[Editorial] Sounding off on the Nerdy Convention Scene in Victoria, BC

vanislecomicconBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

I have attended many pop culture style conventions in the past 25 or so years. Some took place in my home town of Victoria, British Columbia but more off island. I am sad not many local shows have a footprint of lasting more than five years. Attempts have been made to centralize all aspects of geekdom, but to pull it off needs a proper committee of dedicated folks. I’m aware most of the businesses along Nerd Row (on Johnson Street and Broad) are in communication with one another, but this community was not in place till the early part of this century.

In terms of history, a major comic book type event (which was a one-off) took place at the Empress Hotel in the late 80’s which had a who’s who of talent (from New York even), which Big Brothers and Big Sisters organized — my introduction to the scene — but since then, everything else which followed never compared. Van Isle Con is a step in the right direction, and although a short commute is required to get there, I’m wondering what’s next? Are there individuals willing to make something happen within the capital city?

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The 2017 Comic Arts Festival at Camosun College Grows! Recap & Gallery


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.

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Looking at Camosun College’s Comic Arts Festival 2016 Edition!


Camosun College’s 4th Annual Comic Arts Festival is certainly growing and the program teaching the next generation of visual artists are here to show to residents of Victoria, BC they are ready to tackle the world. This show took place over the April 16th weekend, on the third floor of the Young Building at Lansdowne Campus.

Plenty of talent can be found in this exhibit of past graduate, current graduate and artists in the field of creating sequential art. Local talents like Nelson Dewey, Janine Johnston, and Glen Mullaly (to name a few) were also on hand to present their works, and sell their wares alongside their students. Gareth Gaudin’s Perogy Cat also made an appearance!

Also attending was Tsukino-Con to show that their event is not just about anime, but in celebrating the visual arts medium. Superheroes of Victoria was also present in costume (you have to be careful walking around Deadpool, otherwise the hilt may hit you) for the drop-in drawing-room. A few panels also highlighted the afternoon which looked at constructing web-comics (hosted by Alex Steacy), Splash! a watercolour painting demonstration by Karen Gillmore (Spam and the Sasquatch, Mermaid Music) in one of the most difficult of mediums to master, and a discussion of the ever-changing role of women in comics. A careful selection of comic convention level conversations can be found at this small show and they alone make this event worth attending every year. The best part is that for now, this festival is free to the public.

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A Look at Camosun’s 3rd Annual Comic Arts Festival

Camosun’s Comic Arts Festival (CCAF) is growing, and just what this event does is to put ownership back to the artists who decided to make the visual storytelling medium their career.

CCAF 2015 PosterCamosun’s Comic Arts Festival (CCAF) is growing, and just what this event does is to put ownership back to the artists who decided to make the visual storytelling medium their career. It’s been used as old as time, since the caveman days, to tell a story on a surface. In Ancient Egypt, the paintings on the tombs can evoke a magic like quality to help the deceased continue on to the Afterlife. The immortality is not just with their souls’ journey but also with how their legacy upholds when their life is told in illustrative form.

Interestingly enough, one of the students, Raphaël Pirenne, takes inspiration from this land, and will be hoping he creates a comic out of it.

CCAF 2015 HI!

The college that’s located in the garden city of Victoria, British Columbia, has played host to some special events, and unlike bigger shows that tends to spotlight brands more than with the independents, to get back to the basics is all that’s really needed for this show. The CCAF is simply starting small, but it has bigger plans.

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A look at VicLUG. LEGO and Insider Connections:

LEGO is more than a toy for some, but also a means to form meaningful bonds between individuals who love the brick. At VicLUG, a local club, Ed Sum not only pofiles who these people are but also gives a quick rundown of this toy’s history.

VicLUG TeamOtaku no Culture’s own Ed Sum presents a mini-documentary that quickly looks at the history of LEGO and examines what it means to a bring people together. In this production, he profiles a local group, the Victoria Lego Users Group (VicLUG).

This video was made a few years ago as a final video project when he took the (now defunct) Applied Communications Program (Camosun College), and he’s also interviewed the group! The link to that article can read here.

VicLUG Mini-Doc

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