In an effort to engage Canadian fans, Toronto ComiCon organizers are banking heavily on Star Trek’s allure.
Building on the event’s inaugural success a year ago, the show brings together a lineup of guests and exhibitors from the worlds of TV and film, comics, horror and anime for two days at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, March 9-10. And the bridge crew from The Next Generation series will be the premier attraction at the second annual Toronto ComiCon (not to be confused with the longer running, much bigger and more popular four-day FanExpo Canada show held each August at the convention centre).
Scheduled to attend are Patrick Stewart (Capt. Jean-Luc Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr. William Riker), LeVar Burton (Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge), Michael Dorn (Lt. Worf), Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher), Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi) and Brent Spiner (Lt. Cmdr. Data).
Other celebrity guests who are slated to appear are Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, The Goonies), Daniel Logan (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones), Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, V) and Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica).
Of course, the lineups can – and often do – change as the celebrities’ schedules tend to be quite fluid.
The Toronto events tend to have a laid back, fan-friendly feel, with plenty of workshops (including access to some outstanding Canadian and North American authors) and seminars, as well as hundreds of exhibitors and comic artists, plus a celebrity autograph area.
A Star Wars photo session (the 501st Canadian garrison is usually omnipresent at Toronto geekfests), as well as sketching duels and the opportunity to commission artists to create one of a kind drawings.
For Canadian comic aficionados, one of the key comic attractions this year will be the appearance by Kill Shakespeare’s creators. Toronto native Anthony Del Col and Connor McCreery have garnered attention among comic lovers across North America. The comic features epic battles between ol’ Billy’s iconic heroes and villains.
Del Col and McCreery have inked a follow-up series called Tide of Blood, which will be launching this year.
Robert Bailey, who is an official LucasFilm artist based in Alberta, is also scheduled to appear at the show, where yours truly hopes to follow up with him after my interview during last summer’s FanExpo Canada event in which he revealed he was commissioned by George Lucas to do an original oil painting featuring Ahsoka in a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader.
Bailey is the official artist for the Tuskegee Airmen, the famed all-African-American fighter pilot squadron, which Lucas featured in his movie Red Tails.
(You can hear my first interview with Bailey on the Star Wars Book Report podcast – episode 59, which is available via iTunes or at starwarsbookreport.com.)
As well, comic guests who are slated to appear include: Mike Zeck (Captain America, Marvel Secret Wars), Lee Weeks (Daredevil, The Hulk), Katie Cook (My Little Pony), Mike Del Mundo (Marvel cover artist), Marco Rudy (Swamp Thing) and Ty Templeton (Ultimate Spider-Man).
Tickets are available online now, with prices ranging from $20 for an all-access Sunday pass to $39 for a two-day pass. Childrens’ passes are available for $16 per day.
For information on the Next Generation cast photo-op sessions, autograph signings and VIP tickets, go to http://www.lightspeedfineart.com/toronto-comic-con-vip-tickets.
For a complete list of Toronto ComiCon guests, visit www.comicontoronto.com.