It’s that time of year again. It’s time to talk about what happened at this year’s Ottawa Comiccon!
There was so much cool stuff to see and do at this year’s convention that it was impossible to see and do it all. So let’s not lolly gaggle. Let’s talk about my time at Ottawa Comiccon 2015!
Unfortunately, things did not start out on an awesome note. I decided to take the bus to the event on Friday, and based on my understanding (as well as the understanding of a bunch of other people who took the bus with me), the 99 bus was going to stop at the convention centre. Boy, were we all wrong on that one. We all ended up getting dropped off in the middle of nowhere and had to wait for a bus to come in the other direction. Luckily, a bus came fairly quickly and things got back on track.
Things went off the rails again however when in within the first hour of being at the con, I spent way more than I had budgeted for on Funko Pop Vinyl figures. Going in, I had intended to buy five specific figures, but when all was said and done, I had acquired a total of eight. By the end of the weekend, I came to terms with buying all those little guys, but at the time I felt pretty bad about myself.
That said, I cheered up immediately when my wife and son arrived. My kid loves people watching, and there is no better place on Earth to people watch than at a comic book convention. I’m always impressed with how my son handles being in big crowds. He never fusses or cries or panics or anything like that (knock on wood). He usually just smiles and looks around. The funniest moment was when we decided to take a picture with some of the members of the 501st Legion. A Wookie tried to give my son a high five, and my kid tried to back away as far as he could while grinning from ear to ear. It made both my wife and I laugh out loud. Anyway, here is our new family portrait.
Anywho, after a while my family decided to head back home and leave me to my own devices. After bouncing around looking at the wares of numerous vendors, I went to the Malcolm McDowell Q&A and listened to an absolute legend talk about his time in Hollywood. Sometimes these panels can be rather dry, with the celebrities answering questions with one cliché after the next. Mr. McDowell on the other hand was very engaging.
As interesting as Malcolm McDowell was, I am a big comic book nerd at heart, so just before the session ended I headed to a panel on the difference between comics now and in the past. This panel was initially supposed to be led by Ty Templeton, but because of his recent health issues (I’m guessing, I could be wrong) he was unable to attend the event. In his place, we had Yanick Paquette and Marco Rudy (both of whom are amazing artists who worked on one of my personal favourite books, Swamp Thing) talking about how they have seen themselves and the business change over time. They did a pretty good job in my opinion, especially since they didn’t appear to have anything to work from ahead of time. I always like listening to comic book creators talk about their experience, and what they like and dislike about the comic book industry. I won’t get into what they said they didn’t like about the way things are going in the world of comics and related entertainment, but I will say that it was hard to disagree with them.
The last thing I did on day one of the convention was watch the Crystal Basement Improv group perform. I saw these folks perform last year and they were just as good this year as they were last. But like all improv troupes, when they are playing a game that requires members of the audience to yell things out in the middle of a skit, they are at the mercy of a crowd who may or may not have the sense of timing it takes to know when it’s a good time to jump in and when it’s a good time to shut up. And this particular crowd didn’t know when to shut up. Regardless, the troupe did a fine job of taking their cues from the audience when need be, and ignoring those times when it didn’t make any sense. As great as the improv was, I had the “pleasure” of sitting next to someone who must have had some sort of plague, because he wouldn’t stop coughing the whole time. I’m looking forward to my plague symptoms showing up at some point in the near future.
Shortly after watching improv, I started to make my way home. I took a bus from the convention to a major hub near my home, where I proceeded to wait for a ridiculously long time for a bus to take me home. I waited so long that I decided to walk the rest of the way. Of course, as soon as I got far enough away from the stop, I saw the bus I had waited for zoom past me. I was so annoyed (and tired) that I decided to stop at McDonald’s for dinner.
It was there in the house of the golden arches where I witnessed something that really bummed me out. A mother was at the counter ordering a Happy Meal for her kid. The clerk asked “Is it for a boy or a girl?” The mother replied it was for her daughter, and the clerk handed her a princess toy or some such shit. I mean, what if the kid wanted the Transformer toy instead? Shouldn’t the guy behind the counter just have asked what toy they wanted, instead of the gender of the child? Ugh. It still bums me out just thinking about it.
And that was it for my first day at Ottawa Comiccon 2015! It wasn’t smiles and rainbows the whole day, but the convention itself was still pretty great. I’ll write about days two and three of the con in the next little while, but until then: