Pop Culture

Courtesy of Indigenous POP X Denver

While Colorado hosts a variety of comic and pop-culture conventions, its first one focused on Indigenous cultures will be taking place this weekend.

An expansion of Albuquerque’s popular Indigenous Comic Con, Indigenous POP X Denver will feature indigenous artists and panels.

KTBuffy / Flickr: Creative Commons

Every year at Denver’s annual Comic Con, there are a lot of caped crusaders and fantastical sci-fi characters running around the Colorado Convention Center. But what happens when Spider-Man’s tights get a rip in them? Or Harry Potter’s glasses break?

That’s where Alex Freese steps in.

Instead of dressing up as Wonder Woman or Harley Quinn, Freese dons a camouflage Army jacket with her title, “Cosplay Medic,” emblazoned on the sleeve.

Courtesy of Moriah Hummer

By night, Moriah Hummer dukes it out on the roller derby track as “The Original Skankster.” By day, she’s behind the comic book, Flat Track Furies, about a roller derby team that fights monsters.

Like her characters, the Unblinkable Molly Brown and Dora the Destroyer, the Fort Collins artist is tough, but some of the ugliest battles she sees are off the page. Sexism, racism, and homophobia are the new villains of the comic world -- but things are changing.

Ann Marie Awad / KUNC

At Denver Comic Con, fans will be vying to meet TV and film stars and grabbing titles by their favorite authors and artists. Among all that pop culture mayhem you’ll find a new comic book by a relatively unknown group of creators: inmates at the Boulder County Jail.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

The 1800s horse-drawn hearse and miniature submarine at Washington’s Sports Bar & Grill aren’t the strangest things Lee McBride has ever auctioned off. That title might go to the beloved stuffed pet Samoyed or maybe the coffin with the actual human skeleton in it (“It’s legal,” McBride assured).

The thousands of antique farm implements, movie props and just plain weird odds and ends on the walls and ceilings of the Fort Collins bar certainly are up there, though.

“There’s a market for anything,” he chuckled, looking at a creepy paper mache mask of a grinning, noseless George Washington.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

Adam Lefkoff still remembers as a child going with his father, an attorney, to visit a client at home.

"He had three pinball machines in his house," Adam said. "And that - as a 5-year-old living in Atlanta - that just blew my mind. 'Oh my goodness, you can have pinball machines in your house?'"

The obsession had begun.

Darlene St. John / Darlene St. John Photography

Before rehearsing his opening song in Loveland Opera Theatre's production of the classic Pirates of Penzance, opera singer Adam Ewing needs a little warming up.

"I think the speech-like nature of it lends itself very easily to being sung and kind of stumbled over," Ewing said of his opening number, "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" – more commonly known as the "Major General's Song."

And it is a very commonly known song.

"Something about it - it's just kind of in the public consciousness," Ewing said.

This week, the latest installment in the Star Wars film saga is posting record numbers around the world. In 1981, NPR hoped the interstellar fable would do the same for its audience numbers. That's right: Some of you may have forgotten (and some might not even know) that the network created three radio dramas based on George Lucas' original three movies.

Courtesy of Haeley Vaughn

Haeley Vaughn is sad that after 14 years, American Idol is preparing for its 15th - and final - season.

"It's kind of an era coming to an end," Vaughn said. "It was not just a TV show, it was an event - from the auditions to the finale."

She should know. Six years ago, Vaughn, then a 16-year-old junior at Poudre High School in Fort Collins, was one of those starry-eyed hopefuls rising at 2 a.m. in order to get in line for her shot at making her dreams come true.

Colorado, which has held auditions for the show for at least half of its run, has had its fair share of residents receive a golden ticket. For some, it gave them the incentive to pursue their dream. For others, it was a lesson that Hollywood wasn't for them.

Nintendo's Mario games, in their various forms and genres have been played around the world by hundreds of millions of people. In the original, Mario is a plumber who must speed through the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool.

The game turns 30 this year. Its famed creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, was in Los Angeles this week at the big Electronic Entertainment Expo video game conference to promote the latest version of the game Super Mario Maker.