May 22, 2022

Have you ever played Call of Cthulhu? It’s a game that requires wit, a roleplaying spirit, and sometimes even background music to set the tone. At least, that is what the panel called “How To Get Started in “Call of Cthulhu” 7th Edition” said, one of many panels to return to Toronto Comicon this past weekend. 

The three day convention, March 18 to March 20, is part of the bi-annual convention circuit. FanExpo, which took place in 2021 despite COVID-19 restrictions, had limited tickets for sale and required a full proof of vaccination for entry. This year’s Comicon required nothing more than a mask and as many tickets as were normally available. 

For those visiting from FanExpo, some panels, guests and stores looked familiar. The ‘Jabba the Hutt’ attraction made a return, this time with a speed racer for photo-ops. The Marvel outlet, which sported a single booth instead of the LCD advertisement laden screen, also returned. 

One notable exception was the esports section, located in the northeast of the showroom. Run by TGS Gaming, 16 Playstation 4s were set up with the game ‘King of Fighters XV’ in which attendees could compete against each other. A main tournament between notable competitors in the local fighting scene also took place on a larger screen for all to see. 

The esports section of the convention, which boasted a ‘bring your own controller’ system. (Devin Shubaly/Spoke News)

“I’ve never played the game before, but he seems to be having fun,” Josh Ryner said, who was playing against his son on one of the occupied gaming consoles. Not only were there returns and newcomers, but also switchups of the format. The ‘Cosplay Red Carpet’ made its return, but instead of being in the venue, the outfits of the day were out in the hallway for all to see upon entry. 

Besides Call of Cthulhu, a three-way competition took place between comics at the “Sketch Duel: Scott Hepburn vs Ramon Perez vs Shawn Crystal,” where they would get a drawing prompt from the audience, and attempt to finish within the hour the panel allotted. While Batman was the final choice, ‘a little girl laying in dead flowers’ was the definitive second choice of all the panelists, with Crystal attempting to draw a silhouette of it in Batman’s head.

While Comicon has come to an end, the other end of the convention pendulum will swing around on Aug. 25 for a fully fledged return to festivities. If you plan to visit on a Saturday, note that all-day tickets for that day sell out quicker than Friday or Sunday, so reserving them in advance would be prudent. 

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