Ottawa ComicCon 2017: Worth the Price of Admission?
Ottawa ComicCon was good fun. The costumes, swag, and celebration of all things geeky was a unique experience. Come and have a look for yourself and decide: Was it worth the price of admission?
People go to ComicCon for Three Reasons
First, To Be Seen
That means CosPlay (that’s Costume Play to you landlubbers, come on, keep up here!) There are few opportunities outside of Halloween, the theatre, and the Society for Creative Anachronism and similar clubs to put on your favourite persona, and get praised for it. Once you get the etiquette down (always ask, never touch, always say something complimentary) admiring costumes and getting photos of cosplayers and photos with them is great fun.
There are the semi-pros who travel the ‘con’ circuit and, because they go all-in, are stars of the show, hardly able to take five steps before getting asked again for a photo shoot. And really, that’s the whole key: if you’re going to dress up go all in. Check it out.
The lengths people go to creating and then showing off their costumes gives ComicCon – a simple trade show at heart – an off-kilter circus atmosphere which is really enjoyable. When in Rome!
Spoiler alert. Daenyrs Stormborn was spotted showing her dragon to the local children before shopping for a new sword, with Hodor’s baby brother in tow. Make of that what you will.
Second, People go to ComicCon to See the Talent
First up are the artists. All along the Artist Alley you’ll find the artists and writers behind many a major comic title and franchise. Prints are reasonable – between $15 and $25 each with deals for buying more – and you can get them signed and have a picture taken with the artist. It’s pretty cool to see them at work doing art on the spot. Almost all are friendly and glad to meet fans and comic newbies alike. If books are your thing this is a super place to spend several hours watching the artists at work while chatting about the industry and your favourite series of books.
Equally interesting are the up-and-comers trying to break into the business. There are also a ton of other artists working on everything from spray can paintings to cosplay costumes and masks.
People also come to see ‘stars’ For some this is the best part of the convention. A chance to get a photo-op and an autograph from sci-fi, fantasy, TV, and movie stars. Not much to see here as they keep the celebs locked up tight and out of causal photo range. This is strictly pay-to-play and my least favourite part of the show but, for some, it’s the reason they attend.
I had a much easier time giving my money to the other stars of the show: charity raising cosplayers and organizations like The Doctor Who Society of Canada, The League of Super Heroes, and The 501st Legion.
No convention of any kind is complete without Star Wars cosplay. The Rebel and 501st Legion have been donating their time, costumes, and creativity to fundraising in and around the Ottawa area for many years. And doing a great job of it!
Third, People go to ComicCon to Shop!
Comic Book Stores It is ComicCon after all! If you can’t find the book you’re looking for there’s someone here that’ll find it for you. There must be 20,000 or more individual books on offer. These are just a few of the dealers, each collection bigger than the last.
Rarities I’m sure you can get everything on e-bay or through webstores but it’s a nostalgic trip to browse through racks of toys from my pre-teen years. My original series of Star Wars Action figures from the late ’70s and early ’80s was missing my favorite character. Yoda! I don’t know why or how I never collected him originally. No matter, I found an almost intact 1980 wise one for a decent price. Always haggle you should! I could have paid an extra $20 to get one with Yoda’s staff but I’ll settle for the cloak and the snake. Here’s a look at the vintage stuff that interested me but, rest assured, whatever your collecting obsession there’s a dealer here with the droids, or otherwise, that you’re looking for.
RareT was a vendor that caught my eye. Great higher end stuff. If you’re into unique collectables give their website a try. There was no shortage of awesome gear.
Stuff you never knew existed or would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. All collected into one convenient showroom floor.
If you made it this far, congratulations! If these pics were a lot to digest in one sitting you should check out a comiccon near you. In person, it’s full on sensory overload.
So, worth the price of admission? For me, yes! I had the advantage of going with my daughter and we had some excellent father-daughter moments, both at the con and before hand making the sword for her costume, which was a complete success. For people who get their costume-geek on once or twice a year it’s a hoot to ham it up for photos, and it’s fun to watch them do it. My daughter went for all three days. I just went on the Sunday which was enough for me. Getting Yoda made my week and I, like most everyone else, left tired and happy and ready to do it again next year.