Wizard World Toronto Comic Con

Just dropped by the Con yesterday for a quickie visit:  the Guy had been sick earlier in the week and wasn’t up to going in on Friday. Saturday was his one year anniversary of doing Bun Toons on his art blog, so he really wanted to make sure he got his new Bun Toon up before we left for the day. Between that and Toronto traffic, we weren’t on the convention floor until 3pm.

I helped Ty set up and he immediately got to sketching. I chatted with some of the other artists who told tales of being very pleased with the Friday show. All said that the attendance had been sparse, but that fans were enthusiastic, chatty and eager to buy pages and commission sketches. I wandered by the Guy’s table every now and then to see how he was, but he was always busy at a sketch and telling tales.

It was FREEZING COLD in the building yesterday–I was regretting having fallen for The Weather Network’s promises of sun and warmth which led me to leave home in a tshirt and boyfriend blazer. I envied Ty the leather jacket I had tried to talk him out of wearing.

I spent more time sitting and shivering than wandering about! But, I did briefly drag a chair over to talk to Richard Pace who was sitting more-or-less behind Ty. Dale Keown was right beside Richard but he was intent on a commission so we just said a quick hello. Richard was hard at work on a Jonah Hex commission, but was still able to chat. Next time I have to pack a few more dollars–Richard had a couple of beautiful prints of his work for sale. One was a print of the Transmetropolitan pinup he recently did; the second was a pinup from his planned graphic novel adaptation of Lovecraft’s Shadows over Innismouth.

I sat at Gibson Quarter’s table for him while he ran off to get coffee (lucky, lucky man had a wife who went and got him a hot cup of Timmy’s coffee and double-parked to drop it off to him! As he came back to the con, he was stopped repeatedly by people asking eagerly where he got it). It gave me a chance to check out all the prints that Gibson has for sale (some of them might look familiar to readers of this blog who know that I’ve done a bit of colouring for Gib). His latest print is a cover for Wasted magazine which the one and only Jamie Grant coloured…very, very nice indeed. He had copies of Wasted for sale, and Holmes Inc. (and he’s a participant in the newest version of  Fit to Print’s Holmes Inc.). Hung out and talked a bit with Gibson but I tried to leave him alone so he could finish some commissioned work.

Speaking of Fit to Print’s Holmes Inc. …I ran into Rob Pincombe who was a writer last time out, and is a writer/assistant editor this time. Rob was at the con as a fanboy, comic book writer (and probably keeping an eye out for anything interesting, now that he’s a contributing writer to Sequential, the online site which covers Canadian comic book news).

Rob was on a trek to meet Mike Grell and commission a drawing. This enabled me to tell Mr. Grell the tale of Ty having included him in his list of The Top Seven Comics Creators who can KICK YOUR ASS. I think Mr. Grell might be too nice a man to kick anyone’s ass–he was lovely and generous  in the brief time we talked to him and was amused when I told him of Ty’s list. Although I had completely misremembered and he’s number three not five as I had thought!

It’s always fun to run into someone I only know online–I’ve worked with Robert J. Lewis a couple times and he and I sometimes chat and vent about work experiences…and yesterday was actually the first time I’ve been in a room with him, despite his having been a member of the original Bootcamp Comics crew.

a page of Robert J. Lewis art I lettered back for Bootcamp Comics August 2009

Christopher Yao, a Holmes Inc. contributor,  was there selling copies of Fauntkin #1, and some preview pages of #2, and was pretty pleased with how the show was going for him (although poor Kate agreed with me that it was FREEZING COLD).

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While running around looking for Liana K. (who was busy judging a costume contest at the time so I talked to Steven J. Kerzner instead. We managed to keep it somewhat cheerful and upbeat and not succumb to just snarling about the current state of our democracy!), had brief chats with Adam Gorham, also a Holmes Inc. contributor, and the  artist behind Teuton.

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All in all, very low-key and easy going.

When the con ended, given how low-key and easy going it was, it was easy to quickly organise a crowd of comics creators to gather for dinner. Dinner, for me, was truly the best part of the day. The Guy and I joined Gibson Quarter, Rob Pincombe and one of the absolute nicest guys in comics, Yanick Paquette (we traded stories of ER visits for our respective children). I met Francis Manapul for the first time (actually a bit of a quandary for me–not sure who is the official Nicest Guy in Comics, Yanick or Francis. Francis has more natural enthusiasm for his job than I’ve seen in a long time. Quite amazing after all the time that he’s been working). I had to tell him that Ty,  a huge fan of the strange, the unknown and the mythical,  was crazy-jealous of Francis’ gig on Beast Legends. (Honestly, we have bookshelves filled with books on UFOs, urban legends, etc.)

I had spent a bit of time at the con admiring Agnes Garbowska’s work–kind of hard not to, actually. Kind of hard to stare at and not use the word “adorable” waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many times. I think I tried for “ridiculously adorable” as a variant. I think her print of ridiculously adorable Supergirl was my favourite. (note to self–bring lots of $$ next convention). Anyway, having been fangirl at the con, it was fun to sit at a table and chat (although chatting was hampered by the jazz band and the acoustics of the restaurant. There was a lot of shouting and sign language). I hope I didn’t harm Richard Zajac’s hearing as he was next to me.

Kalman Andrasofszky joined us and the artists all got into a lively and amusing conversation as to their attitudes to their drawings and convention sketches (Ty is famous for being apologetic for almost every single one no matter how happy the recipient. Wanna make Ty cringe? Show him one of his convention sketches).

It was pretty eye-opening for me–and probably would be for young artists to know that every single artist in the world has times of artistic angst and crisis, and times when they’re happy and confident in their work. I think the main thing I took out of it was how genuinely happy that whole bunch is to be able to meet fans and talk to them and do sketches and commissions.

With children at home waiting for us (and phoning me constantly on the cell), and the noise level increasing in the restaurant (the Guy and I both have hearing issues), we decided to head out…so I know there were lots of other amazing creators there who I didn’t have a chance to meet and chat with. Hopefully, I’ll have other opportunities in the future…

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3 responses to “Wizard World Toronto Comic Con

  1. Great and thorough recap…It was great to see you again!

  2. Pingback: Wizard World Toronto Comic Con | KEIREN SMITH | The League of Honor

  3. Pingback: Sequential | Canadian Comics News & Culture

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