Comiccon, the popular convention known for gathering comic book fans, cosplayers and pop-culture store owners, is heading to Winnipeg for the first time, running at the RBC Convention Centre from Oct. 29 to 31.
Comiccon (which is distinct from the famous San Diego Comic-Con) was launched as Montreal Comiccon in 2008. It has since expanded to hold conventions in Ottawa, Quebec City, Laval and now Winnipeg. Winnipeg Comiccon fills the gap left by the now-defunct Central Canada Comic Con, or C4, which ran from 2006 to 2019.
“The fun thing about our team is that we have been doing these events for years, so we know exactly what to do. We are really excited to bring this to Winnipeg, because we have been doing this in Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City,” Comiccon coordinator Jason Rockman says.
Hosting the very first Winnipeg Comiccon during Halloween weekend comes with a great advantage. Given that many attendees decide to purchase costumes from their favourite anime and superhero franchises in order to participate in the costume competition, the time frame couldn’t be more fitting for the occasion.
“Cosplay is huge worldwide, and being able to show your homemade costumes at a Comiccon, on Halloween, is the perfect opportunity,” Rockman says.
Despite this convention following a similar structure to those held in other Canadian cities, local exhibitors are responsible for bringing a unique factor into the mix.
“People will be able to put their content on display, and we are having local artists and comic book (creators) coming in, so it’s always an experience to be able to go and see what is happening out there. There are a lot of people requesting tables and wanting to participate in this event,” Rockman says.
Go Beyond Games, a game store located in Dauphin, Man., is one of the local vendors that will sell geek-friendly products at the Winnipeg Comiccon.
“We have participated in conventions in the past. Mostly what we are looking for is a well-advertised convention and to make sure that everyone is safe,” store co-owner Joe Houston says.
Go Beyond Games sells tabletop board and roleplaying games and retro video games. The store will be well-equipped to entertain at the event throughout its three days.
“We are seeking a lot of retro games specifically, because a lot of customers are excited about them. Our primary goal is to be present and visible at all times,” Houston says.
The Winnipeg Comiccon will include more than 450 exhibitor booths, aimed at selling toys, replicas and other exclusive popculture content.
In addition, there will be guests flying in and having their share of the fun both on stage and through autographs and photo ops. Some confirmed celebrity appearances are Billy Boyd (The Lord of the Rings), Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead) and John De Lancie (Star Trek).
There will also be comic-book creators participating in panels and hosting workshops. Casey Parsons, Hugh Rookwood and Becka are only a few of the names on the list.
Following provincial health guidelines, attendees must always wear a mask and present proof of double vaccination with photo ID upon arrival.
Since some guests and workshops have yet to be announced, the schedule might be subject to changes. Visit comicconwinnipeg.com for information about the convention and COVID-19 guidelines.
Published in Volume 76, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 21, 2021)