Toronto Comicon 2019: A Three Day Pop Culture Celebration
Presented by Fan Expo Canada, Toronto Comicon is a celebration of comics, television and everything pop-culture. Toronto Comicon opened the doors to the Metro Convention Centrefrom Friday, March 15th, to Sunday, March 17th for enthusiasts from all over to get their fill of fandoms of every sort.
Though the Toronto Comicon banner used to primarily focus on comics, it has since expanded into all facets of geek-culture. Booths dedicated to all things anime, television, film, and of course, comics line themselves up and down the North Hall.
Toronto Comicon is always a community-driven event. Each person in attendance comes in to celebrate the franchises that mean the most to them. With panels, workshops, and celebrity meet-and-greets, there is always a little bit of everything for everybody. Year over year I always look forward to stepping into the Convention Centre to take in all the sights and sounds.
Large pop-culture attractions, like 501st Legion’s infamous Star Wars exhibit, help build out the show floor. The force-centric volunteer organization––which collects donations for charities such as Make A Wish Foundation always manages to set up authentic photo ops for attendees. Seeing everybody crowd around the authentic Jabba the Hutt set-piece each year is a real treat.
Vendors populate the show floor, selling commercial and handmade products of all sorts. Retro Game Bros., as you can imagine, primarily sells retro consoles games both packaged and unpackaged. Due to demand, Retro Game Bros. now sells both hardware and software from current gen consoles as well. Years ago, Retro Game Bros. helped me track down a copy of Goldeneye for N64. They are a staple of Toronto Comicon and I always look forward to checking out their booth in an attempt to find some forgotten treasure.
Coming off the heels of Marvel’s Captain Marvel film, I took a look at the comic-centric booth set up by Ottawa’s Myths, Legends & Heroes. Travelling from con to con, Myths Legends & Heroes is another small group that never seems to miss Toronto Comicon. Rows and rows of white short boxes fill up their booth. While newer issues of DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse comics can be found, ML&H also deal with key issues if you’re looking to complete a certain collection.
If you are an avid collector of Funko Pops, looking to complete a collection, Toronto Comicon may have what you are looking for. Since the phenomenon blew up, you’d be hard-pressed not to stumble on a vendor selling an overwhelming amount of vinyl.
If meet and greets are more your styles, you should definitely be keeping an eye out for who comes around to Toronto Comicon and Toronto Fan Expo in the future! During Toronto Comicon, celebrities such as Dan Fogler, Ron Perlman, and Tommy Flanagan. Leading up to the event, actor Ryan Hurst, now seen on AMC’s The Walking Dead was set to appear. It looked like we have have been on the cusp of a mini Sons of Anarchy reunion. Though unfortunately, Ryan Hurst had to cancel last minute.
Voice actors, Anjali Bhimani and Jen Cohn, both respectively from Blizzard’s Overwatch made an appearance. Toronto Comicon also brought in legendary comics writers Denny O’Neil, Steve Englehart, amongst other creators and artists. Celebrity appearances have always been a good way to grab an autograph or photo op.
Many celebrities hosted free panels for fans to come and watch, ask questions and get insight on specific topics. Former Family Matters actor, Jaleel White held a Q&A with fans. He not only discussed what it was like in the role of Steve Urkel but talked about his many years voicing Sonic the Hedgehog.
Cosplay has a big role. A huge amount of attendees arrive at the event, sporting their latest cosplay designs. The amount of detail and passion that goes into each and everyone is astounding. Toronto Comicon helps support these individuals by not only hosting panels designated to the cosplay community but organizing red carpet events.
Each Toronto Comicon, every attending member cosplaying as their version of Spider-Man congregate for a large group photo. This usually extends out to anyone cosplaying as a variant, or anything revolving around the Spider-Verse.
Toronto Comicon is not only designated to young-adults or those feeling nostalgic. No, there is quite a focus on bringing the new generation into the fold. One exhibit, in particular, set up in the Family Zone was Pokémon Park. Large, colour Pokémon sculptures were set up creating a fantastic opportunity to snag a photo with Mewtwo or Lapras.
Large-scale Toronto conventions only come around every once and awhile. Having a place to collectively gather and celebrate our passions and hobbies is very important. The folks at Toronto Comicon give the community that chance.
For those that missed Toronto Comicon 2019, fear not! The larger, more diverse convention, Toronto Fan Expo will be held from August 22nd through August 25th.
Fan Expo expands the lineup of panels, celebrities, and exhibits. Video game enthusiasts always get a kick out of seeing upcoming titles on the show floor. Major publishers such as Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and Ubisoft all come out and give their audiences memorable experiences.
Tickets are now available on the Fan Expo Canada website. See you there!