Arts & EventsComiccon Returns for Ottawa’s Annual Geekapalooza!

Comiccon Returns for Ottawa’s Annual Geekapalooza!

Comiccon Returns for Ottawa’s Annual Geekapalooza!

Photo credit: Andre Gagne

Wonder Women, Wizards and…Anne of Green Gables? Oh my! Holy fandom, Batman, Ottawa’s annual geek out was back last weekend with a pop culture overload as epic as the Infinity War. Judging from the crowds that assembled for Ottawa Comicon 2018, however, the National Capital Region’s fandom force was thankfully spared from the purge of Thanos.

Heroes, villains, Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Daleks, Fortnite flavour of the week and others far too numerous swarmed the EY Centre for another successful event that may need to expand Giant-man style in the coming years to accommodate the ever growing numbers of attendees. This place, always looking like that club scene from Ready Player One, is getting can ‘o sardines kinda’ packed as you attempt to manoeuvre around Megamen, mega-swords, and Megazords just to get a peek at the Tower of T-shirts! The 7th edition attracted a crowd of over 40,000 visitors, coming from far and wide to celebrate their love of comics, movies, TV, horror, sci-fi, video games, toys, and manga.

Con lovers like Nadia Langton love seeing the event grow year after year. She keeps coming back as a way to mix and mingle with others looking to share their fandom via often intricately designed cosplay.

“I love seeing the other costumes and what people come up with,” said Langton who spent some time on her mash-up of steampunk and Wonder Woman cosplay. Her efforts did not go unnoticed as admirers of her work stopped her repeatedly for photos and accolades.

“I really enjoy dressing up. Now it’s about bringing to life characters that I love in new and creative ways as well as learning new skills,” she says, describing coming to a Con like Ottawa’s to show off her weeks of sewing, gluing and painting as one big, geeky sensory overload.

While Cliff Caporale –the event’s Director of Programming—and his crew assembled their usual yearly gargantuan team-up of celebrities for Q&As, autograph sessions and photo-ops, the 2018 convention had a few new tricks to pull out of their Tardis. It’s bigger on the inside, you know?

The Dreamhack Gaming Zone was a free area letting gamers enjoy PC Games, classic retro consoles and VR Stations. Games of the more conventional verity (read: dice, card and board) could be discovered in the Meeples Table Top Area. This year organizers seemed to place a stronger emphasis of more comedic events with side splitting concert from Rock, Paper, Cynic, a D&D inspired improv show put on by Quest Friends Forever and The Nerdy Show joining to always hilarious BattleCom from years past.

Though guests like Doctor Who’s Matt Smith, Star Trek’s Brent Spiner and Aquaman…err, Jason Momoa tend to take centre stage (that’s if they show up…we’re looking at you Mr. Under the Sea!), most will tell you that the real attractions are the visitors who take the time to dress-up. And some of them take a lot of time with customs becoming more than just tossing on a mask and cape!

Most would agree with Langton when she says that it seems like every type of fandom is represented by those who walk into the EY Centre over the three days. Though not everyone is going to share in that fandom or even know who you are supposed to be, the celebration of all things nerdy itself is the star of the event, especially if you’re basking in the glow of that star in costume.

Now should that costume rip, lose a jewel in your tiara or pop a button, good sewing Samaritans like Jared Gowan are there to save the day and prove that not all superheroes wear capes anyway! Some of them carry not lassos and Bat-a-rangs but duct-tape and glue guns in their utility belts.

“Honestly, I didn’t want to make a custom because I didn’t have time,” says Gowan on why he’s opted to help fix costumes instead of deck himself out in one. He’s been stitching up and pasting down cosplay wardrobe malfunctions for the last two years at various conventions across Ontario.

When asked what one of the strangest things he’s has to fix was, he quickly mentions having to completely glue back together a Doctor Octopus costume at the Toronto Con. Those tentacles made for a lot of work much like the time he had to help rewire a shield only to find that, come the next year, the couple he helped were paying it forward themselves by offering their own on the fly cosplay repair service.

“Hospitality, generosity, charitable benevolence, support, and just simple kindness are commonplace in the Capital Region,” said Comicon President Alex La Prova. “There is no other time and place where these attributes are more evident than…right here during Ottawa Comicon. There are an unsurmountable amount of memorable moments to mention from the past seven amazing years.”

Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe that only keeps laser blasting, web slinging and Hulk smashing out hits, it’s a good bet that Ottawa Comicon has another seven years of awesome sauce ready to rain down on the Capital. To that fans have but one word: excelsior!

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