Toronto Comicon March 20th, 2022

So I went to my first comic convention since going to the Guelph Comic Jam in 2019.

Toronto Comicon took place on March 18th to 20th at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. I went with a friend who like me, was a little anxious about going to a comic convention when Covid is still active. We decided to just go up and down for 1 day and do it on Sunday, which is the normally the least crowded day of the convention. I bought some N95 masks for us and hoped for the best.

Late last year when the Covid numbers were down the convention did put on a show and the reviews coming out was the organizers did a good job of spacing everything out, which was nice to hear. This convention in particular is a bit notorious for packing people in like sardines, leading to regular log jams when trying to make your way through the isles. Sadly this was more of the same, but they did require masks to be warn inside and from what I saw 99.9% of people complied. It was a large crowd (much bigger than I was expecting) but I only saw a few people walking around without a mask or wearing it under their nose.

I was told by multiple people that Friday was crazy busy. It seems there was pent up demand for a convention and people came out in huge numbers to participate in this one. Saturday was either almost as busy as Friday and Sunday was less busy as expected. Most of the comic guests were Canadian, with only a small number of Americans coming over the border to attend. This is likely due to the requirement that people pay for, take and provide proof of a negative Covid test just prior to coming into the country. I do not believe there are any tests required to travel to the US. I know I wasn’t asked to provide/take one the two times I drove over the border and back late last year.

Regarding the show I did a little bit of shopping and some catching up with creators I haven’t seen or spoken to in a couple years or more. I took some photos of creators and cosplayers and I attended and recorded a panel put on by Amy Chu and Dan Parent called Let’s Talk Story: Writing for TV and Comics. They spoke to a room with a fairly large number of aspiring writers and spent most of the time answering questions from them. It was mostly about comics but with a bit of TV writing thrown in.

As usual with conventions of this type there is always an odd moment that only happens at a comic book convention. Mine was in the bathroom after the show ended. I saw a guy trying to get out of his Spider-Man suit but couldn’t reach the zipper in the back, so I helped him out. In all it was a good, light show for me to get back into the swing of doing comic conventions again. Thankfully driving to the show and parking nearby was probably the best experience I’ve had attending this show ever. If they have another later this year and it feels safe I will probably attend it for multiple days.

 

King Con 2019

So I went to King Con, a local convention in Kingston, Ontario, Canada that was able to bring in a surprising number of comic book creators, a prose writer, a magician and even a celebrity. The event was held at Sydenham Street United Church and Chalmers United Church as the Kingston Public Library was not yet finished it’s renovations.

David Lloyd Sketch, King Con 2019.

David Lloyd Sketch, King Con 2019.

As usual I mainly stuck to the comic books portion of the show but I did spent some time watching the magician James Harrison do magic and even teach some simple magic. I  took a number of pictures, audio recorded some panels and got to speak with a number of creators which was nice.

I almost never get sketches, but David Lloyd got me to pay for a sketch and I got a nice V for Vendetta from him. David’s sketch also came with a free issue of Aces Weekly, an online comics anthology he puts together. Georgia Webber, Chip Zdarsky, Allison O’Toole & Jason Loo signed their books for me. I got to take pictures of some cosplayers, including several from the 501 Legion, but unfortunately was unable to wait for the cosplay contest as they were running late and I was exhausted.

I did attend but did not record a Group Cosplay Panel which was really well done. I have attended a number of cosplay related panels this was the first one on this particular topic I’ve seen and those on the panel did a great job highlighting the benefits of doing group cosplay. Among the reasons were combining resources, using each others unique skill set  and inspiring each other to work on their costumes.

I had a good time at the convention, but I’m looking forward to it being back at the newly renovated library next year.

 

King Con 2018

Tom Fowler at King Con 2018

Tom Fowler at King Con 2018

I attended a local convention in Kingston, Ontario called King Con. It was held this year at Sydenham Street United Church at 82 Sydenham Street. I personally enjoyed the show and chatting with some creators, some I hadn’t seen in several years.

Some of the creators include: J. Torres, Andrew Wheeler, Attila Adorjany, Kat Verhoeven, Tom Fowler, Craig A. Taillefer, Andrew Thomas, Salgood Sam, San Noir, Dan Day and more. Andrew Wheeler did a panel on the history of LGBTQ Superheroes which I recorded.

There was also a popular magic show, which I enjoyed as the magician (James Harrison) had a very good act. I was talking with him earlier and he was doing the whole ‘find the ball’ trick on me with.

At the end of Saturday there was a cosplay contest that was mainly aimed at kids.

Pictures are here and Audio is here.

 

 

The winner of the cosplay contest is here (recorded and posted with permission):

King Con 2016

KingCon2016

I went to King Con and a related event from March 11 to 13th. King Con is a local comic/gaming convention. Originally King Con was just a gaming convention, I never attended it but my understanding is it was on hiatus for a while before our local public library took it over last year. Now it’s half gaming convention and half TCAF like convention, but on a very small scale.

On the 11th, I went to the Screening Room (local mainly indy movie theatre) for a showing of Seth’s Dominion, which is a documentary about the cartoonist Seth. They gave out tickets for a door price of the latest Palookaville book. Seth gave a small introduction explaining that they were going to start with two short animated cartoons done using Seth’s work. One was called the Great Machine, the other Kao-Kuk. Seth wanted it known that these stories were not typical of his work.

The documentary was a mix of Seth talking about his life, his work – both personal and commercial, it showed a number of his friends talking about him, Seth’s parents were discussed too. I was surprised to learn about some of the things Seth does for himself, this includes developing puppets and doing a show with them and his building a large model city. In between all this are animated short Seth stories.

After the show there was a question and answer with Seth himself. I counted 35 people in the theatre. Among the things Seth revealed is his puppet work is going to become it’s own movie. Seth talked about his relationship with Joe Matt and Chester Brown and said they’ve grown apart because they don’t see each other very often. He said when they all lived in Toronto they were constantly talking comics and sharing their work with each other for feedback, but now that they’ve grown more experienced in their cartooning they don’t need that feedback anymore.

Seth talked about the importance of establishing rules in comics and working within them, then breaking those rules. Seth said he really liked the animation of his work in the documentary and he had nothing to do with it. Seth gave all the credit to the person behind the documentary director and animator Luc Chamberland. He liked it so much he’s now thinking about doing some work in Animation.

Seth revealed that the next Clyde Fans is almost done. He needs to revisit what he’s done and he believes he’ll be making some changes to it. Seth also talked about his relationship with computers. He said he went from hating them to tolerating and using them, but he still keeps his computer on the 3rd floor of his house while he works in the basement so it’s not a distraction.

Seth’s Dominion can be rented or purchased here at the National Film Board of Canada’s website. A DVD will be coming out soon is my understanding.

On Saturday and Sunday I went to the King Con convention itself. There were 2 panels featuring comic creators on Saturday and I’ve audio recorded them. One was on Dan Parent and the other on Seth. I also took some pictures, which are a mix of cosplayers and creators.

On Sunday I came back to chit chat with some of the creators, which was nice. I also came across a pirate musical group called Capt’n Tor & The Naer Do Well Cads. They were going around and singing songs, drawing people to tables that weren’t getting much traffic on the first floor. Here are 2 of their songs. Personally I like the 2nd one better, but both are fun to watch.

 

I only got a couple of books for myself at the convention, one was Lucifer’s Sword by Phil Cross and Ronn Sutton and Epochs #1 by Cody Yeo, Greg Moser and Christian Wolf.