BLOG Toronto ComicCon: Where You Find Your Tribe

For years now I’ve been attending Toronto ComicCon for all sorts of reasons – the comic books and art, anime, the toys, panels, the celebrity autographs and photo ops, and the costumes. But for whatever reasons you attend the convention, when you’re there you’re amongst your tribe members; you feel at home. There is a lot to be excited about, and everyone experiences ComicCon differently. I’m excited to share with you my experience as a geek attending this convention.

With the event featuring plenty of exhibitors, panels, workshops, and celebrity guests, thousands of genre fans packed into the Metro Toronto Convention Centre last weekend. Probably for most the major attractions are the special guest stars which this year included the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Patrick Stewart had by far the longest autograph queue), Sean Astin (Goonies, The Lord Of The Rings), Paul Amos and Kris Holden-Reid (Lost Girl) who were there to promote their new animated web series Captain Canuck, Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, V), Torri Higginson (Stargate Atlantis), Daniel Logan (Star Wars Episode II), the cast of Orphan Black Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris, and every Canadian’s favourite InnerSPACE hosts Ajay Fry, Teddy Wilson, and Cynthia Loyst were there to moderate panels, sign autographs and share in the fun with their fans.

The convention also welcomed anime celebrity guests and artists, as well as comic artists and writers – shout out! – Kalman Andrasofszky (Captain America & Iron Man, Captain Canuck webseries), Anthony Del Col and Connor McCreery (Kill Shakespeare), and many other talented folks (there’s just too many to list!). You can check the Toronto ComicCon website to see the full line-up of everyone you missed meeting if you weren’t able to make it… but there’s always next year!

And with so many autograph queues to get in, and all the amazing panels and booths and workshops to get to, you really needed to have a good convention plan with your friends to get to everything you wanted. Two days was hardly enough to experience all of this events’ awesomeness. So, I’d like to share with you some of my favourite moments from Toronto ComicCon…

InnerSPACE – a phenomenal daily entertainment talk show on the SPACE channel – hosts Ajay Fry, Cynthia Loyst and Teddy Wilson are always a fan favourite at Toronto ComicCon, and they returned this year with their InnerSPACE Live panel recapping another exciting year of InnerSPACE, sharing behind-the-scenes stories and preview upcoming SPACE programming. They also had a special treat for the audience, with surprise guest Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, V) dropping by the panel to talk about her new starring role as a werewolf in the original Canadian suspense drama Bitten that will be premiering with 13-episodes on the SPACE channel (date TBA). The panel generated cheers, laughs, and excitement from the audience; I had a smile on my face and was on the edge of my seat the entire time, proving it was a must-attend panel that weekend. But if you missed the InnerSPACE Live panel, Ajay, Teddy, and Cynthia graciously signed free autographs and posed for pictures in the autograph area. What was obvious is that they appreciate and enjoy their fanbase, and talk passionately to their fans about all things geek. Thank you InnerSPACE, you are loved by the geek community.

One of the biggest draws for me to attend ComicCon is the comics! When I spotted the Captain Canuck booth I was in geek heaven. They were there promoting the new Captain Canuck animated 5-episode web series, and I had a shamless fangirl moment (I recall saying, “you guys are amazing” about 50 times in two minutes) when I discovered Kris Holden-Reid (Lost Girl, Underworld: Awakening) who will be voicing the Captain, and Paul Amos (Lost Girl, Warehouse 13) as the Captain’s arch-nemesis, Mr Gold were signing posters and chatting with con goers about their web series. Toronto- based comic book artist and super cool guy Kalan Andrasofsky (NYX: No Way Home, X-Treme X-Men, X-23) was there as well to talk about his involvement in reshaping the look of Captain Canuck. In their official press release Kalan also says, “We’re trying to take all the best elements of the classic and also layer in the new elements that speak to the way hero mythology has evolved since Canuck was created in 1975.” It was obvious how passionate the entire Captain Canuck team is about the project when they were talking with convention guests about the web series and the launch of an Indiegogo campaign for for it at an exclusive event on 28 March.

Be sure to check out their official website at http://captaincanuck.com/ and LIKE their Captain Canuck Facebook page for exciting news and updates about the project. Also keep a close eye on the SFX website for upcoming blogs and interviews with the creators and actors involved in the series. Their booth was a popular attraction at ComicCon, with the Captain Canuck crew signing posters and posing for pictures, as well as Kris and Paul entertaining the crowd with their shenanigans. Should Captain Canuck and Mr Gold be this playful together? Aren’t they supposed to fight or something? I guess a thumb war counts…

Paul Amos (Mr Gold) had this to say about attending this year’s convention: “I thought the convention was a wonderful alternate Universe, full of fun nerds, of which I class myself sometimes!” Thank you Paul, Kris, Kalan, and the entire Captain Canuck crew who helped make Toronto ComicCon a little more extra special this year with your presence.

Walking the convention floor to check out the exhibitors and all the cosplayers is always a blast – there are some seriously impressive costumes! – your whole weekend could easily be spent checking out all the new toys, art, and asking to take pictures of people wearing amazing outfits. And then there’s those unexpected moments that you’ll never forget, like when you spot the caped hero, Toronto Batman and shyly ask to get a picture with him…

And when the picture is being taken he shouts, “MY PARENTS ARE DEAD!” and then kisses you and calls you “cute.” Isn’t that like, every geek girl’s fantasy? Achievement unlocked! Yes Toronto Batman, I will marry you.

What a fantastic weekend; with lots of celebrity guests in attendance, plenty of exhibitors to indulge in, and with a welcoming atmosphere and feeling of geek pride, this is one of the best genre conventions yet! Thank you to everyone involved and to everyone who attended – shout out to all the new friends made this past weekend – for making this an unforgettable experience. Be seeing you in the future, Toronto ComicCon.

Kell Harker

• Special thanks to Melissa Kennedy (Batgirl) and Jennifer Kennedy (Wonder Woman) for coming with me to this convention and for taking pictures. Also *fist-bumps* to the Captain Canuck web series tream for putting up with all my questions and begging to get pictures with Kris and Paul. *High-fives* to my InnerSPACE friends Ajay, Teddy, and Cynthia for continuing to impress me with your passion, humour, and generosity to your fans.

• If you plan to attend Toronto ComicCon you can find more details on their website at comiccontoronto.com. Hope to see you there next year!

Want to become a Captain Canuck Club Member? Check out the Captain Canuck HQ at www.captaincanuck.com for details and a teaser video of the 5-episode web series, and don’t forget to visit their Facebook page.

• You can catch InnerSPACE 6pm and 11pm weeknights on the SPACE channel… if you live in Canada.

• Did you attend Toronto ComicCon? What did you think of the convention? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below (unless you’re planning to propose to Toronto Batman, because he’s already taken.)