By HEATHER STANLEY
For those who wanted to see all of their favourite superheroes and villains in one place, Kitchener City Hall was the place to be.
The city embraced its inner “geek” on Feb. 28 by holding its first-ever comic con at City Hall. Around 2,500 attended the free event that ran from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The convention was comprised of clubs from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University as well as groups from around the region.
Comic book fans of all ages visited the various booths and tables filled with items to satisfy their comic wants and needs. Vendors sold keychains, mini figures, sweaters and artwork in addition to comics. There was even an upstairs gaming section where tired attendees could rest their feet and battle against their friends.
Although comic cons are perceived as male dominated, lots of women frequent these events. A Facebook study on the number of general comic book fans in the U.S. was completed in February 2014. The number of self-identified fans was 24 million. Women accounted for 46 per cent of that number.
Kitchener Comic Con featured a multitude of guests, including the creator of the comic Captain Canuck, Richard Comely. According to comic con’s website, Comely’s book in 1975 “was the only full-color, self-published book distributed to the mass market.” The hero from the comic, Captain Canuck, was featured on Canada Post stamps in 1995 and on the cover of Time Magazine in 1997.
Another big guest who attended was Bradie Whetham, a Canadian-born actor, musician and convention personality who guest starred in R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. The show is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year which sparked a mini reunion at the event.
According to comic book seller Dave Warren, the biggest comic out right now is The Walking Dead. “When it first started out they printed 8,000 copies,” said Warren. “Now with the television show and that they’re printing over 100,000 copies every month. It’s gone way through the roof.”
Other popular comics are Marvel’s Star Wars and DC’s Batman.
Aside from the collection of vendors, a large attraction was the vast number of cosplayers who dressed up as different characters from comics and video games. These included Thor, Batman, Deadpool and Rosalina.
“I just love seeing people who cosplay,” said Katt Foxx, who was dressed as a version of Impa from the Legend of Zelda series. “It makes me excited and happy. I’ve cosplayed at three conventions now. I went to Anime North one year and Fan Expo for two years.”
Two other exhibits featured were Dick Grayson’s Robin and the Union Jack British-built Austin Mini from the movie trilogy Austin Powers. Along with this, a moving Dalek from Doctor Who could be seen scooting around City Hall.
“We’re nerds, you know,” said Andria Dremo, who was dressed as Yang from Rooster Teeth’s RWBY. “It’s cool to see that our small little city is finally getting into the spirit of cosplay and geek culture.”
For those who wanted some discounts and bonuses, a yearly VIP membership pass could be bought for $5 for Kitchener Comic Con. Discounts included $5 off clothing at Roany’s Video Game Collectibles and 10 per cent off all purchases at Gifts for Geeks. For each online membership sold, 50 cents was donated to Lou Gehrig’s disease. For each pass sold at the event, a dollar was donated.
Kitchener Comic Con will be held again next year for two days on March 5 and 6.