Arts & Life

Comic Con 2012: Finding the long, lost fanboy

Comic Con 2012 pulls no punches

After my first week as an intern, I knew it was time to come up with an idea for my first feature. Then it hit me: Central Canada Comic Con. Winnipeg-based, it started off in 1994 as a simple weekend trade show called the Manitoba Collector’s Expo, and since then it has really upped its game.  I knew I would have to do the same if I wanted to find my inner long-lost fanboy and get the scoop on the scene.

Getting ready to go to the final day of this full weekend event, I wondered what I should wear. I was a little green to the whole Comic Con scene. Regrettably, I gave up my childhood comics and action figures far too soon; I wanted to feel like I belonged.

I got my Superman emblem tee out of my closet and wore it beneath an unbuttoned white shirt and suit. I donned plastic dark-rimmed glasses, slicked back hair (minus one unmanageable curl) and my notepad and camera. I was ready. Clark Kent should fit right in, I thought.

Comic Con always takes place on the weekend of or around Halloween to encourage people to dress up.

“People often spend a lot of time putting a costume together we like to give them one more place to show it off,” says Shawn Marten a spokesperson for C4.

Comic Con enthusiast pulling off one hell of a Hellboy

The quality of costumes astounded me I was led through the grand space of booths, vendors, props and characters.  This event brought in 25,000 enthusiasts last year and is anticipated to be just over the 30,000 mark this year.

“We hit building capacity yesterday afternoon,” says Marten. “It was bittersweet because you are excited to fill the place but then you think damn, there are people that can’t come in.”

Marten says people were very patient waiting in line. When you bring in celebrities like Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard from Star Trek) and Professor Xavier (Xmen Trilogy), a meet and greet is more than worth the wait.


Sir Patrick Stewart

I met up with John, my Comic Con escort who would take me to what I wanted to see (and ensure I was respecting the C4 etiquette and photo op dos and don’ts). While the Captain wasn’t available to meet during my visit, Zoie Palmer (who plays the lovely Dr. Lauren Lewis on the Canadian supernatural crime drama Lost Girl) was happy to meet with the press.


 A few words with Lost Girl’s Zoie Palmer

 “There can be some pretty difficult medical jargon,” jokes Palmer when asked about her time on Lost Girl. “But it’s a lot of fun.”

Palmer caught the acting bug early. It was something that she knew she always wanted to do when she was growing up. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she had the opportunity to do many roles. One that really stands out for her was playing the role of Ronald Regan’s daughter, Patti. Fans of Zoie can look forward to seeing her in a feature comedy called Sex After Kids and in the upcoming third season of Lost Girl.

“I’m told this next season is going to be the best one yet,” Zoie says with a smile.

I felt like a kid again as I walked up and down the long aisles of collectibles, comics, and memorabilia. It was enough for any closeted nerd to come running out. My eyes widened at all the things that excited me as a boy, and I now have more of an appreciation for them as a man and a writer.

Red River College Instructor Dean Cooper Chows off his collection

Mike from Ravenwood standing next to Storm Trooper costume

The Winnipeg Convention Centre was filled with young and old, you could feel the positive energy. If the attraction of such an event remains a mystery to you, there were a couple of girls I ran into that may be able to help you solve it.


 Velma and Daphne from Scooby Doo

In addition to amateur wrestling and the lightsaber pit, there were some other great visuals to see. Robert Luedke made his first appearance in Canada to show off his artistic talents and the works from his graphic novel Eye Witness.

“I began drawing when I came out of the womb,” kids Luedke.

Luedke opened up his own comic book company in 1989 called Kaboom Comics. He recalls being artistic and driven. After Kaboom, he was involved with Head Press Publishing and in 2002, introduced to the world to his first graphic novel, Eye Witness, which has already earned him five Indy Book awards.

Robert Luedke and his wife at his booth of artwork

My escort John had been very accommodating and patient and helped me find my lost inner nerd. I had a fantastic time and decided that next year I would not just come for a story. I’d go all out.  If I had just one wish fulfilled, it would be to come across a time machine so I could go back and attend all the Comic Cons of past I’d missed.



Taking a trip back in the 1985 Delorian from the Back To The Future trilogy


Chadd Cawson is an intern at Spectator Tribune. Follow him at: @ChaddCawson

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