BY SABRINA PIGNATARO
Yesterday, Toronto ComiCon put on a small, one-day comic convention. For only $10 (and free for kids under 12), guests could enter the convention floor in Hall F of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s South Building.
The “Festivus Holiday Sale” prides itself as the largest one-day comics show in Canada, with 2,500 guests in 2013. Unlike the massive fall event Fan Expo, the December convention is a lot more low-key, with fewer special guests, no panels, and a much smaller space. Fan Expo, on the other hand, takes up the entire South Building and part of the North Building.
[pullquote]No convention would be complete without the presence of cosplayers, who were out in full force[/pullquote]
The convention floor was divided into two sections: retailers and Artist’s Alley. In the retail section, comic shops and publishers sold a wide array of books and back issue comics, while other retailers sold a variety of merchandise, including jewellery, T-shirts, posters, statues, and other assorted collectables. Most retailers had great sales, with book prices as low as five dollars. The event’s special guests, including Toronto based DC Comics artists Marcus To and Francis Manapul, were in Artist Alley, where visitors could by prints or splurge for commissions from their favourite artists.
No convention would be complete without the presence of cosplayers, who were out in full force dressed as their favourite characters from books, movies, and television shows. As the convention lacked any organized cosplay events, cosplayers banded together and put on their own. At around 2 p.m. I heard one person asking if anyone was interested in a cosplay ball at 3, and around 3:30 p.m., in the area just outside the hall, about 20-30 cosplayers were engaged in a melee battle, play fighting with fake swords and axes. At one point, the Convention Centre’s custodial staff briefly joined the fun, jokingly trading blows with their brooms.
While larger conventions offer more entertainment value, the Festivus Holiday Sale is more about merchandise; a one-stop-shop for all your horror, anime, and comic book needs. With the holidays just around the corner and the pressure mounting to cross those last names of your shopping list, the event was certainly worth the low price of admission.