Sure this coming Monday marks the first official day of spring, but for pop culture junkies like myself, this time of year feels like Christmas. Today marks the kick-off of Toronto ComiCon, a three-day all-ages convention celebrating comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, video games, horror, and anime. Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (located in downtown Toronto), the event brings together world-famous writers, directors, actors, cosplayers, and artists with fans to celebrate their mutual love of pop culture entertainment.
By attending a ComiCon event (or Con as the cool kids like to call them), you are opening yourself up to an all-out assault on your senses. Even those with years of attending Cons under their belt are prone to occasional bouts of stimulation overload — you haven’t truly lived until you’ve seen a man dressed as Kylo Ren hitting on a Lumpy Space Princess cosplayer. In order to help readers make the most of Toronto ComiCon’s geektastic 3-days, here is a list of information tailored to assist in navigating the weekend.
WHERE IS IT?
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
255 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5V 2W6
WHEN IS IT?
March 18, 2016 – Fri 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
March 19, 2016 – Sat 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
March 20, 2016 – Sun 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
WHAT IS THERE TO DO?
Die-hard comic book and graphic novel lovers can’t leave Toronto ComiCon without a trip down Artist Alley. Artist Alley is where fans get to meet some of the industry’s most talented pencilers, inkers, and writers. This area offers attendees an opportunity to purchase limited edition prints, original artwork, and one of a kind sketches.
Last week, the trailer for Paul Feig’s new Ghostbuster movie dropped, taking over everyone’s social media feeds. Toronto ComiCon is offering attendees a chance to see a major prop from the film that started it all. All weekend long, fans will have an opportunity to take photos with The Ghostbusters’ original ride, Ecto-1. And the cherry on top of this nostalgia sundae? Original Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore) will also be on hand for photo ops.
Toronto ComiCon offers attendees a chance to live out their inner treasure-hunter fantasies. The event features over 15,000 sq. ft. of “shopping madness.” Whether you’re in the market for a limited edition Heath Ledger/Joker bobblehead or a Walking Dead/Princess Peach mash-up t-shirt for the love of your life, Toronto ComiCon has you covered. Limited edition comics…check. Battlestar Galactica coffee mug…check. Tokyo Ghoul winter hoodies…triple check. Shopaholics need be wary, the retailer area may just drain your bank account faster than Bane at the Gotham Stock Exchange.
Secret Wars Reunion Panel
The Secret Wars Reunion Panel is a wonderful treat for comic book readers. Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck, and John Beatty are set to sit down and discuss their incredible careers and reflect on Marvel’s iconic Secret Wars miniseries.
Workshops And Seminars
Attendees can’t have the complete Con experience without sitting in on at least one panel, and what’s more appropriate than a panel on cosplay. Sure, anybody can throw on some zombie makeup and ragged clothing and call themselves a cosplayer. However, hard-core cosplayers place a level of craftsmanship into their attire that must be seen in person to be believed. Those interested in the cosplay but unsure of where to start can check out a Cosplaying for Beginners panel. Due to the increasing popularity of Steampunk, Toronto ComiCon is offering several Steampunk themed panels. Topics include a Steampunk Costuming Panel, Steampunk Gadgets and Gizmos, and Steampunk Artisans.
No one element at Toronto ComiCon leaves a bigger impression on attendees than the cosplay. No matter where one turns, they can count on seeing cosplay enthusiasts sporting elaborate costumes based on every genre imaginable. While the weekend features numerous world-famous cosplayers that will be taking photos, signing autographs, and hosting panels, it’s the memories of passionate fans that stay with attendees long after the event is over. Don’t be afraid to let your inner-nerd loose on the convention floor. Go all in on embracing the ComiCon spirit and soak up the camaraderie. You’ll be glad that you did.
Toronto ComiCon Official After Party: Friday, March 18 at 9:00 pm
Brassaii Lounge (461 King St. W.) is holding the official Toronto Comicon After-Party. The party will be hosted by the cosplayers of Geekxgirls.com and DJ Lazarus is set to spin retro tunes all night. The party also features drink specials and special guests. Dress code: Stylish & upscale or cosplay.