DINK, the Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo took place this past weekend Mar. 25-26, 2016 at the historic Sherman Street Event Center. Artists and art enthusiasts came to enjoy and appreciate the works of these talented indie artists. There were five floors of fabulous art made up of up comics, zines, books, paintings, drawings, and activities. Attendees left not only with good memories, but some unique and hard to find items of pure creativity. Creator and organizer of DINK, Charlie LeGreca, knew this gorgeous building created way back in 1906 was going to be the ideal site for this event. The moment one walked in to its cool entryway and Byzantine styled decor, deep breaths were a must. It is all for a good cause. Part of DINK’s mission is to foster the next generation of artists. Tickets purchased will benefit the Denver Drink & Draw and Love Hope Strength Foundation, and will also involve an annual program which provides a weeklong, outdoor mountain camp with a focus on comics, literacy, and art for under-served, inner-city youth.
There was just so much to experience. People there had the pleasure of running into a gender bender Carrie Fisher, a fake Stan Lee, and none other than The Enigma. This legendary performer could be found taking in all the art. Friday night there was a Cocktails and Coloring time were tables were filled with attendees and artists enjoying happy hour drinks and creativity with crayons. They were a random yet cool pinball machines in the corner. There were informative and fun panels where artists shared ideas and learned from each other. Enthusiastic kids were keeping busy creating new art, and tucked away in corner was this very cool old barber shop that was used as a hair, make-up, or whatever room. Saturday night was a main event with the DINKY Awards ceremony was held to recognize excellence and helping independent comics from a diversified group of submissions. It did more than spotlight those artists who were nominated; it helped foster a sense of community, encouragement, and pride inspire all independent cartoonists and artists. The list of all the nominees can be found there.
LaGreca took a few moments out of his crazy weekend to comment on this DINK’s first event. “It was perfect for a unique alternative show that was a good little sister to a big pop culture show like Denver Comic Con. It’s pre-culture, which is like what’s happening before pop culture stuff. It’s the art and the trailblazers, where you can discover these things–handmade, at the beginnings; some of them big, some of them not. And this venue is the perfect backdrop for this.” He also praised staff for being organized, trustworthy, and dedicated in their hard work at to putting this event together. No doubt the success of this inaugural DINK convention will inspire an annual tradition.