Sunday, March 20th – the first day of Spring.
And with the spring melteth the carbonite.
Superheroes, Star Wars and Ghostbusters. Manga, Anime and Master Chief. Longboxes, movie posters and original art. Everything that was, is and will be pop culture this year, reared itself up from a mighty winter slumber, yawned, and stretched its way out of bed, gathering with a like-minded niche in downtown Toronto.
And all dressed in cosplay, of course!
The 2016 edition of the TORONTO COMICON ran from March 18 through to the 20th this past weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, waving an important hand high in the North American pop culture landscape – successfully ushering in this year’s Con season!
Get the goods after the jump!
For all of its various attractions, TORONTO COMICON, probably more than anything else, is a promise to Con-goers.
Sure, it’s got everything you’d expect from a pop culture convention: it’s got all of the comic books and magazines that you’re looking for as well as their various writers and artists. It’s got Artist Alley, where you can find all manner of handcrafted goods including detailed dioramas of Batman’s Bat Cave, Elsa and Ann’s Frozen castle and, amazingly, a spread for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band complete with Blue Meanies (that I know a certain Biff Bam Pop! Editor-In-Chief picked up for himself). It’s got bathrobes in the style of your favourite heroes so that you can come out of the morning shower in both soft, cuddly luxury, and grandiose super power.
TORONTO COMICON, full of film and television stars and great costumes and pop culture energy, is a guarantee that FAN EXPO CANADA, the nation’s premiere comic book, film and video game expo, is just a couple of seasons away.
But that doesn’t mean that TORONTO COMICON isn’t worthy of attendance. On the contrary, it was full of the great attractions one might be accustomed to – with some a little more timely than others.
As a comic book fan, it was great to see the names of creators that don’t generally make the trek to Toronto every year: industry veteran John Ostrander, the original writer and creator of the Suicide Squad was here. I know you’ll be seeing that movie later this year. So too was the original artistic team behind Marvel’s now-classic 1980’s romp, Secret Wars: writer Jim Shooter and artists Mike Zeck and John Beatty. The guy who made Deadpool famous, Rob Liefeld, was in attendance as well.
If you’re a fan of film and television, there were plenty of Hollywood stars for you to meet and greet including Jason Issacs (Harry Potter films), Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) among many, many others.
After thoughtfully deciding if I was #TeamBatman or #TeamSuperman in advance of this week’s release of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film, I spent much of my time milling about the artist craft tables and vintage comic books long boxes, casually searching for Richard Dragon King-Fu Fighter #5 (the first appearance of Lady Shiva). Instead I found a wealth of early 1980’s graphic novels and compilation books – science fiction and fantasy stories from when I first started reading the art form – and picked up a few at a decent price. Yes, they’re awesome, but surely nostalgia won both me and my wallet over.
Programming was another highlight, with spotlight panels catering to anime , live stage plays, sketch duels, celebrity Q&A’s, and finely moderated comic book panels.
And, of course, like every comic book convention, the cosplay was the real cherry on top. Kudos to the men and women, guys and gals, boys and girls that take the time to dress up as their favourite pop culture characters. They always add necessary life and colour to the Con experience.
And they help to ensure that con goers re-visit again and again. Ah, yes. The promise:
With over 140,000 fans expected, the 2016 edition of FAN EXPO CANADA during the weekend of September 1-4 can’t come soon enough!
Visit www.fanexpocanada.com for details on upcoming convention news, information and excitement or follow at @FanExpoCanada!