Comiccon: For Potterheads, Whovians and Trekkies alike
By Alicia Ardelli
We all have interests in which we feel a little too invested. But taking a step into the annual Montreal Comic Convention is an immediate reminder of how normal it is to be so passionate about the things we love, including lightsabers and wizards.
The biggest misconception surrounding comic conventions (or comic cons, for short) is that its events and activities are based solely on comic books. Although there is no shortage of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman at these pop-culture fan conventions, their content includes various television shows and film series of several genres, video games, and tabletop games.
The Montreal Comiccon has been an annual event since 2006, celebrating 10 years of geeky goodness in 2016. It has expanded greatly over the years from an attendance of a mere 700 to over 56 000 during its decade-long run. While attendance has increased, so has the convention’s floor space, which gradually increases each year to accommodate the growing number of exhibits and activities.
Held over the course of three days, the event not only provides attendees with a chance to spend money on collectibles and goodies but also to peruse artworks by both aspiring and renowned artists in a section of the event named “Artists’ Alley.”
Several of the pieces are available for sale as well. A huge source of revenue for the convention is its star-studded guest list that seems to get better as time goes by.
Several big names have attended since the event’s beginning, such as Hulk Hogan, William Shatner (Star Trek), Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men films), Hayley Atwell (Marvel’s Agent Carter, Captain America films) and even the man of Marvel himself, Stan Lee. These special guests will often host panels where fans can ask questions and may even receive interesting behindthe- scenes tidbits from the actors’ projects.
Moreover, fans have the chance to speak with guests one-on-one during autograph sessions and photo opportunities. While the panels are free, prices for the more personal encounters of course vary on the popularity of the guest and can range anywhere from $30 to $120.
Attendees are also greatly encouraged to show up to the event in costume. A staggering amount of fans dress up as their favourite character every year, known widely as ‘cosplay.’ There are some who go to great lengths and spend months on end perfecting their costume, which is impressive to say the least.
Not to mention there’s nothing quite like turning around and suddenly being face-to-face with a life-size Incredible Hulk. There is also a costume contest held at the end of the three-day event to gain the ultimate bragging rights.
Other than costumes, many hardcore fans have spent their life creating exact replicas of vehicles from notable film franchises. There hasn’t been a year when the DeLorean from Back To The Future was missing from its usual spot among the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1 car and the speaking and moving Daleks from Doctor Who.
Prices of tickets for the event range depending on your commitment to it. If you’re willing to spend a full three days roaming about and enjoying the atmosphere, the packages begin at $65 and reach a hefty $275. For the less enthused, single day tickets are available and range from $35 to $149. As the event becomes bigger and better with each passing year, the small increase in prices that follow seems folly in comparison.