NERDVANA: THE OTTAWA COMICON
Last weekend, Ottawa hosted its first-ever comic book convention, or 'comicon' for those in the know. This was a big deal for me...well actually, for a lot of people, because some of us have just never had the opportunity to head out to San Diego for the major comicon. For us local nerds, tthis con was like having the mountain come to Mohammed. We have talked of little else for months preceding the event.
|The back door line to get in. 1.5 hr wait.|
Don't roll your eyes, I'm being serious.
Anyway. Walking in the doors at Ottawa Comicon, my dad in tow as my official photographer for the day (all these photos are his), there was a palpable atmosphere that can only be described as 'happy nerd vibe'. I thought of the years when my comic book obsession made me a pariah amongst female peers who were far more interested in Cosmo than comics, and I smiled. This here was my 'It gets better' moment. So let me just say to all he young nerds out there: you may get teased a lot right now, and you may find your potential mate pool to be sadly small at present, but one day you will go to your first comicon, and you will know it gets better. You are not alone, not at all. The nearly 20,000 people who showed up for Ottawa's event proves that quite nicely.
We observed that the organizers seemed pretty overwhelmed by the turn-out--in fact, there were people lined up around the block, most waiting over an hour-and-a-half to get in. Hopefully next year, there will be better organization, and hopefully some more entertainment going on in the main hall, because the space was a bit too focused just on selling/buying. But it was still great to walk around, see the Magic card tournaments, the incredible artists in Artist Alley, and the many, many costumes on the fans. The talk of the town wasa couple of weird pyramid-headed monsters from a game called Silent Hill...a game I will never, ever go near, now that I've seen some of the nightmares that are found in it.
I enjoyed watching people gawk as they noticed my
|Magic Card tournament.|
Many celebrities were present for signings, but the fees were high (a separate cost for signature, photo, etc, and some as high as $80), and the lines were long, so we stayed away. I did, however, see Lou Ferrigno from a distance, towering over his fans.
I also caught a glimpse of Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek TNG)
Putting aside the celebrities, shopping, game tournaments, and panel discussions, I think one of my favourite parts of the comicon was simply being surrounded by other sci-fi and fantasy dreamers. It's a pleasure to be amongst others who understand what it's like to love a band of characters so much, they become real for you. To be with kindred spirits who have also cried when a superhero has died, or who have cheered aloud when a villain has been vanquished...that was a really great experience.
Oh, yeah: and getting my photo with a storm trooper...also pretty damn cool.
|The original Delorian.|