What I like about comic shows.

I was at a comic book convention all day today, and I’m currently trying to decide if I’ll be going to one a few weeks from now. My erstwhile employer is bordering on furious with me that I’d consider leaving the country to go to a comic book show—particularly right now. (In case you forgot, I’ve got my own comic book event in August that I’m organizing in every spare hour of my day…).

Seeing as the comic show today is about 36 minutes from being over (obviously this was updated later), I figured I’d figure out why I’m even tempted to get on a plane and head to New York in a few weeks, or why I’m here today. Because right now? My feet hurt, I’m a bit cranky, and I’ve done my best to alienate that nice Dr. McNinja fellow. I’ll have to make it up to him later when we’re both drunk and easy.

Well, one of us will be.

So yeah, things that I like about comic book shows. Lets see if I can figure this out.

  1. Friends. Definitely seeing my friends. I’m a pretty social person anyway, I don’t live my whole life online and get to see the people I like once per year. I mean, once-upon-a-time? That described me pretty accurately. But now? Now I just get to see people I don’t see very often all at once, and it’s a lot of fun. Who wouldn’t have a good time at a place where a bunch of people they like are all in the same room? Well, lots of people, judging by the bitching I see in con reports. But from out-of-towners to folks I know here in Toronto whose schedules don’t quite match up with mine, comic cons a re a great place to actually sit down and have a beer with someone. Or a $4 convention coffee, as the case may be.
  2. Cute, chubby guys with beards/glasses. If that’s your ‘thing’ (or even one of your things?) then by God, the comic show is the place for you. If you’re not 100% sure what ‘bear’ subculture is? Just trust that you can find it at the comic show, and half these guys aren’t even gay. (See: Dr. McNinja, alcohol)
  3. Stuff you would otherwise never buy. I was totally lucky today, and scored two awesome purchases.  The first? A Revoltech Megatron action figure, to match (fight with?) my Revoltech Optimus Prime from San Diego. The second? A copy of Teen Titans: Scissors, Paper, Stone, an Elseworlds one-shot by Adam Warren with a criminally low print run a few years ago. I got it for $4! Thanks to Blake Bell for digging through bins for me.
  4. Nerditry. I can be as nerdy as I want at a comic show, because this is the proper place and time for being nerdy. It’s like ordering a vodka-tonic at dinner as opposed to ordering one at breakfast. Time and place.
  5. Air Conditioning. Granted, this one doesn’t always work (see: San Diego from a couple years back, Book Expo America this year), and it’s not always the temperature so much as the humidity (and the knowledge that it’s humid because of your fellow con-goers…ick), but for those of us without central air conditioning (or a job with air conditioning that just isn’t up to the task…) being at a con for three days when it’s muggy and 30 degrees outside is Bliss. Arriving while it’s still reasonably cool out and leaving after the sun’s gone down? Even better.
  6. It’s strangely relaxing. My job is one that involves a hell of a lot of multi-tasking, even on quiet days. When I’m working at a show, all I have to… or really can do… is work at the show. Sell stuff, smile, say hello. No ringing phones, and while the emails are almost certainly piling up? Nothing I can do about it (until I get that Blackberry….). Even when I’m not working the show, it’s much more social than not, since my social life is tied pretty close to the comic books on a lot of fronts. Aside from the travel time, I usually come back from San Diego or New York feeling really refreshed and excited about the industry (It’s the opposite of the “Newsarama Effect”). I think that’s gotta count for something…

And now it’s time to go… Maybe more updates later if I can work it out…

- Chris
(Written @ 7pm, June 8th)

11 Comments on “At The Toronto Comicon Last Night”

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  1. Zub says:

    Ah, the “Newsarama Effect”… just hearing those words makes my neck hairs stand on end. A thousand squealing fanboys telling everyone they’re wrong, no matter what they do, all in unison, all the time.

    I know you’ll make the right choice for yourself about New York. As much as I needle you about going, I know it’s not that simple.

  2. Blake Bell says:

    Argh! Obviously, not enough sleep this morning (me, Carolynn, Ty, Cary and Eden closed the WoC bash), as I forgot to include my little “Titans Hunt” for you, “Freckles”…


  3. Halliday says:

    The REVOLTECH MEGATRON is a completely sweet figure. I really dig that whole line… I keep thinking I should get the GAIKING, as it’s my favorite robot ever. TITANS: PAPER, SISSORS, STONE is a really fun book with some excellent art. Wacky Adam Warren stuff at it’s best. I hope you like it.

  4. Jason Marcy says:

    It’d be cool if you got down to MoCCA. I can hardly believe I’m going yet, and we’ve been planning it (the drive and all that…) for weeks…

  5. Manale says:

    I go for the HeroClixâ„¢.

    I finally got Marrina®.

  6. Zack Soto says:


  7. Chris says:

    Zack- Then it worked! :D

    Manale- Someone I know picked up a LOCKJAW® yesterday. I don’t quite get it myself.

  8. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » June 11, 2007: Vsn you ewsf this? says:

    [...] Blake Bell blogs from last weekend’s Toronto Comicon, as does Christopher Butcher; Heidi MacDonald has photos, BlogTO’s Matt Brown covered the Women of Comics II symposium, and Bryan Munn has a massive links round-up to further coverage (part one, part two). [...]

  9. Manale says:

    Marrina® > Megatron™

  10. Danny T says:

    Although I paid $7.50 for a vegetarian sandwich (not because I am a vegetarian, but because it was almost the cheapest item), it was the greatest veggie sandwich I have eaten in a while. It came with 3 cheeses!

  11. Ed Mathews says:

    I would love to see you in New York again. That being said, I will love seeing you again in Toronto at TCAF…

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