As most people know, I work on the Comic Book Expo side of FAN EXPO CANADA (TM). It’s my job*, at the show, to look after the comic book creator guests in the guest area and to make sure the comics programming runs smoothly. Joining me on the Comics Expo team from the JSA is Allison Covey. Other members of the JSA are involved at this event. Robert Haines will be at the Dragon’s table with Jenn Stewart. Chris Owen will be at the Big B Comics booth. Jason Truong will be getting sketches. Tyrone Biljan will hopefully get a chance to say hello to Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar. We don’t have a booth this year. As with other events, the JSA Executive uses Fan Expo Canada to strengthen our national NETWORK. We’ll also be looking to make further steps towards finalizing the 2011 location and date for the JSA ceremony.
Fan Expo Canada, like it or not, is the largest Canadian comic book event. Comics (dealers, artists, signing area, publishers) take up the majority of the just shy of 300,000 square feet of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s floor space. Many people poo-poo it as a media con, which IT IS… but unlike other media cons Fan Expo keeps comics front and centre with major industry guests brought in for the event, hundreds of Canadian creators from all over the country, a massive Artists Alley with hundreds of creators, a huge comics retailer area supported by stores and national and international dealers, and the largest representation of comics industry publisher booths – yes, more mainstream focused publishers like Marvel and DC, but also other publishers like Boom!, Udon, Archie, Aspen and Zenescope PLUS three days of what I hope is interesting comics programming.
Everything is there. So what if you see a Stormtrooper or a vampire in your walk to Artist’s Alley to visit, say, the guys and gals from Transmission X, or Darwyn Cooke, Ken Steacy, Francis Manapul, Jeff Lemire or any number of the hundreds of Canadian comics creators attending? Last time I checked there are Star Wars, Star Trek, True Blood, and other comics that tie in to these properties from other media. These various aspects of fandom do intersect.Personally — I keep my blinders on comics as do the other organizers of the comic expo.
Yes, it is on the same weekend as the Baltimore Comic-Con, which I’m sure will be a great show, but I would be doing Canadian creators a disservice in not arguing on their, and the show’s, behalf. That some comics websites have not included FAN EXPO as an event they would attend if they were in Toronto is kind of an insult to those great people that are taking time out of their busy schedules to meet the public and network at this massively attended (60,000 attendees in 2009) event. That the two largest American publishers – MARVEL COMICS and DC COMICS have chosen to support Fan Expo Canada (TM) speaks volumes about how important they see the show, and even more importantly, CANADA.
Plus, Stan Lee will be there… and William Shatner does write comics!
METRO TORONTO CONVENTION CENTRE – NORTH BUILDING
FRIDAY 4-9, SATURDAY 10-7, SUNDAY 11-6
Over the next few days I will be drawing attention to the Comic Book Expo creators and programming here.
* I should make note that it’s a set fee not dependent on attendance or ticket sales.