Comic fans of all ages flocked to the Red & White Club in Calgary for the 17th annual Comic & Toy Expo, held Sunday, October 16, 2011 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. This year's event boasted more vendors, more special guests and more costumes than last year.
Comic Artists and TV Celebrities Among Special Guests
Cary Nord (Star Trek: The Next Generation and Conan the Barbarian) and Riley Rossmo (Cowboy Ninja Vikings) made a return appearance as special guests. One fresh face on the scene was Scott Kowalchuck, a Calgary-based artist who co-created the series The Intrepids (Image Comics).
Also making an appearance at this year's comic con was the Quickdraw Animation Society. Quickdraw is a production and education facility in Calgary, Alberta. Quickdraw showcased some of their colourful 8-bit animations.
TV hosts Sheldon Smithers and Scott Cozens also met with fans. The duo love vintage items. Their show, “Canadian Pickers” (History Channel) follows them on their cross-country hunt in search of folk art, vintage collectibles and other gems.
Costume Contest Attracts a Huge Crowd
Various eras in comic history were represented at this year's costume contest. Supergirl, Batgirl and Shazam were among the classic comic superheroes. X-Men, Iron Man and Halo were among some of the more contemporary entries. People also saw triple with at least three Dr. Who's wandering the hall. With 28 entries, cosplay is a huge draw at the Comic & Toy Expo.
Third place went to a team featuring “Harlequin” and a young “Batgirl”. “Mystique” took second place. Her unique costume featured a likeness to several X-Men characters. First place went to “Iron Man Mark 1”. It took Jeremy Nordstom three months to make his winning costume. He used plastic, metal and wood for his suit, which weighed a hefty 75 pounds.
Tables and Tables of Old Comics, Vintage Toys, Face-painting and More
The vendors tables sold out well before the event. There were some familiar tables, including Olivier Antiques & Collectibles, Treasure Cove and Out of Chaos. “Isn't the atmosphere here today great?” asked Sid Olivier with a smile. One Star Wars fan was ecstatic when he checked out Treasure Cove's table: “I'm your dream for the vintage Star Wars and you're mine,” he told owner John Quong.
Attendees were introduced to some “fresh faces”. Jiggly Pig Comics from Victoria, BC, brought an extensive selection of comics. Amazing Stories Comics from Saskatoon, SK showcased printed t shirts, hoodies, “Goomba” toques and “+15 Frost Resistance” hats.
Some artists were on double duty. Cartoonist, film director, costume designer Rik Van Dyke sketched the faces of young fans onto their own comic book covers – when he wasn't selling geeky t shirts. He also was generating buzz for his upcoming movie “Bloodbeast”.
For those who didn't come to this comicon in costume, there was a fresh option. Amandamazing Art & Face Painting's table was busy with girls young and young at heart lining up to be painted.
This year's comic convention was more energetic than last year's event. The Red and White Club Comic & Toy Expo 2011 drew 727 attendees and close to 100 tables, featuring vendors, artists and clubs. Organizers are calling the 17th event, held October 16, 2011 at the Red & White Club beside McMahon Stadium, a huge success.
Originally published on Suite101.com on October 19, 2011. Updated May 3, 2013. All rights reserved by Rhona-Mae Arca.