If you weren’t at this year’s Montreal Comic-con, which was held from the 12th until the 14th of September at the Palais des Congres, then did you ever miss out. Although the Montreal convention isn’t normally known for its selection of guests, this year the con managed to not just pull in a few stars, but a few living legends too.
Gracing the city with his iconic presence was legendary film writer and director, George A. Romero. The man who invented zombies with his film Night Of The Living Dead (1968) not only came to Montreal, not only had his own Q&A panel with Ken Foree (known best for his work in Dawn Of The Dead, 1978), but had a booth where fans of his work could meet him one on one and speak with him. He was down to earth, quick as a whip, and a genuinely nice guy as his fans lined up to ask him the questions that have been on their mind since seeing his films.
The incredible WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan came to the convention where his panel was packed to the rafters with Wrestlemania fans all wanting him to answer their questions or sign their replica wrestling belts. Much like Hogan’s panel, the Q&A session for Arrow’s Stephen Amell was full to capacity with people all try to get a glimpse of the bow wielding vigilante. Let’s also not forget the sold-out, full to bursting Star Trek; The Next Generation – Engaged panel that had Next Generation Trekkies flocking from all around Quebec to catch of glimpse of stars like LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, and Sir Patrick Stewart himself.
In addition to celebrity panels, the convention offered attendees a plethora of workshops and guest speakers who came to discuss a variety of topics. From writing women in horror, to learning how to craft better costumes for a more successful cosplay, to video game companies explaining their latest techniques and projects, there was something for everyone at the Montreal Comic-con.
Although the convention centres mainly around pop culture, genred fiction (both in literature and television), comic book culture, and anime, the con also included the Montreal Horrorfest as part of its scheduled events for the weekend. Showings of never before seen horror films, panels with Romero and Foree, and even a Q&A session with Robert Englund (best known for his work as Freddy in A Nightmare On Elm Street film franchise), Amanda Wyss and Heather Langenkamp (both known for their work in A Nightmare On Elm Street, 1984).
While the convention offered plenty of workshops and panels throughout the weekend, there didn’t seem to be as much to do as there was in 2013. There were no N64 tournaments, no video game rooms, no rooms in the convention centre that guests could use to just unwind in while watching some Anime (like they’d had at this year’s Otakuthon). And although they managed to maximize the space of the convention centre, unlike last year’s cramped feeling layout, the queue to get into the con seemed needlessly complicated and long. The prices for signatures and photo ops also felt greatly saturated from years past, with Norman Reedus asking $80 for a signature while Amell was asking $65. The prices were steep without reason, although whether it’s the organizers or the stars’ managers to blame has yet to be decided. However there were a few free signatures attendees could get, including the crew of Montreal’s own Epic Meal Time.
Lastly, although the Montreal Comic-con was widely a success, fans couldn’t help but feel miffed at Matt Smith suddenly pulling out of the convention. Although the press release on their website Friday morning explained that it was a last minute work obligation, fans who’d purchased tickets to the event, or to the ticketed Hour Of The Doctor meet and greet, couldn’t help but feel a bit sore.
Overall, the Montreal 2014 Comic-con was a hit with convention goers. From great panels to great workshops, to even better artist and celebrities, the con was deeply memorable and we at Sound On Sight can’t wait to see how much larger it gets next year.