July is here, which means that Montreal Comiccon is right around the corner! The event takes over the Palais des Congrès from Friday July 7 to Sunday July 9, and all three days are packed with fantastic activities and events. If you’re not sure what to look for, here are ten things not to miss at this year’s edition.
- Necropolis Horror Expo
In collaboration with Rue Morgue, the Comiccon offers a parallel event dedicated to horror. In a shrewd booking move, many of the mainstream guests also have horror movies on their resumes, allowing them to take part in both sides of the Con. Actress Adrienne Barbeau (Creepshow, The Fog, Escape From New York) and actor Tony Todd (Candyman, The X-Files, Final Destination) are the event’s guests of honour. As with the regular con, workshops, panels, Q&A sessions and autograph sessions will be offered to all horror fans.
The Film Music Wind Orchestra (Orchestre à Vent de Musique de Film) will present concerts on each day of the con. On Friday, the Harry Potter Concert will delight fans with music from Hogwarts, covering the entire film series. On Saturday, Marvel Cinematic Universe Concert will transport fans into the world of some of the greatest superheroes to ever grace the silver screen. And to cap off the weekend, the time travelling world of Doctor Who will be presented through a program dedicated to the fantastic music of Murray Gold, who’s scored the entire reboot series so far.
Concert goers will need a Comiccon ticket from the same day as the concert to be admitted.
- Indie Game Zone
The province’s vibrant game development community will be featured in the Indie Game Zone, with 40 independent developers on hand to showcase their games. It’s a great opportunity to discover new innovative games and learn about the people who make them. Come play some great games and maybe find new favourites!
You can’t think of Comiccon without thinking of cosplay. Year after year, the level of quality from cosplayers seems to rise, with amazing costume creations that often require hours and hours of painstakingly meticulous work.
On Saturday at 8 :30 PM, the best of the best will parade on stage during the Masquerade, hoping to win one of the prizes awarded to the most amazing costumes. Come cheer for these amazingly talented cosplayers and admire their work.
Hey, it’s called COMICcon, right? Artists and writers will have booths where fans can chat with the creators, purchase art and get autographs. Some of the bigger names present are Neal Adams, Kevin Eastman (co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Yannick Paquette, Howard Chaykin, Aislin, Glenn Fabry, Mark Bagley and so many more.
And if you want to grow your collection, there will be multiple comic dealers with a wide range of books on sale, from recent issues to vintage high priced collectibles.
You want stars? You’ll get stars! There’s someone for everyone this year at Comiccon. The biggest name is without a doubt Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard from Star Trek : The Next Generation or Professor X from X-Men, depending on your age), who’s in town filming the new X-Men movie and will drop in on Saturday. But you’ll also see names like Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly), David Tennant (Doctor Who, Jessica Jones), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from Empire Strikes Back). Walking Dead fans can meet Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori), or Jon Bernthal (Shane, and also the Punisher from the Daredevil TV series).
All celebrities will sign autographs for fans (a fee is charged, and lines can be long), do photo ops (purchased in advance or on site), but most will do QA sessions that are free to attend. These sessions can often be the hidden gems of any convention, with celebrities answering fan questions and talking about the works that made them famous. Check out the full list of guests at http://www.montrealcomiccon.com/en/our-guests/
- Doctor Who event
On Saturday night, there will be a special Doctor Who Q&A event, starring David Tennant (10th Doctor), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) and Alex Kingston (River Song), that promises to be quite a treat for fans of the franchise.
Please note that this is a special ticketed event and is not included in the Comiccon admission.
- Table top games
Board games are making a big comeback these days, but picking one can be a daunting task. Drop by the Board Game room on any day to try a variety of different games, including some excellent Quebec made products. You’ll get a chance to play classic games as well as new innovative entries to the genre. If you’re a fan of board games, this is a must!
- Music festival
On Friday at 8:00 PM at Foufounes Electriques will be held the Comiccon’s first ever Nerdstock music festival. You may have seen Okilly Dokilly on YouTube, the metal band band inspired by The Simpsons’ Ned Flanders, but now’s your chance to see them live!
Also on hand will be Double Experience from Ottawa, Montreal’s Capitaines Moustaches and Wrestlemaniaks.
Tickets are available now.
- The vibe
There’s nothing like the atmosphere at Comiccon. It’s a celebration of creativity, imagination and dreams. Forget the stereotype of the socially awkward nerd: you’ll see couples, families, people old and young with all kinds of backgrounds, coming together united by a common passion. Every year I end up chatting with strangers about movies or comics, and this sense of community is a big part of what I love about Comiccon. You don’t need to be a Star Trek trivia expert to be at home at Comiccon. Come and live the experience; it’s a great way to spend a day.
Tickets to Montreal Comiccon and related events can be purchased in advance here.