BY ROBERT KOUMARELAS
Comicon made its way to the Toronto Convention Centre, and with this, the cosplayers, artists, and lovers of all things nerdy took over for the weekend.
The event had whole sections dedicated to different genres of fandom ranging from comics to gaming, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, anime and many more.
“It’s nice to see people get along over something that someone else has created,” said Zoe Vowels, a first-time attendee and cosplayer at Comicon. “I like how everybody can dress up and how many nice people are here. This is my first Comicon ever, so it’s a bit overwhelming how much there is to see.”
Comicon offers great way for fans to be able to meet their idols and heroes in person by bringing in celebrity guests to talk to, autograph, and take photos. This year the event welcomed Dan Fogler from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Ron Perlman from Hellboy, Tommy Flanagan from Sons of Anarchy, Corbin Bernsen from Star Trek: The Next Generation, John De Lancie also from Star Trek: The Next Generation, John Rhys-Davies from Lord of The Rings, Jaleel White from Family Mattersand Emma Caulfield, from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Many students of Sheridan’s creative programs consider Comicon and similar events as a great way for up-and-coming illustrators and costume creators to showcase their work, create a following and get noticed by the industry.
“This is my third time tabling. I haven’t previously attended this particular Comicon, but have attended a lot of them in my life, I only recently started working at Comicon but it’s still a lot of fun,” said Alex Biasutti, a 2015 Illustration graduate of Sheridan College.
“I just enjoy seeing a lot of the cosplayers around, and everybody’s enthusiasm to check out the booths. Just overall excitement for things that they love. It’s exciting to see what people have made, whether it’s the costumes, or within artist alleys, it’s so much fun,” said Biasutti
Most days it might seem strange for people to dress up in elaborate costumes casually through the streets of Toronto, but all judgment passes when you have the right clothing for the right event.
“It’s an amalgamation of everything geek, dumb and fandom and you don’t really have to be afraid of being like “oh I really like this TV show” or I really like this video game” and you can just express it and nobody’s going to look at you weirdly for it,” said Emilie Thomas, a freelance illustrator, tabled at the illustration alley of Comicon for her second time.
Comicon along with dozens of other events, are held every year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, with over 400 square feet of exhibitors, workshops and presentations to offer fans.
West Hagan is the owner of HaganLand Comicsin Kitchener. He has been selling comics for over 20 years and holds one of the biggest exhibitor stations in the entire Comicon.
“What I love most is watching how it changes over the years. The number of collectors, the number of people that are in the market compared to what it used to be. It used to be a smaller gathering of comic geeks and now you can see, it’s become more mainstream and popular. I’ve watched it happen over the years I’ve been coming here so it’s really interesting to see how it will change in the future,” said Hagen.
Toronto Comicon is owned by Fan Expo HQ and is one of the largest conventions for entertainment in North America. Holding events in many major cities in both Canada and the United States, this entertainment giant hosts over 500,000 fans annually.
This summer the Convention Centre will hold Fan Expo from Aug. 22 to 25, where it’s expected Jason Momoa from Game of Thronesand Aquamanwill be the featured guest.