Img 0007The Toronto Star investigates the great Toronto Convention War:

There is a secret war brewing in this city’s comics scene.

Like any story set among spandex-clad vigilantes, this one conforms to some of the rules of the four-colour world. Just like Daredevil’s nemesis the Kingpin, one man wields influence over his vast domain. And just like the Justice League, disparate souls have formed a group to fight what they see as his oppressive power.

To an outsider, it could all be a source of great amusement: a nerd fight. And the nerds are fighting over one of the nerdiest things of all: a comics convention.

But to the parties involved, the subject is deadly serious. To explain why they’ve got their mylar bags in a knot, allow us to introduce the cast of characters.

In the piece Hobbystar’s Aman Gupta denies ever having told exhibitors who went to the rival one day Paradise Comics show that they were not welcome at his show. This statement led to retailer Daryl Collison, who sent around an email detailing the alleged blackballing, to walk around the Paradise show, held this weekend, with the placard you see here, in a photo by Jamie Coville. More of Coville’s photos from the show here.


  1. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’ve attended the hobbystar show for eight years now and have always had a good time. As an Indie Comic Publisher, the Hobbystar show has always been my most successful saleswise, and I’ve made a ton of friends there since I began attending.
    I’ll be there again to this year, at the “Hairy Bald Guy Books” table in Artist alley. (Look for the aforementioned “Hairy Bald Guy”…)
    I feel for Darryl, but I also have to feel for all the others caught up in this thing who want no part of the battle, that being other artists in the alley and other retailers, not to mention many, many fans. I understand why he would wear the sign, but I think he’s taking it a little far. He is, in his own words according to the Star article, going to be at the Hobbystar show.Will he wear it there? Should be interesting…
    I support a larger network of cons, cause it can only help the medium.

  2. Many support a larger network of cons Jason, and are being punished for it. Take Jim Felker – he reported in his LiveJournal on Saturday that he is the latest person to be banned from an HSM event for supporting other conventions in the Toronto area, even though he had paid in full for his table.

    As for the article, I am not the co-owner of the Paradise Comics brick and mortar store. I am the co-owner of the Convention business.

    Thanks to everyone for the great support at yesterday’s Toronto Comic Book Fan SuperShow!

  3. I am Daryl Collison

    “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone”.

    For those who were at the show, they saw the levity and understand that
    I have to laugh in the face of the absurdity of all this.

    I never wanted to be ‘here’. I just wanted to continue to do the shows I do and support both Hobbystar (as I have done for 8 years) and stand behind Paradise. Heck, I even tried my had at TT20 this year and had a wonderful time.

    As I have also said before: I have no desire to ban Hobbystar and have never suggested that anyone do as such. The Expo is an incredible event and is a big red star on the calendar for many of us.

    Will I be at the expo? Of course I will. I spent almost $1,100.00 for the tables. Will I wear that sign? I HAD to wear that sign to bring to light that I KNOW what Aman said; he knows what he said AND the 5 other retailers that got the call know what he said and I feel that everyone else should see that I am not taking this lying down.

    AGAIN, I want ALL of this cleared up and I want us all to ‘get along’. Having said that, we know this is not over and I hope it ends with a few slaps on the back and a couple handshakes.

    On another note. As far as I saw the show was a smashing success.

    HUGE kudos to Ken Lashley who was STILL doing FREE sketches after all 3 of the EXHIBITORS had left.

    And Phil Jimenez who flew IN and OUT the same day to do the show!!

    I hope to see many of you in good health and great spirits at the Expo.

  4. I am Daryl Collison


    That should have read:

    HUGE kudos to Ken Lashley who was STILL doing FREE sketches after all
    3 of the EXHIBITORS had left

  5. Love you guys! Love you all!

    And yeah, we were all chuckling about the sign. There was a lot of joking around that day.

    I think everyone involved would like to be welcome at Hobbystar events. It’s unfortunate that we’re not.