A Storm Trooper cruises the halls of Denver Comic Con 2014. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)

Chromic Con and the advent of the weed-forward comic book convention

When Jaymen Johnson attended previous comic cons in Colorado and Arizona, he managed his sci-fi schedule around his cannabis calendar.

“We would smoke in the hotel before we left, and then we’d get high in the parking lot when we got there, and then we’d find different places around the comic con’s halls to get high while we were there,” said Johnson, owner of the Speak Easy Vape Lounge in Colorado Springs.

Update: The dates for this event have changed after this story was first reported. It’s now set for Nov. 22-23.

It was exhausting, Johnson said. And the conundrum got him thinking: “What if there was a comic con in the same vein of those events that was cannabis-friendly?”

And so Chromic Con was born: A con for the chronic set, debuting at three marijuana lounges in Denver and Colorado Springs on Nov. 22-23 with special appearances, artist signings, live music and plenty of cosplay. No artists have been booked for appearances yet, Johnson said, but tickets, $14.20 per venue, are already on sale at the event’s website.

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“This will be a comic con where you’ll be able to nerd out and get high and have fun in a safe, acceptable, friendly environment,” Johnson said. “I’ve always liked opportunities to come together and nerd out and dress up as your favorite fantasy character or comic book hero or sci-fi character.

“At every event I attended there was cannabis use happening in corners or parking lots. But it was covert. This seems like the perfect event for cannabis — it shouldn’t be discriminated against.”

Chromic Con’s homebase will inevitably be the Speak Easy Vape Lounge in the Springs, where Johnson has already started planning activities including “light saber wiffle ball” and “Tron-style elimination Frisbee” in addition to the appearances. But two Denver clubs, iBake Denver and Maryjane’s Social Club, will also host Chromic Con events. For those who want to see it all, and partake along the way, the event is offering a Spaced Shuttle that will make the rounds between the three clubs for $45, which includes admission to all three clubs.

The aesthetics of the artists speaking and signing at Chromic Con will straddle the lines of marijuana and mainstream.

“Comic book artists who are geared toward the cannabis community are excited about coming and debuting their comics or showing their artwork,” Johnson said. “Their comic books might not be accepted in a mainstream comic con event, but they’re welcome here. We’re hoping to include both — cannabis comics and non-cannabis comics — however this event is definitely within the cannabis realm.”

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How exactly will that unique mash-up affect the cosplay at Chromic Con?

“There’s a lot of excitement about all the different costume ideas,” Johnson said, “plays on standard sci-fi costumes like Darth Vapor, Bong Solo, Cheeba Baca. People are already talking about how they’ll twist or change up their standard costume to make it cannabis-themed but still sci-fi.”

Any promoter can speak to the challenges of launching what they hope will become an anticipated, annual event, and a comic con is no different.

“Our hope is that in five years this will be something that these artists and names might be contacting us about,” he said. “But now we need to get people to love it and participate in it and make it something people want to be a part of. Now it’s all about having fun.”

More Comic Con costumes: See tons of great costumes from Denver Comic Con 2014 at our sister site Shiny Objects