London Forest City Comicon 2017 Thoughts and Vendor Showcase

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Another Forest City Comicon came and went last Saturday (Sept. 23rd) and I was fortunate enough to go and cover some of the event again along with two of my buds who helped me with the coverage last year (Dustin and Brian’s thoughts are included in this feature).

Before I start, I’d like to thank the organizers for giving the media passes once again and for all the hard work to organize an event this large.  I also have to give props to all the volunteers who helped make the event a great place to be.  It seemed like everything was running smoothly from my perspective.

Once again, the event took place at the London Convention Centre but it was only a one day even this year. The layout of the event seemed to work well.  Project Play was in the same area as last year near the entrance and featured quite a bit of gaming (both digital and board games) once again.  Any time I passed the section, many were engaged and having a great time.  There were also some booths and attractions on the lower level as well.

On the second level, there were some clubs, vendors, and more gaming available in the hall area.  The bright, sunny day shining through the windows helped bring even more energy to everyone there.

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The second floor featured all the vendors from across Ontario who were there to expose their brands and sell their goods.  I have to note that many of these pictures where taken just before or just as the early ticket holders came in so I could have some clean shots and not getting in anyone’s way.  It doesn’t reflect the traffic at the show, which I thought was pretty good.

One thing I also noticed was the amount of Cosplay first thing in the morning. It wasn’t until I had to leave last year that I noticed the influx of people dressing up.  This year, there were many from the get-go and more arrived during the time I was there.  I really loved seeing parents dressing up alongside their children and really made me reflect on how an event like this is such a great thing for families.

There were a few downsides to the show for me – and this isn’t knocking anyone or anything, it’s just for what interests me.  I found this year’s assortment of vendors and businesses to not be as exciting.  I like going to these events to see if I can track down some rare or harder to find figures/collectibles – items that wouldn’t be in regular retail stores like Walmart or Toys R Us here in London.

I didn’t find anything I couldn’t find for cheaper on Ebay, online, at yard sales, OR still even in the stores.  If you’re familiar with my site (or if this is your first time here), you can see what I collect just from the main page.  There was barely any Star Wars collectibles, NECA figures, or TMNT items.  There were no sixth scale figures for sale and barely any vintage figures from any lines or horror stuff.  There were a lot of DIY items, art prints, and niche things – but I don’t buy stuff like that.  And again, that’s not a knock on anyone who makes them, it’s just not what I collect.

As well, seeing how this is a “ComicCon,” there were only two vendors selling comics yet there abundance of Funko Pop figures were everywhere again. I don’t care about those things but I know lots of people go hunting for them.  It makes me want to sing “Pop Goes the World.”

The guests that came this year didn’t interest me too much but it was great to see fans line up to see them.  Some main attractions were actor Billy Boyd (Pipin in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dickey Beer (stunt double for Boba Fett and Luke in Return of the Jedi), and Kenny Hotz & Spencer Rice (from Kenny vs. Spenny fame – these guys I would have liked to meet).

All in all, the event seemed well organized and people seemed to like what they saw but there wasn’t enough stuff for my own interests or what I buy to collect this year. Keep your eyes peeled to the Forest City Comicon site to see what is coming to the show next year and to give your feedback on what you liked and didn’t like.

 

Vendor Showcase!

I met a lot of great people and talked to them about what they were selling, their interests, what they made, and more.  I thought it would be cool to showcase some of those people on here and their talents.

The guys behind the comic, Morgan’s Organs were awesome.  They explained it to me as the adult version of the Pixar movie, Inside Out.  I flipped through it and told them from the look of the characters and the premise would be a good fit for Adult Swim.  I think they will be trying to get a cartoon deal and I wish them the best!

I didn’t have dough on me at the time (my wife was holding it but hadn’t arrived at the time) and I meant to pick up the two issues to show my support.  I’ll be doing it online as it looked like it would be a good read.  Guess what organ the little guy is in the second picture.  Hilarious!

This huge Dalek was beside the table for the London chapter of the Canadian Dr. Who Society (sorry, can’t seem to find any links).  What caught my attention early on was the Dalek, of course.  The amazing story behind it is all about the kid that is standing beside it – he built it.  All of it.  From the engineering to the electronics, it was a labour of love that was supported by his mother.  I was totally in awe.  Way, to go, man! If you’re doing stuff like this now, the world will be your oyster. Keep it up!

I came across this display early on for Mike Thain and his sixth scale figures he has created.   I collect these kinds of figures and wanted to know more but early on when I was making the rounds, I just didn’t have the chance to touch base.  As we weren’t at the display at the same time.  When the doors opened, every time I went back, he was in conversation with others.

