DENVER (CBS4) – The third annual Denver Comic Con over the weekend was all about sci fi and fantasy, but it was also about big business.
The convention brings together artists, creators and celebrities from across the country, and it’s exploding in popularity thanks in part to the interest in movies in the superhero genre.
Gina Desmond, an entertainment news website operator, said it’s all about comic book characters bursting into pop culture, as seen in shows like CBS’ “Big Bang Theory.”
“With the comic and the nerd fandom it’s just gotten so huge,” said Desmond, who wore an R2-D2 dress for the festivities at the Denver Convention Center. “I think a big part of that is comic book movies.”
“I am personally excited because I’ve been a huge geek since I was 6,” she said.
An estimated three quarters of the gamers, comic book lovers and cartoon enthusiasts at the convention came in from out of town, and the city is seeing a major economic impact.
“Thousands of hotel rooms have been sold,” said Christine Tubbs, executive director of Pop Culture Classroom, the convention’s nonprofit branch which helps fund literacy programs. “The elevators are filled with people in costume and all through the streets of Denver.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Denver Comic Con 2014
One of the most impressive booths at the festival belonged to Mile High Comics, which bills itself as the country’s largest retailer of comic books and has four stores in the Denver metro area.
“We have watched our sales go up by a factor of five over the last three years because of the added interest that has been coming — a lot of it — from this convention,” said Chuck Rozanski.
Two of the more interesting fans a CBS4 crew ran across at the convention were a couple dressed as Batman villains Poison Ivy and Two-Face. They got something they say they’ll will cherish forever on Sunday at the convention.
“We actually got these here,” Jolynn Elliott said, sporting a red wig, and pointing to some rings on their fingers. “They are counting as our wedding bands.”
The rings had the same markings as the rings in the Lord of the Rings movies.
“We’re all around geek,” Elliott said.