By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
With Capital City Comic Con (4C) less than a week away, just what I’ll be doing here is to run two role-playing games, Call of Cthulhu, and also host a panel about the paranormal pop culture scene. I authored enough content not only here, but also for Absolute Underground Magazine, 28DLA.com and Drunk in a Graveyard to know the trends. I have been a paranormal enthusiast ever since Scooby Doo graced the screens back in the ’60s. I’m not that old, but I love those classics!
This show takes place March 22–24, 2019 in Victoria, British Columbia. It has big goals and while it will never compare to the mainland shows, it can hold its own. This event is like that Little Engine That Could. I’ve talked to Biajo Woodward of Cherry Bomb Toys to know it will take years before the loftier ideas can get realized. Support from different industries is needed. In the meantime, it keeps chugging along, and I know at least part of the team simply want to offer good things for the community to enjoy. For those fans wanting something quieter, I recommend this island grown convention. It’s quaint.
As an event in its second year, hesitancy from some fans and perhaps also local businesses still exist. Those who are from this city still recall the IFcon fiasco and others remain curious as to why LANtasy had to fold. This city had a handful of geeky style events (Gottacon, I-Con) come and go over the decades. The 90s and early 00s had a fair number and I recall a lot of them depended on Star Trek talents to create interest. Star Trek: The Next Generation had a huge influence on fandom. Sadly, some were too vocal in saying we do not need any more Trek. The organizers heard and decided not to continue.
The Downtown Victoria Business Association, Tourism Victoria and Cherry Bomb Toys are doing their best to change history. Part of their agenda is to bring up tourism. Two-thirds of the team is doing what’s best for the city. While they will have a tough time appeasing decades old geeks like me, newcomers are not as finicky.
To satisfy me will be tough. I appreciate the fact they bring in a lot of local talents to ply their trade. I can always find Lawrence Denvir, Julien Pilon and Glen Mullaly. Nearly all of the talent involved in creating local comic Monsterella will be present, and I’m always glad to be able to chat with them to learn about their next project when the major talents are unavailable. Bell Media has an exclusive on them because they are a huge sponsor and Destination Greater Victoria is managing who can come in under media accreditation. Despite having a date of March 15th to get applications in, not everyone is treated equally.
The schedule is online, so people can plan in what sketch duels or panels they wish to attend. Since this show is different, attendees will not always find certain convention staples like speed dating. Sketch duels are the norm and they are always exciting to see. The art is often auctioned off for charity. Other activities include connecting with the community. VicLUG, Victoria Federation of Gunpla, Vancouver Island Ingress Players Association, Medieval Chaos and Vancouver Island Pokémon Go Syndicate (not a complete list) have booths and demonstrations to show off what they do. They welcome new members!
This year, Capital City listened to the fans and expanded the space so more games can be held. When I heard, I offered to Game Master my favourite system in the realm of the paranormal. In the works for Sunday is a scenario set in Camosun College’s Young Building! In staying true to the pulp era, it’ll be set in the past than the present. I’m excited about this side of the show as my heart belongs to the world of making imagination come to life. Nearly all the staples are represented. Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer and Star Trek (no surprise) will take place. As a bonus, pinball wizards can challenge Tommy!
For those people wanting to meet entertainment talents, the lineups at smaller shows are manageable. They rarely get super big names. To say the talents they get in are not good is unfair and it’s impossible to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Capital City is bringing Marina Sirtis and Garrett Wang to the Garden City and I can roll with it. Instead of thinking about them for their Trek roles, I hope to get my five minutes to talk to her about her work in Disney’s Gargoyles. She is terrific as Demona, and it’s a far cry from her role in The Next Generation. I’m glad she’s doing voice-over work and would love to know what she is recording next.
Wang has not done a lot of acting after Voyager, and I do not blame him for taking time off. Maybe he was feeling burnt out with the fandom. These days, he’s working within the convention scene as a moderator. If he’s bringing his charm to 4C in this front as the host than a guest, I am intrigued.
I doubt many fans will want to ask Malcolm McDowell about his role as the villain in Star Trek: Generations much less his role in animated works. Some find doing voice-over just another job. Others embrace the character and become well known for it. Not everyone will recall he was the voice of Metallo in Superman: The Animated Series. Out of all the projects he’s been involved in, he’s forever immortalized as Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971).
The medium of comic books is not entirely forgotten as comic book conventions are all about cross-media. Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts) is coming to this event as part of Chapter House Comics, a Canadian publishing firm focusing on bringing creator-owned content to the masses. Recently released is an omnibus collection of his work, Moon Lake, and I had a tough time finding a copy in town to read. I hoped to read it before the show and perhaps chat with Fogler about his creative process. Sadly, not a lot of love is shown to distribute this company’s works outside of conventions. I’ll have to buy his book at the show.
To note, this series has no relation to the Nancy Drew book. The location’s name is very telling and it feels like I heard it before, perhaps in an episode of Ancient Aliens. Fogler wrote a story about a small town besieged by all things alien and undead. The folks here will have to figure out what’s going on. The art is from Kevin Colden (The Crow: Death and Rebirth) and Alex Horley (Warcraft), Fernando Pinto (TMNT). Added to this book is a tale by New York Times best-selling author Kevin J Anderson for UFOlogists to sink their conspiracy theories onto.
When this city is home to a lot of strange things in the backwoods of Sooke and the Forbidden Plateau—and objects fly around at the military base in Esquimalt—his book has a market here. The same can be said with the extraordinary number of artists and comic book creators living here. More names have been announced and I’m glad to see this city bring Ken Steacy, Gareth Gaudin and Dan Schoening (to name a few) to the show. Fans from abroad will get to meet them along with other local talents. Absent this year is the local theatre scene–namely the gang in Paper Street Theatre whom I’ve seen perform many a nerd-based improv (I’m surprised they were not invited) and Charles Ross, the creative talent who is One Man Star Wars.