15,000 people?! Holy Moly!
The 2013 edition of the Niagara Falls Comic Con was held June 8th and 9th at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This year the event had 3 times the floor space compared to last year and filled every square metre of the extra space with great guests, collectibles and tons of fans!
When I was a kid and loved comic books I couldn’t have felt more alone and geeky. Boy, times have certainly changed.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I realize that the pop culture that has thrilled and inspired me throughout my life has become so popular! It is wonderful to have such a great, well run convention in our backyard here in Niagara.
Now, there were definitely celebrities that brought out the fans — with huge line-ups for fan favourites like Corey Feldman and Lou Ferrigno — but there were some amazing displays, great food, costume fun, video games and tons of deals on comics, artwork and other pop memorabilia.
At every convention I have ever attended, my favourite part is the panels and interviews. It is always great to get to hear one of your favourite creators or actors answer questions about their career and get to know them a little better.
I was thrilled by the three panels we got to sit through:
George Perez was one of my favourite artists in my teens. As I aspired to be a comic book artist, I spent hundreds of hours studying his work, so fascinated by the level of detail and energy he brought.
Mr. Perez illustrated fan favourites like the Avengers, New Teen Titans, the epic DC mini-series Crisis on Infinite Earths and then went on to re-invent Wonder Woman as the artist and writer of the best take on DC’s Amazon heroine throughout the character’s 70-year history.
He spoke about his career, his passion to still tell great stories and seemed legitimately humbled and surprised by how popular his work still is at the age of 59 (a birthday he celebrated at the convention).
Tom Savini has enjoyed a tremendous career as an actor, a director and most notably as one of the premiere make-up and special effects technicians of his generation.
Mr. Savini is best known for his make-up and effects work on such groundbreaking films as Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th and Creepshow; he seemed even more popular with the NFCC crowd for his role as “Sex Machine” (in From Dusk Till Dawn)!
For a solid hour, Mr. Savini (standing on a table so he could see all 80 people in the room) engaged in an open and casual question and answer session with those in attendance. He discussed his opportunities to work with George Romero early in his career and shared many humorous behind-the-scene stories of being an actor on the set of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Robert Rodriguez’s Machete and Machete Kills.
It was particularly interesting to hear Mr. Savini speak about his experience with the Vietnam War. Protected by a camera lens, he was able to survive a horrific visual experience and build those images into his work. In fact, his realistic effects are something he’s quite proud of.
The other panel we sat in on was Marc Silvestri. Mr. Silvestri has a long career as a best-selling comic book artist who made his name on Marvel’s flagship title, The Uncanny X-Men.
At the height of his popularity, Mr. Silvestri left the safety and security of work-for-hire at Marvel and became one of the founding partners of Image.
Image changed the rules in comics, as it was less a company and more a partnership of individual studios operated by the biggest artists of the time (including Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino, Erik Larsson, Whilce Portacio, and Silvestri).
Mr. Silvestri launched Cybeforce under his Top Cow Productions and a number of popular series (Witchblade, The Darkness, Tomb Raider) that launched a new generation of popular creators (Michael Turner, David Finch).
Again, similar to George Perez, Mr. Silvestri seemed humbled and delighted that he still is a popular and relevant artist even decades into his career.
So, the 2013 Niagara Falls Comic Con ended up being such a huge success that they announced this week that the 2014 version will be held on June 6,7 and 8 next year — expanded to a full 3-day event! Don’t miss out!!
JUST THE FACTS:
More than 15,000 people attended Niagara Falls Comic Con 2013! You are cordially invited to meet up at the Scotiabank Convention Centre on June 7th and 8th for Niagara Falls Comic Con 2014. Keep checking the website for updates!
Tickets on sale January 7th, 2014