Fans = Appreciated

I’m exhausted and sore, but getting up to begin another day of work at my regular job… the 2011 Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event wrapped up yesterday and the guests have all headed home.

What I liked about the show, and what I’m also hearing from the dealers, guests and fans that were there also liked about it, was that this was a comic book show in the traditional model. It had an easygoing, friendly vibe to it — maybe this was because free admission made everything much more relaxed. The lines moved fast and everyone had easy access to the people they wanted to see and meet. Attendance — approx. 3200 on Saturday, with a little less than that on Sunday. There was a constant flow of people into the event all weekend and I saw a lot of new faces as well as the diehards that come to every show.

I’m not sure that the addition of the scifi actors and anime voice actors was really necessary but I liked it nonetheless. I usually don’t care about meeting actors at the shows as it’s not my area of interest, but as a big fan of Spin City, meeting Alan Ruck surpassed my expectations – he’s one heck of a classy, friendly and funny guy in person. I’ve met Richard Hatch before, but he is a warm and friendly guy, a true professional and he was great with everyone who went over to meet him. Dominic Keating was charming and funny (despite feeling sick on Sunday) and all three guys kicked ass at their talks. Jamie and Trina were great with everyone and ran a great q&a session as well.

There was some cosplaying, but not as much as you might normally find at these types of events. I think this show succeeded in bringing in the crowd I used to see at the old shows I used to do at the Ex — the hardcore comics buying crowd. They were digging through long boxes, looking for hardcovers and trades, or lining up to get sketches or get their books signed by the guests. There were some amazing books in the room – so if you were looking for quality Gold and Silver Age books you were in luck. No admission meant more money to spend on that missing back issue or on a sketch.

So I rest easier knowing that the Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event succeeded in living up to it’s name by keeping the focus on comics.

Thanks to everyone that came out – fans, guests, exhibitors and staff!

I got a couple of things for myself — Michael Cho’s original art for the January 2011 issue of Quill & Quire, Patrick Gleason’s cover art for Green Lantern Corps #26, an import art book (in Italian) looking at the career of Jodi Bernet, Fables Vol.15, Torpedo Vol.3, a Black Cat commission from Marc Wolfe… and some strawberry Pocky. Signed: the DVD inserts from Spin City Seasons 1-3 (Alan Ruck), Uncanny X-Men Masterworks Vol.7 (Bob McLeod), Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (Chris Sprouse).


2 thoughts on “Fans = Appreciated

  1. A few comments have come up online about the attendance seeming light for a free event. My thoughts on the subject are: with ~3200 people on Saturday and ~2500 people on Sunday, attendance did surpass the attendance at all 6 previous Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation events, which is nothing to scoff at. Would we have liked to have seen more people? Of course.

    Some people seem to have been under the impression that this was the Fan Expo Fan Appreciation Event, which it really wasn’t — we would have called it that if that was our target market. No, this event was the Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event – the 7th Annual event for the fans that come and support the comic book shows that we put on throughout the year (in November, February, April and the Comic Book Expo @ Fan Expo in August).

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