Capital City Comic Con 2022 brought nearly every aspect of pop culture to the Convention Centre as Autumn began. Although I noticed two clubs weren’t in attendence, that’s okay because I knew what was going on (more on this later). And as for what locals can look forward to next, there’s the Ultimate Toy & Hobby Show on Oct 1st and 2nd at the Pearkes Recreation Centre!
This city had Rifflandia and Esquimalt Ribfest the previous weekends and its easy to express an opinion that locals are experiencing fatique. Brewery & the Beast occurred the same time as Cap City; it can be tough to decide on which event is worth being at since the Sun was out. The foodie in me knows the latter will return at the same time, but for the comic book and pop culture festival, it’s not likely be a regular September fixture. The organisers don’t have a date for 2023 but Candice Woodward said, “Please follow at our social media channels for updates.” She’s co-owner/operator of Cherry Bomb Toys, one of three organisations responsible for this fandom celebration.
This convention offers a bit of everything expected for a local event. One year, it’ll add activities Biagio Woodward (also of Cherry Bomb) first envisioned. I spoke to him many years ago about his dreams but to restart this event in a pandemic is not going away world will be difficult. The organizers encouraged people to wear masks, but I saw maybe 20% doing so.
In summary, part of the experience is to provide an equal balance of a tourist style additions and deliver items of interest that local fandom community wants. Who knows, those travellers might want to move here because this part of the world is special.
Also, some folks will have to stop comparing this gala to the upcoming Toy Show. Ages 3+ and Up, and Metropolis Comics and Toys are regulars at both. When patrons miss one effort, they can go to the other instead of heading to Vancouver. Other operations include BC Hobbies, Industrial Plastic and Paints (for cosplayers needing supplies) and Jigglypig Comics. They don’t have to attend both, but they do so to express their support.
This year’s representation of local comic book talents looks bigger. Curiously, Chapterhouse Comics wasn’t in attendance. That may be due to them scaling back. It’s possible that because there were over twenty fandom events occurring last weekend globally, they couldn’t decide on where to be. One day, I’d love to see Dark Horse Comics trot on up, but this show has to become very big for State-side publishers to take notice.
The panels at Capital City Comic Con 2022 are great for newcomers, and yes, I even presented my best of upcoming movies. There are seven auxiliary rooms for everything to run in: one was for photo-ops, two spaces for board gaming, and a separate zone for role-playing. Furthermore, there was an open location for arcade/pinball, and artist’s alley spanned two buildings! In the second contained a dining area and a wide space for local clubs (The 405th, SCA – Barony of Seagirt, and VanIsle Pokémon Go Syndicate) to proudly show who they are. VicLug was at another event and decided not to split up. That is, nobody likes to break bricks apart. As for the Victoria Gunpla group, they are in a state of flux and didn’t attend.
As far as entertainment guests are concerned, finding talents may have been hard. Last weekend was very busy worldwide. Had I discovered Salt Lake City’s FanX line-up months ago, I’d fly down to see two actors from Happy Days! I always wanted to meet Anson Williams and Donny Most; getting Ron Howard will be hard, but I’d be grinning from here to Timbuktu to attend a reunion at a convention with the Three Amigos (and maybe The Fonz too).
But this event far, far away is huge. It’s not the same when compared to why I prefer Pacific Northwest appearances. Some talents love this region because there’s something special about it. Its not so much about how big one show has become, but rather how smaller it feels and its less hustle and bustle. I’ve noticed that comic book artist Brian Stelfreeze made a point to regularly return to Fan Expo Vancouver, Emerald City and perhaps now include Capital City. Movie and television Illustrator John Gallagher is from Vancouver, and he told me how much loves Victoria. It’s not as crazy and he enjoys having long chats with fans of his work.
I agree with Veronica Taylor, a frequent returning guest, who said, “I feel like we can have genuine conversations with the people here. And the food is sooo good.”
This voice over talent is known as the voice of Ash Ketchum (Pokémon), April O’Neil (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and many fond 90s cartoons, Sailor Moon included. After regularly seeing and talking to her at every con, we’ve become pals. She’s been at Fan Expo Vancouver at least three times, and I’ve lost count for her State-side apperances. She’s often on the list which includes Lilac and Rose City. But the crowning achievement is to appear at Emerald City Comic Con!
Garrett Wang switched gears after his stint as the Ensign Harry Kim in Star Trek: Voyager, and loves assisting behind the scenes. That is, he enjoys moderating panels and interacting with fans. After coming on board at Capital City Comic Con 2019 not only as a guest but also as the main panel moderator, everyone loves him. The organisers invited this talent back in 2020, but that party did not happen. Flash forward two years, and he was more than enthusiastic to be part of the 2022 show. Because this year has Tim Russ as an additional Star Trek guest (Denise Crosby sadly cancelled), they reminisced about Voyager. At their paired panel, they talked about how frequently Ethan Phillips would try to crack them up from behind the camera. As a fun fact, Phillips and Robert Picardo appeared at a Victoria, BC based comic con in 2009 and I recall they talked about how much they enjoyed being The Odd Couple!
Wong said during his panel that his experience as a guest is different versus being part of an ongoing convention’s crew. The first event he ever went as the former wowed him, but now that he knows the ropes, to be part of the team has me admiring him even more. At Capital City Comic Con 2022, he shared Q&A and hosting duties with CTV’s Jordan Cunningham.
When asked about becoming a regular, he said, “Well, I would not turn that offer down. I love moderating and this city, it’s just so beautiful here. There’s a vibe that can’t be reproduced.”