Denver Comic Con: Where to Nerd Out

May 31 2013, 8:23 AM

Editor's Note: Contributor Tim Beyers is covering all the news from Comic Con (May 31 to June 2) for 5280.com. Check back soon for a Q&A with comic book artist J. Scott Campbell.

Denver Comic Con (DCC) is sure to fulfill all your sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book cravings—for now. But what do you do when the door’s close for another year? Fear not: Denver is as good for the comic-obsessed as it is for sports fanatics. Here, five of my favorite spots to “nerd out” in the metro area and beyond:

1. Mile High Comics
Nerd-vana. More than half a million comic books fill this 45,000-square-foot warehouse in an industrial park north of the city. Glass cases near the entrance contain issues from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s worth tens of thousands of dollars (pictured, above). Start there—just for an ogle—and then plan a return trip. Trust this collector: You’ll need at least three visits to take it all in. Pro tip: Ignore the overinflated sticker prices. If you like a particular comic book, make an offer and let the staff counter. You may walk away with a surprisingly good deal. 4600 Jason St., 303-477-0042

2. Aamazing Fantasy Comics
A purist’s shop since 1989, Aamazing Fantasy has a well-curated selection of hard-to-find comics, a plethora of back issues, and a wall-length newsstand restocked with new releases every Wednesday. Don’t be shy to ask for help; owner Shawn Carey has yet to steer me wrong with a recommendation. Pro tip: A one-time $20 deposit gets you a “pull list” of new comics set aside weekly before the shelves are picked clean—at 10 percent off the cover price. 6721 W, Ken Caryl Ave., Littleton, 303-933-4604

3. Enchanted Grounds
A coffeeshop that doubles as a hobby and comic book store, Enchanted Grounds offers plenty to keep you spellbound. Those interested in the popular fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering can get their fill with group tournaments on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. Staff will demo the store's board and role-playing games for you, which takes all the guesswork out of buying something new. Pro tip: Stay up during a late night of gaming with a cup of 100 percent Kona brew from local roaster Coda Coffee. 8800 S. Colorado Blvd., Highlands Ranch, 303-470-1010

4. All C’s Collectibles
At this store, rare comics adorn any space that isn’t already covered in rare coins and baseball cards. An adjoining gaming arena includes space for miniatures-based games such as Heroclix. Owner Jason Farnsworth helped organize the ongoing Aurora Rise benefit, which sells comics-themed memorabilia to raise funds for victims of last summer’s theater shooting. Pro tip: During DCC, purchase a limited-edition sketchbook from the Aurora Rise booth (#528 on the show floor); all proceeds go toward the organization's efforts. 1250 S. Abilene St., Aurora, 303-751-6882

5. Kilgore Books & Comics
Perfect for fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and underground and independent comics, Kilgore is a delightfully cluttered space, with books piled high in corners and tucked away on crowded shelves. Don’t forget to pop into Wax Trax Records, the neighboring vintage vinyl store. Pro tip: Check out the self-published indie comics titles from local artists Noah Van Sciver (Blammo) and Sam Spina (The Frantastic Four). 624 E. 13th Ave., 303-815-1979

Follow Tim Beyers on Twitter at @milehighfool.