This weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time with people just like me, NERDS! To me being a nerd is being super passionate about something, whether it’s comics, movies, anime, or a particular TV show. For those of you unfamiliar with the ComiCon scene, a bunch of great people get together, some cosplay, some wear super awesome pop culture t-shirts (like me) get together and celebrate the things they love. Toronto generally hosts two comic con conventions, the smaller Toronto ComiCon (30,000 people) and Fan Expo (150,000 people).
Toronto ComiCon attendees had the opportunity to meet some of their favourite actors such as Karen Gillan of the Dr. Who fame (who cancelled, and then with a resounding sigh of relief quickly uncancelled). Amber Benson (Buffy) and the cast of the Showtime’s Orphan Black, just to name a few. Con goers also have the chance to meet some of their favourite comic book artists, and if they’re lucky even get a sketch!
I urge anyone who has never had the pleasure of attending a con in Toronto to do so at their earliest convenience, and because I’m nice, here is my guide to Toronto ComiCon;
- Bring cash! Almost every single booth (including celebrity autographs, and artists sketches) will only take cash. It’s also a great way to barter, if you see a super cool Professor Snape replica wand, and the vendor is asking for 40.. you can almost always talk then down a couple of bucks with a cash offer.
- Bring Change! .. You might be saying, “Hey Kayley! Thats the same thing as bringing cash” .. It is and it isn’t Toronto ComiCon not only brings out celebrities and artists, but also great organizations like the 501st Leigon, Dr. Who Society of Canada and Ghostbusters Club who are raising money for fantastic Canadian charities, and they want your change! Want a photo with R2D2, no problem! Donate $2 to Make-a-Wish and you’ve got your photo!
- Take the TTC! This weekend was the end of March break, so outside of the con was buzzing, parking was a mess and kids were everywhere!
- Wear comfortable shoes. You’re most likely going to be walking around the con floor at least 20-50 times to be able to take everything in. After 3 days, you’re going to be sorry for wearing those fancy looking shoes instead of your running shoes with ankle support.
- If you plan on attending a panel, line up at least an hour to 30 minutes early. Depending on who the panel is for the room fills quickly, and nothing would be worse than missing the panel your favourite actor is doing.
- CHECK OUT ARTIST ALLEY!! Besides some of the well known names, there are so many talented unknown artists local to Toronto.
- Bring food, the con tends to be a long day, and for the most part there isn’t many options for food at a decent price. Pack up some snacks and PB&J sandwiches to save more money for comics and awesome t-shirts.
- Bring a sketchbook! A small 5×7 sketchbook is great to get sketches from your favourite comic book artists without getting charged an arm and a leg.
- Take photos! As a photographer, I might be biased, but there is no better way to remember a con then taking photos. Take in the fantastic toys, comics and cosplay. Get a photo with your favourite celebrity or artist. Ask Masterchief and Dredd to take a selfie with you. It’s your con! Make sure to remember it.