Monday, March 10, 2014

Toronto ComiCon 2014

Considering the terrible winter we've had in southern Ontario, spring can't come soon enough. And, perhaps now that the Toronto ComiCon has expanded to a 3-day event, it will forever be tied to the arrival of spring--and become the (un)official kick-off of fan convention season in Canada!

By all accounts, Toronto ComiCon was a resounding success, even though two of the major headliners (Jon Heder & Morena Baccarin) had to cancel at the last minute. Held in the south building of the Toronto Convention Centre, this con is smaller in scale than its older cousin, Fan Expo, which will run during Labour Day weekend this year (August 28-31 2014).

Myself, along with a handful of other authors--who are part of the Ontario Chapter of the Horror Writers Association--had tables, and we also shared duties covering an information booth for the HWA.

Formed in the late 1980s, the HWA is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it.

The vision for the Ontario Chapter (HWA-ON) is to raise awareness of horror literature outside of our field, and get involved with libraries to promote the HWA, its local members, and the horror genre. HWA-ON is based in Toronto, and will be attending many conventions this year--next up is Ad-Astra, so look for us there! We'll also be holding a panel discussion at the The Merril Collection this Halloween.

Currently, all HWA members in Canada are welcome to join our chapter; as more Canadians become part of the HWA, we'll endeavour to assist in the formation of other regional chapters.

Louis and Lestat stopped by on day #1
But enough business--back to the convention! I'm a fan of vampires (obviously) and their pervasiveness in popular culture, so I always keep an eye out for un-dead cosplay at these types of events--and I wasn't disappointed. Vampire fans are always a lot of fun to chat with; even though we often differ regarding our favourite bloosuckers, we usually find common ground in a mutual dislike of the sparkly kind! I spied four bloodsuckers over the course of the weekend, and to my surprise, there were no zombies to be found. These days, it's often the other way around--so I'm glad to see vampire fandom still going strong.

Vlad keeps a watchful eye on my table
My little corner of fandom was part of a group of authors nestled between comic artists and voice actors, which was much improved over last year. In 2013, there were very few authors, and we were considerably spread out among the other guests. Also this year, since the majority of us work in the horror genre, this resulted in an increase in the horror component of Toronto ComiCon by about 600%! Let's hope this trend continues.

Another first for this con was our panel discussion, where we chatted about the HWA, and writing in general. For those attending Fan Expo this August, the HWA-ON will be there as well--so look for more horror-related panels over the course of that weekend.

Members of the Ontario Chapter of the Horror Writers Association

To close, here are a few more pictures from Toronto ComiCon 2014:

Another vampire fanatic!

I believe the guy on the left was responsible for blowing up Alderaan

"Tis just a flesh wound!"

One of a handful of great Nightcrawlers I saw this year

I'm also a Star Wars geek, so I love seeing this stuff!


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