As winter stubbornly refused to release its grip on Toronto, thousands of pop culture enthusiasts streamed into the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for Toronto ComiCon 2015. This year’s event, which effectively kicked off the 2015 con season, was a successful affair as comic book fans, cosplayers, memorabilia collectors and TV and film fans packed the convention floor to immerse themselves in geek culture.
Fans of science fiction were treated to appearances from celebrities like Karen Gillan (Dr. Who, Guardians of the Galaxy), Chad Coleman (The Walking Dead), Terry Farrell (Star Trek: DS9), J. August Richards (Marvel’s Agents of Shield), and Christopher Judge (Stargate). Also in attendance were the cast of Defiance and the Sailor Moon cartoon.
Artists such as Becky Cloonan, Neil Adams, Mike Rooth, Yanick Paquette, Andy Belanger and Ken Lashley were on hand signing comics and providing sketches for eager comic book fans. On Saturday, Captain Canuck creator, Richard Comely signed comics and greeted fans in the Big B Comics booth. Independent artists and publishers, FX make-up artists and jewelry artisans filled Artist Alley and provided the patrons walking the aisles with a glimpse of the talent that is present in the industry. There were also workshops and panels including a couple of “sketch offs” where two artists competed against each other in front of an audience. One scheduled match featured Ken Lashley vs. Leonard Kirk.
Cosplay was everywhere over the weekend. The ingenuity and creativity of some of the costumes was amazing. Sailor Moons, Elsas, and Deadpools of all ages and genders gathered in the lobby outside of the convention hall to meet, pose for pictures and display their craftsmanship. It was great to see the enthusiasm of all the cosplayers as well as their dedication to the art form.
A good portion of the convention hall was dedicated to retailers. Traffic was heavy all weekend in the aisles around the vendors. Fans of geek culture had the opportunity to purchase vintage toys, acquire shields and swords for cosplay, as well as t-shirts and other articles of clothing featuring fan favourites from Dr. Who to My Little Pony. What would a comic book convention be without comics and there were a plethora of gems available for anyone willing to part with their hard earned cash. Back issues of the Fantastic Four went for a couple of dollars while comics like Amazing Fantasy #15 and Incredible Hulk #1 were available for serious collectors who didn’t mind spending thousands of dollars on a single issue. Feedback from comic book retailers like A.K. Comics, Gotham Central, the Silver Snail and Big B Comics was quite positive. They all seemed to be pretty happy with the level of traffic around their booths and the amount of sales they generated over the weekend.
Judging from the smiling faces of the kids in attendance, the large crowds on all three days and the feedback from retailers, Toronto ComiCon was a success. It was was a great start to the convention season and the con promises to be an even bigger event when it returns next spring.