Fan Expo & Montreal Comic Con: 2014 Edition

Fan Expo: 'Border'ing on uncanny!
As the summer draws to a close, so too does my busy season. The past few months were inundated with adventures in camping, paying visits to the beach, weddings, and most notably my two choice conventions of the year, Toronto’s Fan Expo and our local Comic Con in Montreal. And so my first anecdotal blog post commences.

As with many exploits, to understand the true wonder that is a comic convention, one must actually experience it for themselves. Such was the case with my boyfriend last year; a lot of humming and hawing quickly evolved into excited buzzing about our next venture the moment we got home from our four-day retreat into the world of Fan Expo. I say ‘world’ because it is, essentially, its own little realm, where drone-like lives are left at the entrance to enter a sort of geek utopia. To anyone with even the remotest interest in comics, video games, the supernatural, hell, anything other than real life, I highly recommend you, at the very least, consider checking out your next local comic convention. Want to meet your celebrity hero? You might just get that chance. Love art and oddities? There’s a whole section devoted to artists selling their wares. Just one thing; unless you’re a tween, I would suggest against wearing anything pro-Twilight. You will be judged.

My experience this year was pretty much the same as it’s always been; prep ahead, highlighting all the interesting panels, writing out a list of merch to hunt down, and which celebrities to meet. Get there; start by checking out the many merchants and artists, and never leave that area until closing time. It’s more than just shopping around, in the same way that a fair is… but even more alluring. I find myself chatting with nearly every artist I lock eyes with, rambling about their tools and techniques until I finally realize I’ve lost my friends for the nth time. I check my watch; oh, it’s time for such and such panel… ah, but there’s still so much to see! So, I tell myself I’ll check out the next one… and the next one… and so on. My friends, on the other hand, have their own manias. For some, it’s comics, and others, video games. In the end, we generally wind up wandering the exhibitor/artist area for a good majority of the convention… unless of course there’s a celebrity we just have to see (Jason Momoa at Montreal Comic Con last year, in my case)!

Montreal Comic Con was an entirely different ordeal this time around, as I spent my time at Syn Studio Art School’s table as an exhibitor. It was fun, albeit a bit awkward at times (many a time saying ‘hi’ would cause people to avert their eyes and shuffle away – oh well, it is how it is). The challenge concerning our booth was that we were selling our school, as opposed to concrete goods. That considered, I think it was a successful weekend overall, with a lot of interested folks dropping by.
Next year I’ll be at my own table, and I’m hoping that will be enough motivation for me to truly work on my illustrations, streamlining my style to suit the already brewing ideas in my mind. Wish me luck!

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