I woke up for the second day of the convention still feeling sore and tired from the day before.
Part of me wanted to stay in bed, but I knew I had a duty to perform– so I got up and began the process of making myself presentable enough to leave the house. As I was getting ready, I got a call from my brother who informed me that he and his friend would be heading into the city… And would call me once they reached the convention center. He estimated they’d be there in about an hour.
With my brother’s arrival 60 or so minutes away, I figured I’d be interacting with the local police (for some reason or another) at some point in the next two hours. “Why?”, you ask? Well, my brother is a bit of maniac. Unlike normal people, he can’t seem to come into the city without having something crazy happen. So much has gone down with him over the years, nowadays my girlfriend doesn’t even like me going out with him and his buddies when they come downtown. Given that I was pretty much expecting a day of insanity, I hurried down to the con to get as much reporting done as possible before all hell broke loose.
As I arrived at the convention center, I was immediately struck by just how packed it was. There was a good crowd the day before, but you could still move around freely and things never felt claustrophobic. It was a very different story on Day Two. There were several lines just to get to the convention floor and I was happy to see that they were moving at a decent pace. It didn’t take me too long to get to the front, but when I did– there was a problem.
I had been given a bracelet and a special pass when I got to the show on Friday. When I returned the next morning, I only had the pass with me– as I had removed the uncomfortable bracelet the night before. No one had told me that I would need the bracelet to get back in the next day, so I was a bit annoyed that I had to go get in another line to have my bracelet replaced. There were a few other people in this line with the same problem. Evidently I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t been informed that we weren’t supposed to remove our bracelets. Anyway, after waiting a bit and then proving I was who I claimed to be, I was given a new bracelet. With it, I was able to make my way up to the con showroom.
The convention floor was absolutely packed with people and getting from point A to point B could be a real challenge at times. As I did my best to navigate through the sea of humanity, I was thankful for having done all the shopping I wanted to do the day before. If crowds aren’t your thing, you definitely don’t want to go to the Montreal Comiccon on a Saturday. Unfortunately, a lot of the major panels are held on the Saturday, so depending on what you want to see– you might not have a choice but to show up on the busiest day of the show.
In addition to there being a lot of people at the con, there were an astounding number of cosplayers in attendance. Their presence made circulating even more difficult, because if you had a costume on– you couldn’t take two steps without getting stopped for a picture. Of course, no one wants to step in someone’s shot… So if you saw a guy taking a picture, you had to stop and wait for him to be done before you could move along. There were more cosplayers than ever at this year’s convention and as such, there was quite a bit of this bullshit to endure.
There were plenty of bad costumes to be seen and there were some good ones as well. There were also some phenomenal costumes that undoubtedly took lots of time and money to put together. (I snapped pics of many of the cosplayers– and you’ll see a lot of the pictures I took in a special Montreal Comiccon Edition of IMJ’s Humpday Cosplay™ column this Wednesday!) Sadly, though, I was having some trouble with my camera at the con, so I failed to get decent photos of some of the costumes I really would’ve liked to share with everyone. Hopefully all the pictures of cute girls I did manage to take will make up for it.
Speaking of costumes and cute women, Jessica Nigri, Kamui and Monica Lee were all guests of the con– and I was amazed at the crowds they were attracting at their booth. These women had long lines of people waiting to meet them all three days and their crowds easily dwarfed those of some genuine celebrities. Based on what I saw, I think it’s clear all three of these lovely ladies are draws– and any convention promoter would be wise to bring them to their show as guests. I know I’d definitely get in contact with them if I was putting a con together.
With the crowds being what they were on the convention floor, I was more than happy to go join my brother outside the venue when I got a call from him telling me that he had arrived. He came with a coworker and neither of them had ever been to a convention before… So they didn’t quite know what to expect. They also didn’t realize it would have been a good idea to listen to me and purchase tickets in advance.
Having disregarded my advice, my brother and his buddy found themselves forced to stand in the dreaded admission line. It already stretched around the convention center by the time we found the back of it and people continued to arrive after us– so it only got longer and longer.
Now my brother is a lot of things, but patient isn’t one of them. I really thought he’d just say “fuck it” and head off to a bar or something, but he amazed me by sticking it out in the ticket line for something like two hours. He did, however, drone on and on about how he wanted a beer for the duration of his wait.
By the time my brother and his friend finally did get their tickets, the three of us were feeling hungry and thirsty– so we decided to make our way to a pub. On the way there, some random guy noticed that my brother was wearing a Boston Red Sox sweater and felt the need to exclaim, “Boston sucks!” At that point I was thinking things were about to get crazy like they usually do, but my brother shocked me again by ignoring the comment. I immediately began to wonder if my sibling had been replaced by a Skrull or something, because he wasn’t being himself at all.
