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Monday, May 14, 2018

Good times at the 2018 Ottawa Comiccon

The 7th edition of the Ottawa Comiccon -- which ran from May 11 - 13, 2018 -- was held on some of the sunniest days we've had in Ottawa so far this year.



This year's guests of honour included Jason Momoa (Justice League, Aquaman, Game of Thrones), Karl Urban (Star Trek), and Matt Smith (Doctor Who). [Before you ask, the answer is 'no, Jason Momoa was NOT giving interviews to the media'. Shucks.]

Jason Momoa (circa 2017). Photo by Gage Skidmore.



There was a little something  for every genre of fan this year -- featured guests included Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG), Finn Jones (Marvel's Iron Fist on Netflix), Doug Jones (Shape of Water), Joe Flanigan (Stargate: Atlantis), Julian Glover (Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back), Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead), and Trish Stratus (WWE).  Mike Colter (plays Luke Cage in the Marvel Netflix series) was scheduled to appear, but had to bail at the last minute. How cool would it have been to have a photo op with Power Man AND Iron Fist? Maybe next time.

All this sounds very impressive (which it is), but what really blew me away this year were the two of the featured comic book pros appearing this year: Jim Shooter AND Neal Adams! I've been wanting to talk to Shooter for a long long time (he hasn't been to Ottawa Comiccon in about seven years), as well as Adams -- who I was hoping to interview at the 2016 Montreal Comiccon with Mark Belkin, but missed out on due to scheduling conflicts. James O'Barr (The Crow), Geof Isherwood, Ty Templeton, Dan Parent (Archie), Marco Rudy, Richard Comely (Captain Canuck), Tom Fowler (Rick & Morty), Richard Serrao, Andy BĂ©langer, Ken Lashley (X-Men Gold), and Ron Sutton. A few of these creators were brand new to me and, God help me, I would've interviewed them all if I could.


The doors opened at noon on Friday May 11th, and by 2pm the EY Centre was already packed with fans sporting early-bird and VIP passes.

packed by 2pm. photo by Adrian K.


Our first interview was with Neal Adams. We talked about his newest DC series (2018 Deadman series) and how it tied into his other recent DC work (2010's Batman Odyssey, 2017's Superman: Coming of the Supermen), and then he was immediately rushed off to host his Q&A panel (which we also attended). Lots of great stuff in the interview and Q&A panel, which we'll be posting shortly for your reading pleasure.
Neal Adams at 2018 Ottawa Comiccon. Photo by Justin Francoeur.


Our second interview was with Jim Shooter. I know what you're thinking: 'Jim Shooter was the Editor-in-Chief for MARVEL COMICS from 1978 to 1987. Why would DC in the 80s be so excited to interview him?' Because Shooter dealt with A LOT of DC/Marvel writers and artists during that time period and he's got stories for days. Don't believe me? Check out his blog. In the meanwhile, we interviewed him and we'll post that interview shortly. 
I don't usually pose for photos with the comic pros I interview... but this was a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity. Jim Shooter and I. Photo source: Jim's lovely assistant.


Our next interview was with Marco Rudy -- artist for DC (Final Crisis, Swamp Thing) and Marvel (Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier). We talked about which 80s comics he read growing up, and which artists inspired him. Really friendly and talented guy.

Marco Rudy at 2018 Ottawa Comiccon. Photo by Justin Francoeur


Geof Isherwood was too busy with commissions to chat with us, but he did manage to strike a pose for us. When asked about his late 80s/early 90s run as penciller/inker in Suicide Squad v1 (issues #33 to #66), he replied "I didn't really have much to input into the series (as far as plot was concerned), Yale and Ostrander were already doing a great job as it was." Regarding which comics he was reading in the 80s? "From 1983 and onward I was too busy drawing to really be reading any comics." We really hope to catch him next time and bug him with more fanboy questions.

Geof Isherwood at the 2018 Ottawa Comiccon. Photo by Adrian K.