In Yer Face Wrasslin! – the board game – came back to Forest City ComicCon to show off the newest additions to the game like ladders and women wrestlers.  The Kickstarter campaign didn’t get enough traction but the perseverance and determination is there and IYFW is definitely listening to all feedback from those who have played the game to make it even better.  I’m sure another go at Kickstarting this game is coming sooner than later.

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Sticks & Sewn was back again this year.  His work was some of my favourite stuff from last year and I had to feature his stuff again.  I am in love with the Mega Man prints and I should have actually bought one of them.  While talking with him, I didn’t even notice the Skeletor shirt he was wearing.  I need one.

I met Marissa Verkuil who was showcasing her art.  She was very pleasant to talk with and I liked how she had some of her own style incorporated into popular characters.  Check out more about her on her Tumblr page.

There was another vendor showing off her work beside Marissa, but I can’t find the card and the two pictures I took of her, she had her with her eyes closed.  If you read this, get a hold of me and I’ll add you to this.

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Steve from The Geekery was showing his line of custom coasters, magnets, and other products.  Many cool little items here for many to check out!

A little further down, Amy Johnston was there with her friend with her handmade jewelry that featured many pop culture icons.  Check her stuff out at Awesome Odditites.

I met Graham M. Misiurak of Duskleaf Media.  His books were impressive and he told me about how he writes the stories and then puts his ideas and concepts out to the art community and finds someone new to bring his ideas to life.  I thought this was really cool idea because he gets to tell his story and gives artists a chance to showcase their work.

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To wrap up my little vendor feature, I met Luanga A. Nuwame who makes really cool 3-D prints from cardboard! Yeah, cardboard! You’d never know it by looking at them.  He can do famous cover replications, sports cards, and even album covers.  He had the first Iron Maiden album cover at his table (it’s under the Punisher logo in the picture).  The bonus with all these is that the image that pops out actually glows in the dark. Check him out at www.zelphacomics.com or on Youtube.

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Dustin’s Thoughts

Forest City Comicon was this past weekend.  I was looking forward to attending and seeing what was new and what was returning and I’d like to thank FCC for the opportunity to check out the show alongside Peter.

I was happy to see all the returning and new artists on hand, seeing as I bought 14 prints off of local artist Derek Laufman last year. He had some new prints available and I would have easily bought some but I don’t have much wall space left in the man cave. I also really enjoyed seeing all the Cosplayers on hand and the effort the put into making such great costumes.

I was a little disappointed because there were so many vendors that homemade items for sale or vendors that brought nothing I collect to the show. It’s nothing personal but a lot of it was just not my cup of tea.

I’m looking forward to going back next year and seeing what in store for the fans.

 

Brian’s Thoughts

This was our second year attending FCCC and the experience was very similar to last year, albeit pared down to one day from the previous year’s 2-day event. I think the term “comic-con” is a bit of a misnomer, as these types of conventions are focused on “nerd” culture as a whole, with the comics themselves only comprising a small part of that world; cosplay, video games, and tabletop gaming are also very well represented if that’s your type of thing. I was there mostly to check out comics though, and there were some amazing deals and finds to be had in that department.

Local EP favourites Heroes were on hand as always, serving up amazing deals on TPBs. I scored a copy of the collected Godzilla in Hell for only $5, you sure can’t beat that! Lots of rare and key books were on sale from vendors as well, if you were willing to part with some serious cash; I had my eye on a 9.4 rated Giant-Size X-Men #1 for example, but was a little short of the $2950.00 asking price.  It was pretty cool just seeing something like that in real life, though. My favourite part of the convention was talking to the guy who had the Bruce Lee collection on display, and checking out the crazy amount of items in his collection. None of it was for sale though, which was kinda weird. Renting a table to simply show off seems so bizarre, I hope the dude made money somehow!

That being said I feel like the main drawing point of the con is the cosplay. I really felt like there were a lot of people there just to play dress-up and check each other’s costumes out, you know? Search the hashtags for the event, and compare the amount of cosplay photos to the amount of photos of comics and you’ll see what I mean. I can’t say I was impressed by the celebrity guests, nothing in that area had that “Wow! Gotta meet him/her!” factor for me although someone like Billy Boyd appeared to be warmly received by many enthusiastic fans, so take my words with a grain of salt.

Really, any kind of toy or comic or whatever you fancy can be bought on the internet for probably cheaper than you’d find here; the experience of bringing so many people together to celebrate all the geeky crap we love is what conventions are all about, and in that regard I think FCCC was very successful. It was really cool to see families checking out the event together, and to see so many little kids getting into it. I really hope comic books and FCCC helped spark a lifelong interest in reading and literacy in at least a couple of the young attendees.

My hot take: if you’re a serious collector and not into dressing up, gaming, or meeting celebrities, this event probably isn’t for you. If you’re just looking for a fun day out to do nerdy stuff with friends or family, this would be right up your alley.

 

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