When we arrived at the pub, my brother’s friend and I each ordered a pint and some fries. My brother, on the other hand, simply ordered two pints. A short time later, he ordered at least two more and another one for me. I think he had a few shots as well. Once my brother was sufficiently buzzed and his friend and I were done with our food and drinks, we made our way back to the con.
With a few drinks in him, my brother has to be one of the most sociable people you’ll ever meet. I once made the mistake of taking his drunk ass to an NHL game and after it was done, he refused to leave until he had high-fived every single person that had been sitting in our section. This kind of behavior was on display yet again when we got back to the convention. If you were wearing a costume, you were going to get stopped by my brother… There was just no way around it. He made me take his picture with just about every cosplayer we encountered. Thanks to the alcohol, he now barely remembers doing any of it.
When not busy bothering people in costume, my brother seemed genuinely impressed with the convention. He was amazed by the artistic talent on display in artist alley and he was also quite surprised to learn that I owned many of the pricey wall books we were seeing. If anything awed him, though, it was seeing Bret Hart.
The Hitman was a guest at the con and earlier in the day, my brother had been talking shit about confronting him if he saw him. When he finally did lay eyes on the man, he went into total fanboy mode. He started raving about the guy and how he thought it was so great, mainly because he was signing for his fans. I told my brother he should at least go shake Hart’s hand if he was such a fan– but he wouldn’t do it. (He didn’t feel that he had anything worth saying to a wrestling legend.)
As for my brother’s friend, he seemed quite impressed by the show too. As a fan of science fiction, he was mostly interested in seeing celebrities from some of the shows and movies he liked. I guess seeing the stars from afar was good enough, because he didn’t go speak to anyone or get any autographs. Of course, it’s possible he just didn’t feel like paying for autographs. If that’s what it was, I can’t say that I blame him.
Being from France, I thought the friend might have some interest in European comics, but apparently he didn’t. Lots of other people at the show definitely did, though, as the bandes dessinées creators who were in attendance found themselves busy with fans all weekend long. The Montreal Comiccon is, to my knowledge, the only major show in North America that brings in guests from the world of Franco-Belgian comics— so if you want to meet some of their creators, this is the convention to come to. People are becoming increasingly aware of this fact. Speaking with people in the know, I heard fans came from as far as California to meet some of the European creators who were guests at the con.
When my brother started sobering up and his friend started feeling sore and tired, the two of them decide to call it a day and head back to the suburbs. With my back and legs killing me too, I would’ve liked to head home as well. But I couldn’t, because I had a ticket to see a screening of Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith were supposedly on hand to present the film and participate in a “Q&A” afterwards. I loved Mewes and Smith when I was a teenager and I didn’t want to disappoint my 14-year-old self (who still resides somewhere inside me) by missing the event.
As the hour of the screening drew near, word came Kevin Smith had canceled his appearance due to some sudden family emergency. Mewes was still going to present the movie and take questions later on, but with Smith unable to appear, it was announced that everyone who had purchased a ticket to this event would be reimbursed in full. I don’t know if it was the convention or Smith and Mewes who made that call, but it was a very classy move. It was also a decision that did a lot to calm those in attendance… Many who were already very annoyed by the many other last minute celebrity cancellations at this year’s convention.
The Actor received a warm welcome from the enthusiastic crowd when he took to the stage in the big hall. Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie (which he produced) was well received too. The movie is based on the Bluntman and Chronic comic that came out in 2001. If you enjoyed reading that, chances are you’ll enjoy the flick.
It was directed by Steve Stark and features the voices of such notables as Kevin Conroy, Eliza Dushku, Jon Lovitz, Tara Strong and some guy named Neil Gaiman. Stan Lee even had a cameo.
Following the screening, Mewes did a great job of handling the Q&A portion all by himself. A wide range of topics were discussed, as Mewes talked about everything from pooping in the woods to his sobriety. He did have to deal with some dumb fans with dumb questions at times– but that’s always how these things go. Mewes concluded his evening by playing a game with the audience called “Let Us Fuck.” Here’s how the game worked: The crowd came up with a name for some wacky sex position and then Mewes and an audience member would act it out (fully clothed).
By the time Mewes’ event was over, it was very late and I was very tired. It felt great to get home and go to bed, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get as much sleep as I wanted to– because I still had one more day of reporting ahead of me. I’d be heading down to the convention center again in a few hours… And this time I’d be going with my girlfriend and her 10-year-old nephew.