There’s probably as many ways to enjoy Comiccon as there are participants. Whether you like movies, comics, costumes, art, games or collectibles, you’ll find something to make it worth the trip. So instead of reporting on one experience, mine, I’ll present different aspects of the Comiccon experience.
I decided to dedicate my first day to the medium that spawned Comiccon: comics. A sizeable section of the show floor is dedicated to Artist Alley. There, one could find accomplished American artists like Jae Lee, Mike Zeck, James O’Barr, Michael Golden, Geof Isherwood, and even the legendary Neal Adams. All these artists have prints for sale (usually around the $20 mark) and will gladly sign them for you. You’ll also find a ton of talented local artists that, while not as well known, are just as talented. And the cool thing is that you can usually simply walk up to their table, look at their stuff and chat with them. It’s a little intimidating to check out an album you don’t know or a series of prints with the author watching, but it’s worth it on the chance that you’ll discover something you’ll like. And the artists will gladly answer questions.
Two comic related presentations caught my attention during the day. One dealt with the passing of time in comic books, and analyzed the various ways creators depict the passage of time. For anyone not familiar with the craft behind the medium, it was a fascinating look at the tools used by creators, and how to decode them. The second one was Neal Adams, talking about the history of comic books, from a business point of view. He talked at length about how the publishers sold comics before direct distribution, and how that model traces its origin in fraud perpetuated by distributors against publishers. (in one sentence: books reported as unsold and destroyed, were in fact being sold illegally directly to consumers) The Q&A section saw Adams answer a variety of questions, memorably going off on how the “Man of Steel” movie was a terrible movie, and how the Comic Code lost its teeth in the ’70s and effectively became worthless. Adams is a very engaging speaker, and he pulled no punch in his comments (His mantra: Publishers are idiots)
And of course, dealers occupy a large area of the floor. Rows and rows of bins overflowing with comics, from run of the mill to rare, from a couple of dollars to thousands. I was pleasantly surprised to find copious amounts of French comics, especially the old “Éditions Heritage” translated superhero stories that I read as a kid. Any fan will find something to add to their collection!
Comiccon runs through Sunday July 5th. Tickets are available on site, but it’s a better idea to buy them in advance from www.montrealcomiccon.com