We were pulling out of the parking lot, headed for home, when Akemi sunnily intoned: “Thank you for taking me to geek festival!”.  I explained that, despite all evidence to the contrary, it wasn’t a geek festival per se.  It was the Toronto Comic Arts Festival which, over the course of May 7th and 8th, will showcase a variety of comic book creators and their diverse works.  Space Channel Producer Mark Askwith was our intrepid guide through the colorful, crowded, at times overwhelming terrain.

The view from the second floor. We were there early and, as we were heading out, roughly ten times as many people were heading in - a few in costume.

We did a lay-of-the-land tour, then retraced our steps and actually spent time at a few of the tables, talking to the creators, and picking up a few things. Akemi tired out quickly and so, I didn’t have the opportunity to speak to as many of exhibitors as I would have liked to, but some of the highlights included:

Ken Turner, Filmaker/Illustrator - like the sign says. Akemi and I loved his Edward Gorey-inspired illustration and ended up picking up a pack of postcards.
This one thoroughly enthralled Akemi.

You can check out Ken’s work here: Ken Turner

Mark introduced us to Salgood Sam (who goes by Max) who seemed to recognize me from somewhere.  Reruns of America’s Most Wanted perhaps?  Turns out his wife is huge Stargate fan.  I had to break the news that the series finale that airs on Tuesday will, sadly, be it for the show – and the franchise – for the foreseeable future.  He wanted to know why.  I gave him the impolitic version, usually reserved for drunken gatherings and comic book conventions.

Max!

He was kind enough to personalize a signed copy of his post-Rapture graphic novel, Therefore Repent!

You can check him out online here: Salgood Sam • Illustrator • Comic Artist • Generally Handy

Adrian Alphona was seated right beside Max, and I immediately recognized his work on Marvel's Runaways.
I already have the first few volumes of Runaways, so I elected to pick up a print instead. This one reminded me of my pug, Maximus.

Check out Adrian’s work here: Sweet Bizarre – Adrian Alphona

Eric Vedder has worked for Dark Horse, Marvel, and DC, and done a bunch of video game concept art.
Among other things, he's presently on an online comic book called Aardehn. Love it.

Check out Eric’s work here: Aardehn – by Eric Vedder and, possibly (I say possibly because the link wasn’t working the last time I clicked on it), here: Eric Vedder

Hey, it’s the Kill Shakespeare gang.  I heard about the comic book about a year ago.  Given my Masters studies in Renaissance Drama, I was intrigued.  But given my generally lackadaisical nature, I never got around to actually picking the book up – until today.  Below, creator and co-writer Anthony Del Col with colorist Ian Herring.

Artist Andy Belanger shows of his eight-day masterpiece. Eight days! Something that exquisitely detailed would take me at least forever!

Further info on Kill Shakespeare available here: Kill Shakespeare – An epic adventure that pits Shakespeare’s …

I'd heard very good things about Scott Chantler's Two Generals, so I made a point of picking it up as well.
Scott's wife baked up a batch of chocolate-dipped cake lollipops (you heard correctly) that proved an even bigger hit with Akemi!

Scott has been nominated for Eisner, Harvey, Russ Manning, Joe Shuster, and Doug Wright Awards.  Check out his work here: Chantler, Scott

Tara Tallan's Galaxion series has a real Leiji Matsumoto vibe.
Somehow, I managed to miss Star Blazers when I was a kid (I grew up The Flintstones and psychedelic Spiderman) but its influence on Tara engendered her own unique space-based comic book series.

More on Tara’s sprawling comic space opera here: Galaxion – Life. Love. Hyperspace.

Hey, look who it is. It's Jeff Lemire, author and illustrator of one of the five graphic novel series I'm presently enjoying: Sweet Tooth.
Our Book of the Month Club has been on hiatus while I settled into Toronto and, hopefully/eventually received the responses from our last three Q&A's. Anyway, I'm thinking of re-starting things this summer but switching gears to focus on comic book series. I floated the idea by Jeff who seemed receptive to the idea.

Jeff’s blog here: Jeff Lemire’s Blog

I also met Eisner-award winner Darwyn Cooke (not pictured).  You’d no doubt recognize his work on The Spirit and Batman as well as DC: The New Frontier.

Darwyn’s blog here: Almost Darwyn Cooke’s Blog

So, yes, in retrospect, even though it’s officially known as the Toronto Comic Art Festival, it was a truly awesome geek festival.  After all, who am I kidding? To quote a completely earnest Akemi: “But – you are geek!”

