Just about every big city has their very own comic convention these days. Sure they vary in size and importance, but at the end of the day they’re all pretty similar. There are some shows that are unique enough to standout from the pack, though, and the Montreal Comiccon is one of them.
The Montreal Comiccon has been around in its current form since 2006. It began as relatively small convention, but quickly grew to become an important pop culture event. The 2007 edition of the show drew a mere 700 attendees. Four years later, so many people showed up, the city’s fire marshal’s office forced the organizers to stop selling tickets for a period of three hours on the con’s first day. Due to all the trouble with the massive crowd, many people never even made it onto the showroom floor.
The first few editions of the convention were held inside a building called Place Bonaventure, but the show became too big for the complex and a new venue was needed. This is why the Montreal Comiccon moved to a larger convention center called the Palais des congrès de Montréal in 2012. Switching venues proved to be a very wise decision– as a reported 32,000 people descended upon the con that year.
The 2013 edition of the convention is expected to be bigger and better than any of the previous cons, but it already looks to be off to a rocky start. The main issue is that a number of high-profile guests have canceled their appearances at the show at the last minute, including Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, David Prowse, George Perez, Michael Rooker, Laurie Holden and Katee Sackhoff. As you’d expect, this has left many people disappointed. It has also caused some serious problems for the show’s organizers.
The people behind the convention need to be commended, though, because they’ve done a great job of finding quick replacements for the guests who canceled. Christopher Lloyd, Jason Momoa, Margot Kidder, Nicole de Boer, Olivier Coipel and Ray Park are among those who will be filling the vacant spots. They’ll be joining the likes of Bret Hart, Chris Claremont, Chris Jericho, David Finch, Edward James Olmos, George Takei, Gillian Anderson and Neal Adams— who are all still scheduled to attend the event.
As you can tell from the names mentioned above, the Montreal Comiccon gives its attendees the chance to meet film stars, celebrities from television, comic book professionals and wrestlers… Just like all other major conventions do. One major thing that sets it apart from other conventions in North America, though, is that it also invites guests who are known for their work on Franco-Belgian Comics (bandes dessinées). That they do this is really great– and when you think about it, it’s really a no-brainer. After all, Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world and its children often grow up reading bandes dessinées instead of Marvel or DC comics. Once these kids reach adulthood, many of them retain a love for bandes dessinées that far supersedes any fondness they may have for American comics.
This year’s edition of the Montreal Comiccon spans September 13 to 15 and I’ll be attending for all three days. (Today, sadly, was my last day!) But I’ve been digging through comic boxes and looking for sweet deals… While also keeping track of everything I see and hear– so I can tell everyone in the IMJ Nation™ all about my experiences at the con.
When you next hear from me, I’ll have plenty to say about the event and lots of photos to share with you. I’ll also be able to tell you what the show had to offer to all the different kinds of con-goers. If you like what you read in my upcoming reports, maybe you’ll join me next year for the 2014 edition of the convention!