While I was conducting these interviews, our photographer (Adrian K) was scouring the facility for cosplay shots. Here's what he came up with:
Poison Ivy by Peekaboo Cosplay


Rorschach (left) and gender swapped Joker and Harley Quinn (right) cosplay


...and some non-DC cosplay, too:

Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan) cosplay (left), and Josh Graham [@ottawasstarlord] and Landon Graham as Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon (right)

That scout trooper who had his speeder bike stolen by an Ewok in Return of the Jedi.

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Saturday, May 12th was another beautiful day in Ottawa. This was also the day that Jason Momoa would be appearing, so I opted to arrive early (before 10am) before the parking lot filled up. I'm glad I did.

9:30AM Saturday -- Ottawa loves it's Comiccon. Photo by Justin Francoeur.

Seeing as how Jason Momoa was the MAIN event today (I'd say about 80% of convention attendees were there to see/meet him), we saw a lot more Aquaman and Mera cosplay than usual.


Photos by Justin Francoeur


Photos by Adrian K


The 1pm Saturday panel was kind of a dilemma -- do I attend the On the Couch with Jim Shooter Q&A session hosted by Ty Templeton (which I know will be good)... or do I attend the Jason Momoa Celebrity Q&A session and hope to get the chance to stand up in front of a crowd or people and ask him if he read comics as a kid? Ultimately, I went with the Templeton option because he did such a great panel with Bob Layton last year.


We were able to grab interviews with Ken Lashley and Andy BĂ©langer about which 80s/90s comics they read while they were younger. One of these two will be helping to relaunch an older DC imprint that started in 1993.  Find out who in our upcoming interview (no, this isn't considered clickbait since we don't have advertisers.) 

Ken Lashley at Ottawa Comiccon 2018. Photo by Justin Francoeur


Actress/Director/Comedian Abby Hagyard -- best known as 'the mom' on Canadian sketch-com TV series You Can't Do That On Television -- was at Ottawa Comiccon doing photo ops and promoting her newest project. DC in the 80s was actually invited to attend the filming of her new project that evening (we signed a release form and everything), but unfortunately we could not make it due to schedule conflicts.

Yes, these are the ORIGINAL lockers from the 1980's YCDTOTV set.

You Can't Do That On Television ran from 1979 - 1990, and then as reruns on Nickelodeon until 1994. I actually remember this airing on Canada's YTV while I was in elementary school, and being one of the last shows I could watch that evening before having to start my homework. As a sketch comedy show aimed at a teen audience, I felt pretty 'grown up' being allowed to watch this -- I also felt pretty 'grown up' that I was allowed to read Mad Magazine at the time. The most memorable gimmick about this show was slime being dumped on the heads of any actors who said "I said don't know" during a scene. It made for pretty entertaining television when you're eight years old, so let's not judge here. Apparently, YCDTOTV also launched the career of Canadian alternative rocker Alanis Morrissette. All this to say, Ms Hagyard is a talented actress and I regret not being able to make it to the filming that evening. Check her out at abbyhagyard.com.


I spent a bit of time walking the floor, talking to people or just taking pics of whatever I found interesting (these are probably my favorite things to do at comic conventions, TBH). I've had a bit of an obsessive streak with collecting sew-on patches and pins for my jackets and etc, and did a double-take when I saw this guy:

Photos by Justin Francoeur

Now, I'm usually more of the 'less is more' school of thought when it comes to adding patches and stuff to your jackets, but this guy really pushed it to the limits. "I traveled around Europe last year and picked up a patch from every place I visited", he explained to me. You can literally point to a patch on his back and he'll tell you a story about the place. "And these cub scout badges are ones I've earned while I was a cub scout." I like this jacket because it's an automatic conversation starter.