50 thoughts on “May 7, 2011: Thank you for taking me to geek festival!

  1. @ Lou Zucaro. Or DragonCon…but if Akemi tired early, we’d have to make sure Mr. M. got her a motorized wheelchair, or six hunky men in Jaffa outfits to carry her about in a litter.

    Looks like a great time. Outstanding job gathering so much info and photos for us. Going again tomorrow or on to other things?

  2. While this is off topic. And I don’t remember all the details. But one episode of SG=1 called “Joe Citizen” I believe had a barber who found a stone and picked everything about SG-1. His wife left, then later met him in the park where he told her of Jack. Anyway…at the end, Jack sat down to talk to the man’s wife….Then it cuts away. Have you ever thought beyond that? Like what did Jack tell her? Did she stay with her husband? Just wondering.
    Thanks and have a great day!
    woody

  3. I’ve never been to Comic Con, but my brother lives out in San Diego and goes every year. He’s the expert on all things comic related. I’ll have to forward this to him and see if he’s famiiliar with any of these people.

    Have a good night!!

  4. Interesting pictures, sounds like a fun time, sadly I’m not into American comics so I don’t have an opinion, however I do have an interest in Japanese manga/light novels. But have never been to a convention related to anime/manga before either.

    I sound kinda boring now =/

    @Andy Belanger shows of his eight-day masterpiece. Eight days!

    Amazing picture, he has a lot of talent. Speaking of which, a lot of the design work for the Stargate series has been kinda pretty to look at, as in the drawings/concept art.

  5. Yeah, yeah, yeah…so you got to go to a geek festival…whoopty freakin’ DO! Lookie what I got!

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v54/dasNdanger/freeelric.jpg

    😀

    Okay, okay, okay…so your day was a lot more exciting than spending the afternoon in crowded comic shops with smelly guys, but still…I GOT ME SOME NEW ELRIC!! WOO! See, Joey…I tol’ ya I’m easy to please. 🙂 Now excuse me while I go and wrap myself in Elric’s long white locks, and take a nap. Its been a looooong day, and I’m bushed (will write the details later…maybe…now ‘scuse me while I go zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!)

    das

  6. I almost had a freakin’ (I’m freakin’ a lot today) heart attack when I thought you met EDDIE Vedder! I never would have forgiven you if you did. 😉

    das

  7. I used to like comics as a kid and then I stopped. The only comic I’ve bought as an adult is “Jericho” because they continued the series into season 3 in that format. Can’t get enough of Jake & Hawkins. I loved Alaina Huffman’s comic, Agent Mom. It’s so funny because she is Agent Mom juggling all she does. It looks like you had a wonderful time.

    @TammyDixon: The flooding is terrible. Stay safe.

    @Ponytail: From the post yesterday, I agree the sky was so eerie for those days following 9/11. We live in the flight path of planes landing on certain days so it is very odd for us not to see a plane overhead. Not low enough to bother us or shake our house. Just fun for Patrick to watch them streaking across in the night sky while we were in the pool.

    I know it is 1 day early but just in case I don’t have time to get on here tomorrow, Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. This is what I got from Patrick (the video will tell you what the IPad said; the picture shows you Patrick pressing the button with his teacher.

    http://www.twitpic.com/4uat5i (the 34 second video)

    http://www.twitpic.com/4uayj3 (the picture)

    It is the first verbal Mother’s Day greeting I ever received. Even though I understand his teacher helped him say the words and put the words in there, he was shaking his head yes when it was playing and that was all I needed to start welling up with tears of joy.

  8. I would love to hear the version “usually reserved for drunken gatherings” on why Stargate the series and franchise has been cancelled! Do you have any liquor in the house? Maybe before you blog tomorrow…

    Why did Akemi tire out quickly? Is she okay? Has she been sick lately? Of course, I don’t think I could keep up with you either.

    Thank you for taking us all to geek festival. The pictures and information were all very interesting.

  9. Whoa, visual overload there Joe, glad you got to go and enjoyed it, and you are able to get food(choc dipped)(yum) no matter where you play. Get Akemi a segway, that would be so much fun. What a place to go get inspiration while making the wallet lighter. Go geekie! Some new websites to explore…thanks.

  10. quoting Thornyrose;
    Or DragonCon…but if Akemi tired early, we’d have to make sure Mr. M. got her a motorized wheelchair, or six hunky men in Jaffa outfits to carry her about in a litter.

    it might be worth it to go again just to see that.

