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This past weekend was the first annual Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo or DINK. The last time I went to a comic book convention I was like ten and now, thirty years later (I’m a big kid), I’ve gone to my second and even smoked weed on a VIP bus! Aren’t you jealous?

The VIP experience

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A company called Colorado Cannabis Tours provided a large limo bus for all us VIPs. The seats went long ways so we could look at each other while a glass pipe got passed to the “right.”

Who’s Jake Browne?

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Ever seen a pic of a young man with a big fat smile on his face sniffing a marijuana filled jar on Google images? This comedian and writer for The Cannabist was our on-board guide giving us MJ tourists the low down on the Colorado pot industry. After the bus ride he put on a suit and entertained everyone inside the expo hall with a comedy show; “Uncalled Four : Nerd Edition – A Comedy Game Show for America’s Worst Nerds!” I was the first to win a prize for coming up with the worst question. “Do you pronounce Colorado Colo-RAD-OH?” See his creation “The Worst Card Game” here.

Medicine Man Denver

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The bus took us to Medicine Man Dispensary a state of the art growing facility with both medical and retail 21+ all right smack dab in Denver! They poured a bottle of alcohol on a mat to sanitize our shoe soles as we walked inside. The high ceilings and climate control technology made it look like a movie set for the SyFy channel. The place smelled great and reminded me of a tour at Celestial Seasons where you get to smell their “tea room.” The place spends $40,000 a month on electric bills and uses “tried and true methods” for cultivation. No longer do they test the latest in LED lights and growing technology. They just do what works! Sage advice from a marijuana industry leader.

The DINKy Awards

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Many artists from Colorado and across the globe exhibited their work at DINK this year. “Dog Craps 2” by Sam Spina, “The Story of My Tits” by Jennifer Hayden, “Cosmic Be-ing #1″ by Alex Graham are just some of the independent comic book titles nominated Saturday night. Denis Kitchen of “Dope Comix” fame and the publisher of R. Crumb was honored with the “Comics Legend” award. Charlie LaGreca, the head of DINK, left everyone with touching words about how he moved to New York only to realize he needed to come “home” to Colorado, intuitively knowing Denver would support an event like DINK.

Designers, illustrators and artists… oh my!

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I took home some independent art like a print from Mel Shields, a small hand stapled inspirational comic book by Kinoko Evans, some sick adult cartoons from Brett Nienburg– I couldn’t buy everything! The Enigma was there with his blue puzzle piece body tattoos and demon horn implants. Maybe you remember him best as the carnival performer in that episode of “The X-Files” where he ate a “in fetu” atrophied conjoined twin that came back to life? I was too scared to get a pic with him. Click here to see all the guests from DINK 2016.

Do you DINK? If you haven’t then be sure to next year! What underground comic book artists are you fond of? Tell us on social media or in the comments below.

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