The fantasy economy was strong at last weekend’s Fan Expo Canada, which, according to this press release, saw attendance up 23 percent to 59,000 people over three days.

Tireless Jamie Coville has more coverage, with his big report up at http://www.CollectorTimes.com. More from Jamie:

The convention got a huge surge in attendance. It was up 23% to 59,000 people according to the official press release. Most comic dealers I talked to said it was an up year and did say there was more people than last year. Artists Alley was a little more diverse in terms of sales but most of the ones I talked to said it was better. The downside to the increased attendance was the amount of people on the one floor waiting to get tickets. The con has 3 floors, 1st floor to get tickets, a 2nd with panel rooms and a 3rd where the convention itself. On Friday and Saturday Fire Marshals delayed people from going down to the ticket floor until the crowd moved down into the other 2 floors.

Friday and Saturday was hot but by 1:30pm Saturday afternoon you could feel the air conditioner working. DC and Marvel officially had booths at the show (as did Boom!) DC’s booth was manned by Fan Expo volunteers/staff and they it was a U shaped table set up with a ton of free stuff, After Watchmen 1st issue books, This years FCBD book, plenty of buttons and posters. By the end of the convention they only had a small stack of CMX Preview books. Marvel’s booth had very little in terms of free swag and was pretty much a stripped down version of the San Diego booth. They did have a table set up where some of their artists would do scheduled autograph sessions. They also had a speaker system and fun rock/pop music playing.

Coville’s picture’s are here. (Kathryn and Stuart Immonen, above.) He also recorded five panels:

Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski (73:39, 67.4mb)
JMS answers questions from the crowd about his work and tells some very funny stories about his path to becoming an established writer. Highlights include his encounters with his hero Rod Sterling and his faking his graduation from school to please his parents.
Stanley Cup of Joe (59:42, 54.6mb)
Joe Quesada along with Arune Singh (Manager of Sales Communications), CB Cebulski and Mike Pasciullo answer fan questions about everything Marvel.
Spotlight on Darwyn Cooke (56:21, 51.6mb)
Cartoonist Darwyn Cooke speaks about his Parker: The Hunter Graphic Novel adaptation. He also talks about behind the scenes stories about how a Spirit animated movie almost came to pass, the New Frontier animated movie, and future work. Darwyn is very open and candid in this spotlight. The Panel was moderated by Robert Haines. I should note I was a few minutes late for the beginning of the panel.

Writing Comics with Len Wein (51:08, 46.8mb)
Industry Veteran Len Wein does a panel about writing comics and writing in general. He starts off with a small talk about the subject then asks the audience for questions. Much of the audience was interested in becoming writers and asked pretty on topic questions.

Mondo Marvel (52:30, 48mb)
Joe Quesada, Arune Singh, Kathryn Immonen (writer), Tom Brennan (Spider-man Assistant Editor) and CB Cebulski. Off to the side was Mike Pasciullo. They start off promoting some of upcoming books then go into taking questions from the audience. A couple of audience members vent their frustration over One More Day storyline and the recent Marvel Diva’s book. The rest of them asked questions about everything Marvel. There was also some good natured ribbing regarding DC doing Wednesday Comics vs their online comics.

This last panel may be the one where Joe Quesada has to leave due to pressing matters.


  1. I was there on Friday & Sat. In addition to Boom, DC & Marvel – Blind Ferret had a very large presence, as did Udon & DK.

    In addition to the direct market shops, mainstream retailers Zellers (sort of like Canada’s Kmart) and HMV also set up shop to sell DVDs, games & collectibles.

    The crowd on Saturday was jamm-packed, felt just like SDCC and NYCC.

    I really liked the way the aisles were organized. Retailers all at the front. Artist alley in the entire back (so you saw it each time you crossed an aisle, can’t avoid it). In between were the exhibitor organized by genre (gaming, comics, movie, horror, anime, celebrity…etc)

    Negatives – the long line to get in + the massive crowds (good problems to have)

    Diamond hosted a presentation on graphic novels for retailers Wal-Mart, HMV, HDS (airport stores), Indigo, Indigo Online, S&B (library wholesaler) + local independent bookstores & librarians. Thanks to Aman & Hobbystar for donating the free room / AV equipment + giving out VIP passes to our retailers, who got a chance to walk the floor, and some brought friends/family.

    We’ll definitely go back next year!

  2. The Cons in Canada always seem like fun, but seems now, they’ve got to handle more people to deal with. Hopefully, they’ll get on track soon! ;)