Peter’s Forest City Comicon 2016 Thoughts
This year was my first Forest City Comicon here in London, Ontario (in Canada for you international readers). The third annual event ran from Saturday Nov. 5-6, 2016 at the London Convention Centre and featured various vendors, special appearances, panels, and many events from 9:30 am until late (including after parties/celebrations).
The schedule was out weeks before the event and an App was even made available to download so you knew what was going on and when. With constant Tweets and information updated on the event’s Facebook page, I had a feeling that we were in for a good, organized time although I still wasn’t 100% sure what to expect entirely.
The weather cooperated for the weekend, which was good for all. Mr. B and I arrived around 9:00 for our media passes (with Dustin following suit about 10 min later) and for the most part, it was painless. We signed in, got our passes and wristbands, and started looking around on the main floor.
At the entrance, you were greeted by friendly volunteers and could see the set up from Project Play London where you could go in and experience different games and compete against other video game fans. If I didn’t have the commitments that I do now and this was four years ago, I would have spent a lot of the weekend in this area! Man…I used to Pwn Noobs (do people even say that anymore?)
In the two rooms to the left of all the gaming goodness were spots where fans of different table top games were playing and interacting with each other. What an awesome site to see. You could even pick up board games to try with friends! I mean, how cool is that?!? All they need is a bar in there!
As well, I got to meet the guys behind In Yer Face Wrasslin! – a wrestling table-top board game that is planning to go to crowdfunding. Being a wrestling fan (you’ve seen this site, right?) I had to know more. The game combines a wrestling ring board, cards that have attacks and blocks/counters, and also require you to use a dice when it comes to being able to kick out of moves. I think I’ll be finding out more in an interview in the future. In the meantime, check them out HERE.
Upstairs was really mind-blowing at first. Probably two-thirds of the upstairs hall featured vendors from across Ontario promoting various things. You had vendors selling thousands of the Funko Pop! figures, various action figures, prop replicas (the Final Fantasy items were just insanely detailed), jewelry, flasks, mugs/cups, cards, vintage toys, clothing, art, books, comics, records, and more! I found the diversity to be really excellent, but I will say I can’t believe the popularity of the Funko Pop! figures – those things were everywhere!
The thing with so many vendors is taking the time to visit them all to see what you want to spend your money on. There were local businesses there such as Speed City Records, The Palasad, Heroes Comics, and LA Mood, just to name a few.
You get caught in the conundrum of buying local vs. buying from someone else, buying toys you may find elsewhere locally vs. buying something unique, spending money on autographs and photos vs. something more tangible. There were so many options and I just couldn’t believe the amount of stuff I could buy or do with my money.
As you walked around the main show floor, you couldn’t help but notice how friendly most of the vendors were. Many engaged in small talk and/or asked how you were or what you may be looking for if you were in front of their booth. I ended up talking with many people and enjoyed the banter. Here are just a few of the vendors that I ended up talking with:
Derek Laufman – I bought three of his prints as I just couldn’t resist the awesome art style that he brought to one of my favourite franchises: Masters of the Universe! Hell, Dustin picked up TWELVE! I picked up a print of He-Man, Beast Man, and Skeletor! I’m sure I’ll be getting more. Check him out at DEREKLAUFMAN.COM.
Sticks & Sewn – All these little pieces of cross-stitch that feature pop culture icons can take him from 40-80 hours to complete. I loved them and would love to have bought some, but I had a limited budget for that day. Maybe one day as they are amazing. My jaw DROPPED when I saw his Mega Man cross stitch pieces. Check him out HERE.
Weelittlestiches – I passed by this booth and Jacqueline & Christopher Gable were very lovely to engage in conversation with. They also had excellent pieces of hand made art based on pop culture icons. I meant to go back and grab a Star Wars piece, but I dropped the ball and totally forgot to go back. I’ll be bugging them online for it! Check out their site HERE.
What’s a Comic-Con without Cosplay? During the weekend there were many people dressed up in various outfits. Some were pretty basic (hell, it’s better than what I could do) to quite elaborate. I did take a few pictures but I didn’t post many on here as I didn’t get people’s permission, nor did I want to hound people with my camera. I will share the awesome Boba Fett costume that this really cool guy was walking around in (if you read this, send me your name and I’ll put it in) – and he gladly took a pic with my daughter who was wearing her Boba Fett onesy. Awww! Memories!
On Sunday there was a Cosplay contest and there was a marriage proposal made on stage! You can search the Twitter feed of Forest City Comicon to see the pics. Congrats to them!
Did I mention the huge-assed truck that was painted and tweaked to look like Optimus Prime from the Transformers? This thing was massive and very, very impressive. It’s amazing what fans can do.
While there were various people speaking on different topics for panel discussions, the main draw for this year was Billy West – THE voice of Stimpy from the classic Ren and Stimpy cartoon and Fry from Futurama. He did two panels a day and they were all pretty much packed.
My friends got their picture with him and an autograph and I’m sure Mr. B wishes he had the money to do the same – as he had some questions for him. I know we could have potentially set something up to get an interview with our press passes, but seeing how this was our first show, we didn’t want to seem demanding.
I was very impressed with the overall event and the amount of diversity with special guests, events, and activities for every one of all ages. I was thinking about what I would request for next year’s show for it to be even better and I’m actually not too sure! Perhaps the success of this year’s two day event, which brought in over 5,000 people, may attract even more vendors that specialize in vintage action figures, horror, and sci-fi (without extra Funko Pop! figures – HA!).
I’d like to thank everyone involved in this event for making it such a great experience. I will DEFINITELY go next year (and the team as well) and I hope you do, too, if you didn’t go this year. Let’s go for 8000 people next year!
I’d also like to personally thank John Houghton for giving an up and coming website/blog the opportunity to report on and enjoy the show. Thank you for all your correspondence.
If any of the vendors would like to contact me for some potential feature on the site, please contact me (Peter) at firstname.lastname@example.org As well, if you’re a first time visitor to the site, check all the social media out (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google +) that’s all linked on the main page. Thanks for reading!
*Note – some pics were taken before the onslaught of people as we were in before the early ticket holders so that’s why people may seems scare at times. As well, if I have a picture up that you see yourself in and you do not want it on the site, please contact me at email@example.com and I will remove it. I don’t want to upset anyone.