It’s May in Ottawa, so you know what that means, mofos! What? No, I’m not talking about Tulip Fest! It’s the third annual Ottawa Comiccon!
Like last year, I decided to go for the entire weekend, but this time I upgraded to the “deluxe” pass. The deluxe pass allowed me to enter the convention about an hour or two before all the “normies”. I must say, it was the best money I’ve ever spent. Conventions are always so jam-packed full of people, it’s nice to get some time to look around without bumping into someone every second.
Just before the convention started, it was announced that the artists from Breaking Lead would be giving away a limited number prints. I was lucky enough to get all three. They gave away a cool print of Snake Eyes fighting Darth Maul, and a wicked print of Freddy fighting Jason. My favourite though has to be the TMNT print. Look at how beautiful it is.
Can you believe they gave that away for free? Very generous.
In terms of other freebies, being a deluxe pass holder entitled me to an exclusive comic book. There were a few different ones, but they gave them out randomly. I was given the exclusive X-Files cover which featured Mulder and Scully standing next to a filing cabinet.
I was less than thrilled with this, so I went to the con store and bought the exclusive G.I. Joe cover, as well as a Neal Adams Amazing Spider-Man cover he did for a Montreal Comiccon a while back.
A little better, I think. After picking up these books I did a little more shopping.
It is no secret that I have a mild (er… major) Funko Pop Vinyl addiction. With the time I had left before the normies came into the con, I scoured the hall for the best deals to expand my collection. Within an hour and a half, I picked up 9 new figures. Yup, you read that right. I bought 9 more Funko Pop Vinyl figures. As if I didn’t have enough already, right? Anyway, my first purchase was the complete Pulp Fiction set.
Doesn’t Jimmie look awesome? And isn’t awesome that there is a Jimmie figure? One final question: Where’s the gimp?
After buying the Tarantino-inspired (inaction) figures, I found a booth selling these little beauties.
But here is the figure I am most proud of.
It’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man! Isn’t he great? He’s like… 3 times the size of the other figures.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Where’s Winston? Apparently he isn’t available in Canada yet, but when he is, he’ll come with an Ecto-1. It’ll be worth the wait, yes?
In addition to spending all of my money, I decided to sit in on a number of panels. The first was a panel where someone discussed their research into what is known as the 100-Yen myth. The story goes that the arcade game Space Invaders was so popular in Japan it caused a shortage of 100-Yen coins. Of course it’s completely untrue, but it makes for an interesting story.
I also partook in what has become sort of an annual tradition for me at Ottawa Comiccon: The Neal Adams Panel. Neal Adams is always incredibly entertaining. If you ever get the chance, you should listen to him speak. He is completely honest and he pulls absolutely no punches. It’s one of my favourite things to do every year.
I finished my Friday by going to something called BattleCOM. Basically, it’s a cross between stand-up comedy, improv and a game show. The best part was there were people who appeared to be actual stand-up comics competing against people who literally came in off the street. It was both beautiful and horrible at the same time. It was so amazing, I went to their second show on Saturday.
Speaking of Saturday, I spent most of it in Q and A sessions and other panels. The day started with the Summer Glau Q and A session. In all honesty, it was kinda boring. She was funny and charming, but the questions weren’t exactly stellar: What was your favourite role?… What got you into acting?… etcetera, etcetera. Unless you get some interesting questions these things can be rather dry affairs. The best question of the panel was something like, if you were a piece of kitchenware, what would you be? Answer: a ladle made of olive wood.
Anyway, what lacked in the Summer Glau panel was easily made up for in the Bruce Campbell panel I attended next. It further solidified my opinion that Bruce Campbell is a genius. Instead of asking him questions, he invites interesting people in the crowd to come up on stage and form a panel. Then he invites people in the audience to ask the panel questions while he moderates and makes fun of everyone. It was pretty amazing.
On Sunday my wife and son joined me at the convention. It was my son’s first con and he was very excited. And by excited, I of course mean sleepy. But before they arrived, I waited in line for close to two hours for the opportunity to meet Summer Glau and have her sign something. The something in question was my DVD copy of Serenity.
If you can’t read it, it says: “For Chris, Serenity always – Summer Glau”. No big deal. I mean, we’re probably not going to run away and get married or anything, but you may want to watch your mail for a “save the date” card just in case.
My family arrived just after my meeting with Ms. Glau. We walked the floor a bit and had our picture taken with some Star Wars characters. Unfortunately, at the time of this posting, the photo is not available. Sad face.
After lunch (five dollar hotdogs, what?), we made our way to the panel room to watch some real artists play Sketcherades. It’s basically Pictionary… but, not called Pictionary. It’s amazing how talented some comic book artists are. Yanick Paquette drew a recognizable Alien (from the movie Alien) in under 5 seconds. It even looked pretty cool. I can only imagine how awesome his Alien would look if he had some time to work on it.
After Sketcherades, we stuck around for the Crystal Basement improv group. My wife and I are big improv fans, and it’s cool to see a group that focuses on geeky things.
Before we left the convention, I bought a couple things for my son. I bought him a Flash onsie and a Batman t-shirt he can wear when he’s older.
Look! It comes with a cape!
One of the best parts of any comic book convention is looking at all the cool costumes that people wear. Typically I don’t want to bother anyone, so I usually don’t ask people to take pictures with me. However, a couple of my friends are cosplayers and I decided I didn’t mind bothering them for a few photos.
Here’s a photo of me with Indie Red (aka Sarah).
Here’s a photo of me with Rebecculous (aka Becky).
And here’s a photo of me with Sarah, Becky and Supergirl (sorry I don’t know your name 😦 ).
Wasn’t it nice of Becky to give me all those throat hugs and noogies? 🙂
The convention seemed to be organized well, but if I were to have one criticism it would be that absolutely nothing I went to started on time. None of the panels started on time, none of the Q and A sessions started on time, and even the doors to the convention hall itself didn’t open on time. Other than that, I had a great time. I can’t wait to do it all again next year! If you like this sort of thing, you owe it to yourself to make your way to a comiccon. You won’t regret it.