The holidays are coming early for geeks across Ottawa, as the fourth ComicCon Holiday Edition gets set in the city.
Program Director Cliff Caporale says the branch off of Ottawa’s main ComicCon began in 2016 as a way to thank attendees, vendors and exhibitioners.
“When we started the main Con, we were so small. People would come in, shop and meet artists, and spend the day in costume. When we started this second event, it was a way for people to love the environment the Con brings once again,” he said.
“Sports fans would go see games, and this was a way for geek fans to enjoy all the things they loved in one place. Once a year didn’t feel like enough, so this served as a way to reward fans who go to ComicCon. It’s a free holiday edition for eventgoers, and sends them toward retailers and artists before the holiday.”
The November 9 and 10 edition allows people to get dressed up and enjoy their pop culture favourites once again.
“Our first one was very well received, with a couple thousand people attending, and last year we had 5,000. People really come out and support it,” he said.
The Holiday event comes this year as the Ottawa ComicCon has changed their main event from May to the following September in 2020.
“We made a change, as we used to do it on Mother’s Day weekend. We did a survey, and 20 per cent of people wanted it off Mother’s Day. We looked at other dates, but didn’t want to be close to Montreal’s Con, and didn’t want to be on the Victoria Day long weekend,” he said.
“It will be really nice to have our major Con and the Holiday Edition as well, so we can welcome students, and really enjoy it.”
While the holiday edition is stripped down, with no special guests, it’s still a great time for those who want to dress up.
“There are a lot of folks who put their own holiday spin on things when they show up in costume. We get Deadpool with a Santa hat, or Storm Troopers with candy canes instead of weapons. Each year, more and more, people are having more fun with it,” said Caporale.
The first year the Holiday Edition was done, there was an air of worry, but that quickly dissipated.
“We had no guests and nothing to highlight. The vendors were nervous, but were pleasantly surprised with the crowd. Everyone was happy with the results,” he said. “Things are cheaper for the holiday edition, as is booking space. It’s a nice, big event before the holidays, and it’s great for everyone.”
He says this event, and the main Con, allow people to really enjoy themselves, become involved in geekdom, and find a place of belonging.
“Life is stressful in general – whether you talk family, work or other things – and having this mini-vacation where you can fully express yourself is amazing. It’s a way to turn on and be who you are inside. You can show your love for all the things in pop culture you adore,” he said.
“If you cover everything under the sun, from TV and movies to video games and anime, you’ll always find something – or someone – to connect to,” he said.
“I began going in Montreal at 15-years-old, and the discovery of this place where people liked what I liked was so important. I’m glad the Ottawa ComicCon and the Holiday Edition can bring that to others too.”
The Ottawa Holiday ComicCon is on November 9 and 10, and admission is free. More information can be found by visiting here.