Just A Thought | Convention Season Begins

A little while ago I wrote about TCAF but I neglected to mention that TCAF has more or less become the kick off for the Toronto convention season.


I’m a little more excited this year then last year for a few reasons.

This year, myself along with my podcast co-host, Adam Grant, are trying to make it out to slightly more diverse conventions then we’ve been to before, namely the Canadian GI Joe Convention (we haven’t been cleared for press passes as of this writing but we are going to attempt going).  We’ve never done a convention with that specific a theme and it’s a chance for us to branch out.  I’m curious how this will be different the other shows; I know parts of it like the cosplay and dealers will be similar but will this be a more intense breed of fan?

Secondly, Fan Expo’s line up for comic book guests is incredibly solid this year… well at least for me.  I tend to be a fan of writers as opposed to artists so my main attractions are Azzarello, Hickman and Aaron as well as Jeff Smith. I must also mention that I may have to have a long chat with Joe Kubert about my Sgt Rock in space idea.

I know if you read my columns my opinion on Hobbystar and their cons can get a little confusing.  Certain columns, you might think I down right despise them and other columns it looks like I’m sucking up.  The truth is neither.  At the heart of all of my columns, I’m a fan.  I love comics and my first convention was ran by Hobbystar out in Pickering.  Do I agree with their politics and policies? A lot of the time, no.  Do I think the people who are booking the guests are doing their best to serve the fans? Yes.

Yes, even media people get fanboyish. Alex Ross signing a bunch of books for me.

The guest bookers have a very tough job. Take a few of the columnists for Comic Book Daily. My tastes in comics run fairly main stream and I tend to like great writers. Scott VanderPloeg likes a lot of classic comic material and European comics. Pete DeCourcy likes a bit of everything especially crime. Ed Campbell likes mainstream comic with a focus on GI Joe.  Now… make us all happy.

With a budget.

Not as easy as it sounds.

And that’s what I think a lot of the complainers forget.  You can’t please everyone but to be fair, there is a lot at this year’s Fan Expo to like. Between the Artist’s Alley and the main comic guests, there really is something for everyone. Not to mention the fine folks at Comic Book Daily will be in attendance.  Pete and I will be drawing and inking respectively. While our comic isn’t out yet…or even real for that matter, Pete did describe it as the “Pet Sounds of comic books.”

Don’t you want to get on the ground floor of that non-existent house?

We may even have something before the next issue of Image United comes out.

The third thing I’m excited about this convention season is a little thing called The Toronto Nerd Mafia.

Over the past couple of years of going to these shows, as a small time media guy, I tend to run into a lot of the same people a these shows. For example, Eli Green from Lazyreviewzz and I met at the Fan Expo where I was first considered press.  Adam couldn’t make it on time and Eli was kind enough to show me the ropes of the press pass (it’s almost magical I tells ya!).  Since then we’ve spotted each other at various other shows and share a polite nod or conversation.  Apparently a few other people noticed the same thing and thus an association of sorts was born.

It’s an interesting mix of podcasters, authors, bloggers, tv people, radio people, comedians and everything in between who are all, for lack of a better term, part of the GTA area nerd media.  We get together about once a month for a pub night and talk, cross promote, share info and war stories and it’s all fairly friendly. And as it turns out, a fair amount of us are going to a fair amount of the conventions.

So this year I’ve got a leg up and believe this con season will be awesome. I’ve got people to talk to in the press room.  People to share  info with like who is worth talking to and who isn’t doing interviews. I’ve even got people who will help me up when I get drunk and lose my pants…right guys? Guys?

Brent Chittenden
Brent Chittenden

Brent Chittenden is a Canadian freelance writer currently writing for alancross.ca, geekhardshow.com and his own pop culture podcast, TATANS. He is readily available for writing and speaking gigs. Brent like sandwiches.

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Ed Campbell
13 years ago

Catch my blog tomorrow about the Canadian G.I. Joe Convention.