HCF 2015 @ GOTHAM CENTRAL!!

How fortuitous was it for Halloween to actually fall on a Saturday this year?? Better still is the fact that almost all comic shops across North America were giving away free, you heard me! free books!! No strings attached, unless it was silly string >_^ If you were lucky, perhaps you collected some candies and chocolates to go with the sweet stash. This is the fourth year for the continental occurrence that not only exalts this ‘pagan holiday’ but promotes literacy.

IMG_4497IMG_4495For those of you who follow me regularly, I spent the day at my local comic shop: Gotham Central Comics & Collectibles. HCF provided thirteen (HAH!) full-sized comics and eight mini-comics from Archie to Zenescope. DC and Marvel each provided two titles. The offerings are all-ages but some content is NSFW.

IMG_4527IMG_4507IMG_4508IMG_4509There was a contest on Gotham Central’s Facebook page. The costumed customer (say that five times fast 😉 with the most ‘likes’ would qualify to win a generous gift certificate. Yours truly snapped shots of all the willing participants and was constantly posting on the social network page.

Cosplay is ubiquitous. Three established alter egos graced the store with their presence: Dr. Stevil in a completely different guise,

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IMG_2903IMG_2916Toronto’s Pink Power Ranger,

IMG_2899IMG_2900and a return visit from TDK Rises Toronto Batman, Mr. Moneybags himself IRL.

IMG_2907IMG_2914The best part of this event is that there were all-Canadian comic creators!!! Not to be dismissive of anyone, the bigger names in attendance were Ty Templeton, Richard Pace, and R.B White. All three gentlemen are veterans of the industry. They have covered all the bases: writing, pencilling, inking, colouring, lettering, and editing!! Each was extremely cordial. Mr. Templeton had a timely release this past week: ROBIN, SON of BATMAN #5 Monster of the Month cover from DC.

IMG_2917IMG_2918ROBIN, SON of BATMAN #5 monster variantMssrs. Pace and White proceeded to inform me of their upcoming work in January 2016 via the PREVIEWS catalog. This is something I will investigate further when that month arrives.

Richard Pace, all smiles 🙂

IMG_2933IMG_2936IMG_2938R.B. White, looks serious but he’s extremely approachable 😀

IMG_2931IMG_2937Richard decided to get real chummy with RB ^_<

IMG_2935Everyone has to start somewhere. The local-area artists are equally as gifted as their bigger-name colleagues!! Jason Loo, the brains behind PITIFUL HUMAN-LIZARD was in attendance with his editor Allison O’Toole. He had with him a freshly-printed Chinatown mini-comic: SHE’S BARB.

IMG_2941IMG_2942Chinatown mini-comic SHE'S BARB with soupOne half of HEROES of the WORLD, Joe Osei Bonsu, was occupied furiously pencilling and colouring multiple requests.

IMG_2927The collective entity known as Spent Pencils had four among them: Arnold Trinidad, Oliver Castañeda, Gerard de la Costa, and Lydia Mejia-Figliomeni. Three more of their number dropped by but it was a casual visit. They were not on official art duty ;-P

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IMG_2957Andrew Thomas, co-creator and artist for AURIC of the GREAT WHITE NORTH, was very obliging. Check out his own renditions of vinyl POP! figures.

IMG_2919Tag team Michal Espinosa and Colton Gilson were together, but separate. Each gentleman brings his own talent to the table.

IMG_2920IMG_2921Boe Boe Creative, the newest guest at Gotham Central, had his own artwork for sale as well as the novella CHRONOKARI ALPHA and the novel EDGE: EAST WIND in PARADISE.

IMG_2924Carlos Camara, the store’s proprietor, had tons of Oreo® Halloween Cookies to offer. These are exclusively imported from the U.S. Everyone was allowed to cheat on the healthy regime yesterday ^_^

IMG_4499There were raffles for an in-store ‘gift bag’ and a grand prize of two statues, a DIY action figure kit, and DEATHSTROKE mask and book set. Getting back to the patrons who had Halloween vestments, I predict that the seventh-month-old baby boy dressed as Bruce Lee and a lion cub was the ultimate winner by a large margin.

IMG_2897IMG_2898Comics are an entertaining and educational medium. The quality of numerous works rival several top literary awards and distinctions. Gone is the stigma that only children would read or casually look through the funny book. The genre is sophisticated, crafted with care, and just plain fun!! Until next year!!

IMG_2915Gotham Central logoGotham Central ad 2015 feat. Deadpool