Next up was this guy who was seriously trying not to laugh as I took his photo:

photo by Justin Francoeur
I personally don't like pins on my jackets -- they jangle when you walk, sometimes the pin comes undone and pokes you, and sometimes you mysteriously lose them in your daily travels -- and big pins (like, bigger than 1") are the worst culprits. I appreciate this gentleman's dedication to the cause -- the cause of keeping the dream of the pin alive. Sometimes you need to suffer for 80s fashion.


Raven Banner Entertainment, a Toronto-based production company, was promoting the new animated series they had saved from extinction. Todd & The Book of Pure Evil ran for two seasons on the Space Channel before being cancelled (they still had a third season in the works). Raven Banner's Todd & The Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End concludes this series in an animated film and brings a sense of closure to the series. Always great to see a production company step in and see a prematurely cancelled Canadian animated series get a respectable ending. More info here.

Photo by Justin Francoeur


The Capital City Garrison (of the 501st legion) were back again this year raising money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. This year's diorama? The Mos Eisley Cantina scene from Star Wars: A New Hope.

Not seen in this photo: there was someone in a Greedo costume wandering around.
Very sorry I missed them. Photo source: Justin Francoeur.



How about more DC cosplay? Great! Here we go:

Hot damn! It's Death of the Endless (left) and lady Joker (right). Photos by Justin Francoeur.


Batman, Supergirl and Robin (left) and Parasite (right). Photos by Justin Francoeur


Batgirl (left) and Harley Quinn (right). Photos by Justin Francoeur



Batman Beyond and Green Arrow. Photo by Adrian K.

Joker and Harley Quinn (left) and Starfire of the Teen Titans (right). Photos by Adrian K.


Photo by Adrian K

And some of our favorite non-DC cosplay we saw:

Bender(s) from Futurama. Photo source: Justin Francoeur

Megaman family. Photo by Justin Francoeur


One of the last things I typically do at any comic convention is wander around the vendor booths and try to find something cool to buy and show you guys. (Kinda like show & tell, but for fans of early 90s DC nostalgia.) This year, I managed to pick up a full set of 1995 Fleer/Skybox DC vs Marvel trading cards. This is a set I would normally overlook, but Marvel vs DC nostalgia seems to be all the rage with kids nowadays (and to be honest, this is a pretty nice set -- probably the LAST really nice DC set produced before the whole trading card market collapsed in the mid-90s), so I thought "why not?". I actually can't wait to dig in, give you a review and brief history of these cards (because I'm actually pretty curious myself). Something to do during a 'slow week', I'm sure.

1995 Fleers/Skybox DC vs Marvel cards. Photo by Justin Francoeur



Another impressive acquisition was one of the last bits of 1989 Batman movie memorabilia I had been keeping my eyes open for: a full set of Post Cereal 1989 Batman movie motion cards. Yep, that's right. I am now, officially, *that* guy who collects cereal box promos... but listen, this is legit... I actually owned one or two of these when I was younger and -- God help me -- I really don't know how I lost them since I absolutely cherished them. Anyways, we've been reunited again, and the dealer even included the box!

1989 Batman movie motion cards. Mine at last! Photos by Justin Francoeur


And of course, I picked up another full set of those promotional Batman Returns cards issued by Zellers in 1992.  Mainly because they were sitting on a dealer's table in the clearance section. Whatever. Totally my gain.



Well that wraps up our review of the 2018 Ottawa Comiccon. I hope you felt my sheer enthusiasm for this event emanating from the several thousand words I just typed. I hope you check back to read the interviews (because they're REALLY good). Thanks to Leeja Murphy and the rest of the Agence Pink for putting on such a wonderful event (they are organizing the Montreal Comiccon in July, FYI). Very big thanks to my photographer, Adrian K, who volunteered his time to snap some pics of cosplayers and anything else that looked interesting.

Justin  


P.S. If we snapped a pic of you and you didn't see it on this page, check our Facebook page.









3 comments:

  1. Great photos! Did you plan to release more of them? Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great photos! Any chance to get an album with all the pictures out? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi! Batman Beyond is maca_cosplay and the arrow is christhecreator (instagrams)

    ReplyDelete