Almost everywhere in Ontario has their own Comic-Con now. From Oshawa to Niagara. However the small hamlet of Oakville, despite the clean tap, rarely sees excitement. But on April 24th, 2016, the small town lucked out and was host to the GTA Comic-Con, held at the Ontario Conference Centre.
Like you would expect from a convention which grew out of the Burlington Toy Show, the dealer’s room was the centerpiece to the convention. Lots of old toys and novelties for sale, one table selling records, one table selling almost exclusively anime stuff. Not many actual comics for sale – those could instead be found at the Toronto Comic Book Show or any store with a sufficient collection of back-issues. But this had a quantity of attractions that wouldn’t fit at the Burlington Toy Show.
The Toronto Power Rangers were there although tragically missing a Pink ranger. Instead of fighting monsters dispatched from the moon, they raised money and awareness for The Possibilities Fund. Former Power Rangers Jeff Parazzo and Kevin Duhaney had a table, their current project is “Trauma-Con” but right now details on that are very sparse. And there were many artists and crafters selling prints and pins in an environment which allowed them to stand out instead of being swallowed into the infinite field of Anime North’s artist alley. Comic artist Andrew Thomas was by the banner for Chapter House Comics, a Canadian publisher who started with Captain Canuck and are growing to host a n impressive library of characters and projects.
A good range of cosplayers were there, from the kids and amateurs to the professionals selling prints from their tables. The cosplay contest was casual as you would expect it to be when it’s hosted by a Pee Wee Herman. A trio of Spider-men and some X-Men make it pretty clear the crowd favors Marvel over DC this year (Side note: BvS: DoJ was just terrible). The first place prize went to a Cenobite who certainly deserved it, but the real winner of the convention was Jubilee who, during the convention became engaged to Gambit.
Last year’s GTA Comic-Con had a band and some wrestling demonstration – but they didn’t completely work for the audience. This year’s GTA Comic-Con stuck to the basics and had a low price, so it was a good way to spend my birthday in my element without having to leave my home town. Still distinctly a small convention, but a lot more fun than just looking through long-boxes.