…..How May 10th might just be the most awesome day in Toronto history… but I’ll get into that in a minute.

This year is going to be an interesting one in terms of comic conventions in the GTA. We have new owners of Fan Expo but a lot of the same people are still there. TCAF has become huge. It’s guest list alone is something to drool over. Not to mention a few new cons are trying to hit the ground running. I figured I’d take a look at some of the events coming Toronto fans’ way in geekdom this spring and summer.

GTA Comic Con – April 19

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The new kid on the block, GTA Comic Con originally entered the fray with a Rob Liefeld guest announcement. Liefeld has unfortunately had to back out of the appearance but in a move that many conventions would shy away from, the cancellation was announced quickly and publicly and other guests were booked.  While this convention is a bit on the smaller side, it is their first year and I’ve been to a number of toy shows ran by these guys. Rob Guillory, the artist on Chew, is a very different type of comic creator guest but it’s a solid pick along with their other entertainment guests. This might be the start of something good.

 

 

Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) – May 10 to 11

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A great, free festival that showcases independent comic artists and is generally an awesome show. I’ve been to panels with Darwyn Cooke, the creators of Adventure Time and others in a BAR! Having a beer and some poutine while watching Cooke talks about comics is just brilliant. But this year, hot off their signing a great deal with Image, Sean Phillips and Ed Brubaker are headed north. I’m really looking forward to this show especially since something else awesome is happening that evening.

 

Ring Of Honor / New Japan Global Wars – May 10

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If you’ve been following this column, you will know that I am a fan of pro wrestling and Ring of Honor is one of the better feds out there. Their tv product isn’t the best looking but their in ring work tends to be amazing. In fact, the only company that is as consistent with the quality of in ring matches is New Japan Pro Wrestling. So when ROH and NJPW decided to do a few shows together, I was excited. When I heard they were doing one of those shows in Toronto, I was ecstatic.

 

Anime North – May 23 -25

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One of the biggest fan run conventions in North America, if you want to see costumes and cosplay, this con is SPECTACULAR! In terms of guests, a solid line up of voice actors. This show is very well run year after year. The one and only issue I have with this show is that it has outgrown it’s location. Divided among two hotels and a convention centre, Anime North really needs one central location……but being a non-profit organization, that’s probably easier said then done.

 

Niagara Falls Comic Con – June 6 to 8

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Last year, NF Comic Con was probably the most fun I had at a convention in quite some time. This year, they’re taking it up a few notches. The comic line up is solid (with Neal Adams and Kevin Eastman being the main events) and in terms of other celebs, it’s a real interesting buffet. Wrestlers to Star Trek to Cosplayers, they’ve got all of the basis covered. And Kevin Eastman in the year of the TMNT 30th anniversary? SOLD!

Fan Expo Canada – August 28 -31

last year's Fan Expo with Max Brooks

last year’s Fan Expo with Max Brooks

The biggest player in the game at this point. Since the announcement of Hobbystar selling to Informa, we’ve all wondered what changes might be coming, if any. If the Toronto ComiCON was any indication, it’s business as usual. It also happens to be Fan Expo’s 20th anniversary. Rumour has it they are pulling out all the stops in terms of guests (there is one creator that has 90% confirmed they are coming to me and it’s a good sign and no, it isn’t Max). There will always be people who grumble about the show; it’s too big, it’s too expensive, etc, etc and for those people it may be true. But at this point you have plenty of options beyond Fan Expo if it drives you that nuts. So if that’s you, do me a favour, don’t go and if you decide to go, don’t grumble to me about it (especially if you have bad breath and I have ear buds in trying desperately to signal that I don’t want to talk to you). Me? I’m looking forward to it.

So what am I missing here folks? If you’ve got an event you want us to know about, tells us in the comments below or drop us an email.

Cause if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!