out and cosplayers from every genre answered. Denver Summit Music Hall opened it’s doors at 8 p.m. on June 30 to a crowd unlike downtown’s usual club goers. Instead of jeans and dress shirts they wore paper-mache and craft foam. In place of miniskirts and heels they sported painted plastic and hand-sewn costumes. Denver Comic Con’s after party had officially begun.
“If you have a passion that’s under the geeky umbrella there’s a place for you here,” said cosplayer Ryan Palmer.
Palmer stood outside the Summit, removed a giant black and white headpiece topped with evil looking horns and took out a cigarette as he attempted to explain his ensemble.
“Imagine Mickey Mouse with a vengeance and literally out for murder,” he said.
Palmer said the costume had been rushed because of 60 hour work weeks, but his heart and soul had gone into it’s creation.
“I’ve done a couple of the cosplay contests and it’s just a blast,” Palmer said, “You’re with your fellow nerds having a party and no one feels like the odd man out.”
Club Cosplay originated in Los Angeles. When it’s Denver founders, Greg and Sarah Shupe, moved from California to Colorado five years ago they felt there weren’t enough nerdy activities available after conventions.
“Conventions close at seven and there’s nothing fun to do,” said Shupe, “So we decided to throw the party we would want to go to.”
They encourage every genre and body type. Basic beach rules are the only guideline.
“We don’t want to see your naughty bits but other than that if you’re comfortable in your body we’re comfortable with you being here.”
Cameryn Cowdin waited in line with four other friends who had come straight over from Comic Con.
“I’m dressed as Kane from Starfighter. This one finished his costume yesterday,” Cowdin said, pointing to her friend assembling an elaborate costume of Commander Shepard from the Mass Effect video game series. “You spend a lot of time making costumes to go to these events, and it’s worth it, but it’s sad to go home afterwards.”
Shupe said they want to encourage the casual nerds to come out too. The people that love Harry Potter or are crazy about Star Wars can feel welcome among their community of weirdos.
“We want to bring them in and show them ‘you are a nerd, you’re one of us.’”
Shupe described the party as high speed and high octane. The venue filled quickly and cosplayers kept the dance floor packed until 1:00 a.m.
Captain K Cosplay, dressed as Gandalf the Grey dressed in only briefs, boots and beard, rocked the stage first. His lyrics pokedl fun at The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. The crowd ate it up.
Next, Dj Zurc appeared on stage in a bath of fog as the lights dimmed. The entertainer took turns playing bass, guitar and a saxophone over deep house beats. Balloons dropped and the dance floor filled with costumed characters. They danced, they bounced, they pelted each other with the balloons like little kids.
Cowdin explained that the Cosplay party allowed people to take a break from being an actual person.
“It’s a place where people can meet up and be weird, be themselves or whoever you want,” she said.
The party’s contest allowed cosplayers to display their levels of fandom. The winner, William Randol, designed his detailed Cogsworth costume around his mustache.
“The Cogsworth one I’ve been thinking about doing for a couple of years,” Randol said. “then, with the new Beauty and the Beast movie coming out, I figured, well now’s a good time to do it.”
Randol’s version of the singing clock included a portable closet cut down to a trapezoid, wood grain fabric hand sewn onto the frame, decorative wood pieces spray painted gold and window screen for the front.
Cogsworth’s hard earned first place won him a quarter scale Predator figurine. But the most impressive figure that evening did not compete.
Thundering onto the dance floor Club Cosplay’s coup de grace glowed with cosmic energy and towered above lesser heroes and villains. Enter Galactus.
“He comes out for a lot of the big shows,” Shupe said, describing the devourer of worlds. He’s huge and he’s glowing and he’s fantastic.”
Cosplayers surrounded him immediately, cell phones snapping wildly to capture the giant force of nature.
The entire evening offered unearthly photo opportunities. Handfuls of Mr. Meeseeks from “Rick and Morty” stood in the corner selling t-shirts and posters to cosplayers wanting mementos for the night. Meeseek Mia Kuen said this event was the funnest party she’d been to all year.
“If you’re curious about cosplay and you like to dress up in costume and don’t know where to go, it’s a great place to go,” said Kuen.