Con Report

This week Chris and Walt discuss Walt’s trip to the big sports card show in Toronto. The boys explore some of the differences and similarities between comic and card shows.

Please let us know what you thought of the show: leave us a comment. All we ask is that you keep things civil.

What are some of the differences between “comic guys” and “card guys”?

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1688

11 Comments

  1. I have been to comic conventions, rare book and vintage paper conventions, coin and antique conventions, and I’ll tell you the one thing that modern comic conventions have that the others don’t, and that which has chased me away from comic/media conventions, is frickin’ (and I don’t mena “frickin'”) cosplayers!

  2. I don’t mind cosplayers, even a one dressed like Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow.
    But when I see dealer listing at this sports card show includes one starting with the letter “C” who I had a phone call a few years ago who insisted he come to the house to see some old sports cards rather than meet at a coffee shop thats a good reason not to go to a show like that.
    I don’t collect sports stuff, and got out of playing as soon as my father moved on to coaching other teams and divisions.

  3. Mel, I just don’t get em! I mean, I enjoy Wolverine or The Thing as much as the next comic reader, great charachters and would gladly have a beer with them…however at no point have I ever thought ‘I’ll dress up like that to get everyone to look at me’…it seems to me like a desperate plea for attention…and I completely agree with you…no other hobby seems to promote people to cross over into this realm of identity obsession.

  4. Well spoke, Spider! If I have one more R2D2 or Daalek in my face, I swear I will rip out their capacitors and shove them up their diode! And, if I ever do go to a convention again (not bloody likely) where I might meet these whackos, I will be wearing my Cosplayer Slayer costume and carry a very large, sharp broadsword. Add the media circus that comic conventions have become and you are in for a very frustrating time if you just love comics. Your local comic shop is stil the best option for genuine fans! Right Walt?

  5. My niece Joanne (in her 20’s) from the Philippines went to The Toronto Convention as Katara. She had a great time, and appreciates comic collecting and the whole comic and Movie experience. This whole inclusive type of thing was rare pre – year 2000 as Girls were cut out of the comic community around the mid 1970s. (gateway comics as Harvey and Romance comics were gone. Thank you Archis comics though) They actually read the comics they buy today.
    Further regarding Cos play , when my daughter was young, many of these cos players took pictures graciously at the conventions, and it was fun for every one.

    Card collecting was so populous but ruined by glut. Graded cards made it worse , as anything lower than a 9 made it almost noncollectable. The commons became penny stock if that. At least you could see the front and back of a card.

    I suspect that in ten years many CGC comic book commons will also fade away. Especially anything graded under 8. Also , nothing worse then a graded box of CGC’s. No smell, no feel, no insides to enjoy. Piles of Plastic.
    I get grading true keys and number 1’s of a certain value …but what happened to grading common comics only if they graded over 8.5 ? I guess we all have way too much money on our hands.
    Also, dont you find that you now have to grade the Graded books? White pages vs off white, Tougher grading period vs sloppy grading period, one company grading vs another company grading?
    Anyhow Im glad others find happiness with this. Its just not for me.

  6. Sorry Dave. I should have known I would step on somebody’s toes with my anti-cosplay rant, but I seriously think these folks should have conventions of their own. And, that would free up the actual comic conventions for the folks who just want to get in there and buy books, instead of, for lack of a better word, strutting. To each his own! And, don’t worry Dave, I was just kidding about the “very large, sharp broadsword.” I save that for people who dog-ear their books!

    cheers, mel

  7. AND! Furthermore…there really never is a “furtherless” with me, sorry…

    “Girls were cut out of the comic community around the mid 1970s.” Really, Dave?! Allow me to inroduce you to Shary Flenniken, Marie Severin, Roberta Gregory, Julie Doucet, Sue Coe, Francoise Mouly, Aline Crumb, Joyce Brabner, Ann Nocenti, Lynda Barry, Trina Robbins, Colleen Doran, Wendi Pini, and, lordy, lordy, the list just goes on and on…I urge you to introduce your niece and your daughter both to these great female comic book pioneers of the ’70s, ’80s and beyond.

  8. Hey Mel…Im talking about the masses. DC,Marvel ,the big producers, quit producing books that were classically for girls. You know, Romance, Lois lane and such. Thankfully Archie comic group remained and eventually Elfquest, manga and such.
    And, no, you didn’t step on my toes about Cos play. I recall the shows of the 1990’s. Great for buyers, not so much for sellers. I got awesome buys as no one was going to many, and you’d get great deals so the sellers could pay for their costs. I find the cos players have brought much needed energy and attendance to the conventions. Energy is good.
    Personally, I credit Manga , for getting girls back into comics, more so then the traditional American Comic market. And from there, many crossed over to our traditional stuff

  9. I’m not even going to get started on manga! But, seriously, there were, even back then, alternatives to the Big Two. For some reason, a lot of the best female talent in the ’70s and ’80s was concentrated in the Undergrounds and Independents. Maybe Marvel and DC just wouldn’t give them the space they needed to develop their own characters and stories. Most romance books were written by men back in the day, and likely never even appealed to the average female reader. The Archie books were a unique blend of romance, humour and fashion. Most of the Archie collectors I have known (and the majority of them are women) bought and still buy the book for the changing fashions over the decades. Untill this was pointed it out to me, I don’t think that had ever occured to me at all. Makes sense though! Just like Patsy and Hedy and Millie at Marvel. Now there’s a “collecting strain” I would love to hear Walt’s opinion on! I guess all I’m trying to say is that I never had any problem finding comics work by women. After all, once in a while, every guy needs a break from his tights and capes! Now that came out sounding kind of wierd, didn’t it?

  10. I had a good time at the card show but just imagine how great a time I would have had if I saw a few Wayne Gretsky’s walking around taking pics with fans, throw in a bunch of Mohammad Alis, I would have gone up and asked the champ for a selfie and an autograph, wait, I think I just saw Babe Ruth walk down aisle 23, nope, it was just the chubby janitor going for a smoke…

    The more I think on this the more I realize we need sports cosplayers.

  11. Well, Walt I just watched The Grey Cup and reports of it pre + post and there they were dressed as characters. Although I do not get Vikings in support of the Blue Bombers but they could be confused about they Icelandic heritage. Gimli and all.

    But the original question was the differences between Comic guys and Card guys and there you have it – Sports and Art

    But two things… as short as I can do on the observations here… In 2019 I was in the International Musuem of Manga in Kyoto. It is part library and part art museum. People of all ages go there and read manga indoors and out. No cos-play there. But real geishas on the streets of Kyoto and young people on their way to parties dressed in traditional garb of both sexes.

    The train to the airport was a Hello Kitty, but only on the outside.

    Secondly, I attended an academic conference held by U of Toronto the day before the second (?) Toronto Comic Arts Festival conference. It was about comics and titled The New Narrative. (Now it is CSSC) We were 15-20 people around a conference table as people read their papers. A Japanese girl across from me was all girly girly in attitude and appearance. Pink, cute stuff, pig tales perhaps, giggly and I bought what is she doing here? But when she commented or asked a question I realized she was either an MA student or working on a PhD. It took me a long time to figure out it was a form of cos-play then not widely known, at least to me.

    Maybe it is just another category of something. We dress up to go to events to raise money or collect candy on halloween.

    Argos won. !

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