By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The 2017 Camosun Comic Arts Festival (CCAF) is growing and for most, it has the feel of wanting to become bigger. As one vendor told me, it has everything people expect from such a larger show. As an event to spotlight local talent, everyone is here, including showing the next generation is ready. Gareth Gaudin‘s (of Legends Comics & Books and creator of the Perogy Cat) daughters are ready as father and his children have teamed up. Enid Jupiter and Lyra Gotham, the Monster Sisters, is an original comic which shows them facing off against the dark threats hiding in the fair city of Victoria, BC.
On April 15th, the third floor of the Young Building at the Lansdowne Campus was completely taken over by local talents (to name a few: Paul Chadwick, Nelson Dewey and Janine Johnston) and the graduates of this year’s Comics & Graphic Novels Program. Photos of some members of this class are offered in the gallery as seen below.
Plenty of range can be found, which includes me spotting a few reps from local gaming firms perhaps looking at talent to hire (I saw one person sporting a KANO/APPs shirt) and Codename Entertainment giving out bonus content pass-keys for their latest game Crusaders of the Lost Idols for people walking by.
Overall, the enjoyed spending part of my afternoon here. This show is like the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (even though I have not been); For this city, we have a great number of talents living on the island and making the City of Victoria home. In order to have folks lingering around, this year has a room with a small selection of board games to play, a reading room with lots of Asian (Chinese mostly) comics which apparently looked free to take. I’m not sure whose collection these came from, but it was cool to flip through them. Plenty of children were around, getting to interact with members from Superheroes of Victoria by either drawing them in action poses or getting pics taken. There were cosplayers too. When these individuals were not a superhero, I had to assume they were getting into the spirit of the occasion instead of dressing up in bunny suits.
Although the exhibitors’ section can be done in under an hour, the in-depth discussions can take up most of any individual’s time here. The topics are varied and they are worth taking a listen to gain insights into an industry. I heard the last bits of the discussion about the role of women in an industry that is always changing with the times.
The five hours spent here can go fast, especially when most of one’s time is spent in a classroom. I’m hoping that this local show will grow to take up a little more than half the day instead of one-third. This show is being kept simple for a reason, but in a town that does not have a lot of events for a local nerd to get his or her geek on, the selection is limited. Sure there’s LANtasy (mostly for gamers), Tsukinocon (for anime enthusiasts) and the Ultimate Toy Show (to shop) but there are gaps. Thankfully the CCAF is here, and Van Isle Con is coming to fill a niche.