I'm a 35 year old Canadian living in Ontario. I read comics, I love to draw and I collect comic art. I also teach karate, play hockey, and am a dad to 3 girls! My comic book passion lies with Batman and his pals with Nightwing taking a very close #2 favourite position. I began collecting comic art in 2013 and I have several commissions done by Ken Lashley and an amazing Francis Manapul Batman. As well I have sold a few of my own creations!
Get ready comic, horror, sci-fi, gaming, cosplay fans! The third largest expo in North America is happening in just one day! Tens of thousands of people will descend upon Toronto to soak in the glory that is Fan Expo. If you live within traveling distance of Ontario’s capital city and have the time and money, there is going to be a great part under way this weekend.
This will be my second Fan Expo in the last three years. The show I attended in 2013 was my first ever and to say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. There is quite literally too much to take in in just one day. Hundreds of merchants and artists both amateur and professional are gathered, big names in sports and entertainment are there as well.
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Being a comic fan, having the professionals there and art to buy is the element I look forward to the most, and it’s the thing I intend to spend my money on this time around.
New at Toronto Fan Expo this year is the Geekfest Film Festival – an event that will feature many indie films based around the topics of the show overall (horror, superheroes, can culture) personally I love this idea as it adds something new and different to the event. If cruising around in a sea of people is not your thing, you can sit yourself down and relax for a bit and watch some movies.
How great is that?
I’ve had the chance to be in contact with a couple of the creators and I hope to be able to post our interviews with them soon.
My favourite thing about Fan Expo and Comic-Con is the artist alleys. I love watching people create their art and buying commissions has actually become a bit of a hobby of mine. My walls at home feature at least eight pieces I requested in the last two years. What strikes me about commissions as opposed to comic art or prints is that no-one else will ever own the same piece of art that I do, it’s one hundred percent unique to me and my collection. while that does not necessarily do anything for me in terms of value, the point is the piece itself. My favourite piece that I have is a Batman by Francis Manapul that I asked for just as he was beginning his run on detective Comics.
This year will be my first chance to attend a few workshops that are being offered as well. I can’t imagine any better place to get tips and strategies for drawing action and poses than a place where so many veterans of the industry are gathered. Which brings me to the point of being able to chat with current comic artists and writers and just hear their stories while they draw in artist alley or while they are doing sketch duels. You can learn so much just by keeping your ears open.
I feel like I’m rambling on about Toronto Fan Expo, but I’ve barely even scratched the surface of what goes on at the event!
Seriously, do yourself a favour and start making your way to Toronto this weekend, or support your next local comic-con,. It really is money well spent, even if you end up spending a couple hundred dollars more than you intended to in the beginning (buying commissions is really addictive).
Have you been to a comic convention?
Are you coming to Toronto this weekend?
What are you looking forward to the most!
Comment below, and be sure to tweet me if you are going to be there!
Chris Barnes is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @Chrispy47