Where culture goes POP!
Sue and I headed to Niagara Falls for their comic con in their brand new Scotiabank Convention Center. Chris Dabrowski Co-Owner of the show, who handles the celebrity bookings, as well as the PR & Marketing for the event kindly set us up with a media pass for the day, which we put to use documenting the day and chatting to a great many people.
What follows will be a photo journey through our day, as well as talking about some of the fantastic people we met.
This young Han Solo on the left won the awesome award as far as Sue and I were concerned. We saw him waiting in line with his parents, and practically ambushed them when they came in to take his pic. At some point through the day, they came across one of the original Kenner Millennium Falcon’s which he promptly carried around with him for the remainder of the day.
Also present, are the always awesome 501st, the stormtrooper legion comprised of fans who craft and upkeep their outfits, and do some fantastic charity work!
The fan turn out for the event was fantastic, there was always a steady line of people coming in, and all of them seemed to be having a brilliant time.
The exhibitor tables were a lot of fun, and we found a number of them we loved, as well as some fantastic artists!
One of them, which we will be following eagerly, as they have told us a web presence is imminent, is The Gift Crypt. At this table, there were hand crafted gothic items, as well as some homemade candies and chocolate, chocolate skulls, mints, and an amazing assortment of goodies. I highly recommend watching for this site when it pops up so keep your eyes open! If you would like to get in touch with them before hand their email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
There were tons of collectibles, ranging from the pre-loved to brand new goodies, and they were all fairly, and amazingly priced, actually some of the best prices I’ve seen at a convention, and will probably be the baseline I use from now on when shopping at a convention.
I chatted with a number of comic book exhibitors, the wonderful gents from Pulp Comics in Niagara Falls itself, as well as Paradise Comics, Mostly Comics. Every single vendor I chatted with was eager, professional, knew their products incredibly well, and some of them were happily surprised by how busy the event turned out to be, some of them selling out of the inventory of certain titles that brought today, Batman Hush was incredibly popular! (I found a couple of Iron Man hardcover graphic novels for insanely cheap prices – 50% off the US cover price!! How sweet is that?!?! As well as an IDW Star Trek comic I was missing from my collection!)
One of the best things about conventions are the costumes, especially when people throw their imagination into it. You can’t help but wonder what happened to poor Robin and his sweetie in the pic to the left, but it looks awesome!
The Joker made a wicked appearance, and sadly, promptly made a baby cry. I’d say that’s perfectly in character for that fella.
There was a Rainbow Brite accompanied by a Strawberry Shortcake, there were at least 3 Tony Stark-types, and that isn’t including me with my new Tony-inspired goatee and shorter hair.
The security was maintained by roving clone troopers (not true, security there was awesome, and not a single untoward incident happened all day) of which there was a surprising number.
We also chatted with a number of artists, and I got a nice little print from Chris DeLara that I need to get a frame for (along with other pieces I’ve purchased over the years).
We found time to chat with artist Steve McGinnis, who recently made the leap from producing children’s art to horror art, and had one of his prints for sale that showed the bridge between them, a wicked picture of a little girl offering a lollipop to a bloodied, weapon-wielding Jason from the Friday the 13th series. You can check out his site here which he’s told us he’s going to update with a variety of his other pieces as well. If something strikes your fancy, I’m sure you’ll be able to order it through his site.
Oftentimes at a con, as much as I am having a great time, I am always reminded of the jostling masses surrounding me all intent on doing their own thing, and while the floor was constantly packed (the Bret Hart line was insane! I have never seen so many golden belts slung over shoulders in my life!) everyone was friendly, polite, eager to talk, and always more than happy to pose for a pic, or take a pic for you if you asked.
Wandering through Artists’ Alley, we chatted with the likes of Ty Templeton, Dave Ross, Mike Hogue and Ken Lashley who created this awesome Star Wars print…
Each one of the artists were exceedingly gracious with their time, chatting happily with each of their visitors, offering advice, opinions, and talking about some of their favorite characters and pieces.
The celebrity signing area, played host to a number of familiar faces and names, including the brilliant Robert Picardo, who talked with his fans in a Q&A as well as fielded questions at his table as he signed Star Trek: Voyager and Stargate memorabilia.
The man is erudite, well-read and charming, smiling and chatting with everyone.
Burt Ward, Robin from the original Batman TV Series was under a slew of fans, laughing, talking and sharing memories with a seemingly unending line!
The celebrity area was constantly busy much to the delight of the fans, and the lines moved smoothly, each fan waiting for their moment, but never intruding on the time of the person before or behind them.
Little Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl on the Walking Dead, seemed to be having a great time, and towards the end of the day found time to sit in the Back To The Future DeLorean that was on site. It’s tough at that age to be the center of so much attention, but young Riggs handled it well, and always seemed to be ready for more.
Also on hand was a bearded Dustin Diamond, best known for Screech from Saved By The Bell. Every time I saw him he was laughing or very engaged in talking amiably with the scores of folk who came to see him.
Throughout the course of the day, there were photo ops with the guests in front of green-screens to drop you into high-school, a horde of zombies, the bat-cave or a wrestling ring depending on the guest. There were also Q&As through the day, as well as a screening of Niagara Falls home town girl, and fan favorite April Mullen and Tim Doiron’s film Rock, Paper, Scissors: Way of the Tosser.
The man’s a big teddy bear, and seems more appropriate to take on the role of Santa Claus as opposed to the terrifying cannibalistic killer he portrayed.
He and his cast mates, were across from the MacabreCon table that had arranged for them to be there, and were a great bunch of guys, including a clutch of filmmakers who are working on a feature film entitled Android Re-Enactment, have a look at their site here.
And long before there was a show called Jackass, there was another guy doing all kinds of crazy stunts and almost killing himself doing stunts and broadcasting them in the Southern Ontario area, that would be none other than Ralph Zavadil, known to his fans as Cap’n Video.
This guy’s energy was insane, he was rockin’ and rollin’ with each and every person who came to his booth. He was loud, boisterous, and a lot of fun for each of his fans.
Sue and I spent the day in close proximity to the Cap’n as we chatted and helped our dear friends April and Tim, promoting their two previous films, Rock, Paper, Scissors and Gravy Train, while talking about their upcoming film (which Sue and I have cameos in) Dead Before Dawn 3D!!
They were aided by various members of the Mullen clan (and you’ve never met a bunch of nicer people, EVER) and a young, up and coming filmmaker in his own right, Phil Marinucci. Watch for his name, cause I’m willing to bet we’ll hear more from him, and somewhere in the near future we’ll be having him on our show.
And speaking of our show, we’ll have a brief one up where we have a chat with one of the exhibitors on site… he and his friend constructed and maintain their very own 1966 era Batmobile. It’s perfect in every detail, and looks awesome!!!
So make sure you listen to that!
At the end of the day, Sue and I were ready to head back to Toronto… so we commandeered the Delorean and a hover board…
We’d like to extend our thanks to Chris, and all the folks who made that con possible, it was fun, busy, and one of the smoothest run cons I’ve been to yet! We’ll be back for sure! Thanks for having us!
(Check out the rest of our pics on our Facebook page!)