  11. Well, I’ve had my nap and feel twice as horrible now. 😛 I really think I over-did it today, but more on that later.

    Firstly, the geek festival sounds great! I haven’t been to a comic-related con in a couple (three?) years, and a I do miss meeting the creators. Looking forward to checking out those links.

    Secondly, I canNOT believe you missed Star Blazers! *shakes head in dismay* I remember coming home from work (or school…I worked at my school after I graduated, so can’t remember whether it was when I was a student, or an employee 😛 ), running up to my parents’ room (I didn’t have tv in mine) and watching Star Blazers faithfully every day. Loved it. Little did I know that a young boy six years my junior and 45 miles away was doing the same thing. I only found that out after we were married. 🙂

    Thirdly, I would love to hear the impolitic version of Stargate’s cancellation sometime.

    Fourthly, my big day started with only getting 4 and a half hours sleep (totally my fault; was up until 3 am clipping coupons and doing other stupid stuff). The weather was gorgeous, so we decided to do a yard project that was a good 10 years or so overdue. We bought this place about 16/17 years ago, and early on had accumulated a collection of bricks, some broken, some whole, stacked against our fence over near the mulch pile. We had always intended on making a rustic little patio in the middle of the yard for potted plants and such, but never got around to it. Time passed, vines and moss started to grow over the bricks, dead leaves collected around them, spiders (*shudder*) made a home in them, and soon the pile looked like the ruins of an ancient city buried deep in the jungle.

    So this morning – before breakfast – we went out and started digging out all the bricks, tossing them into a big pile and raking out all the debris that had accumulated around them. Now, to do something with them. Since I had just cleared away a good portion of our mulch pile, and since we needed a place to set our bbq grill, we decided to make a patio right where the bricks had been stacked – from a flower bed, around a dogwood tree, and over to the freshly cleared area under two big cedar trees. It was quite a job clearing everything out, leveling the soil, and putting down sand (very little grows in this area due to the trees in my yard, the sand was just to level the ground). We then laid down the patio (made harder because most of the bricks we used for it were broken, so we had to match up irregular edges as best we could). It looks really nice, and now I have a permanent place for the grill. We put some bricks down over where I put my inside plants out for the summer, and the rest (and we had quite a few left over) were stacked against the garden shed where I can easily get to them if need be. They were loaded with spiders, slugs, centipedes, pillbugs, and other critters, but Mr. Das protected me from the worst of them. (Side note: I just learned that you can keep pillbugs as pets. I love pillbugs – sometimes we get these ones that are almost colbalt blue, probably due to never being exposed to sun. I might have to try my hand at being a pillbug pet owner! :D)

    The job took over twice as long as I expected (5 hours instead of 2), and somewhere in there we did eat breakfast. Afterwards I drove up to the comic shop for Free Comic Book Day, only to discover they were out of – or never had – the new Elric book. I wasn’t that worried since my comic book guy (Lord Jermaine from Acme Comics! http://www.acmecomics.com/ ) has one or two set aside for me, but I would still have liked to get a copy today. Well, I hear that there is another comic shop in the area that I wasn’t aware of, so I rush over there and find Elric, plus a couple trades I had been looking for. A good day. I grabbed a quick light ‘lunch’ (it was now 5 pm) at a Greek restaurant (hummus and some other dips/spreads with pita), ran into a cellphone store for a new ear bud thingy, then headed home – dead beat tired. I tiik a nap, but woke up feeling ill (the hummus, et al?), and I still feel a bit weary. I’m hoping it was just something I ate, or maybe that I’m overly tired. I sure hope I wasn’t bitten by a nasty spider, or something (I’m sure I’ll get poison ivy since I pulled out a patch of it, and I AM allergic :P).

    Anyway…I’m dragging, and my tossy-turny tummy is keeping me from fully enjoying my evening. Still, I enjoyed the blog, so glad I was able to track down Elric. It’s a nice little teaser story – really looking forward to the new comic come this July! 🙂

    das

  12. Of course you realize, by admitting there is an “impolitic version” of events from your perspective, we your readers now burn to know what that is. But since it’s impolitic, you probably can’t/won’t tell us. Meanie. :/

  13. Joe – a quick question for your next mailbag:

    The comic you are working on – it’s a sci fi story, right? Sci fi as in space travel, or something else?

    Thankies.

    das

  14. So sorry for so many posts tonight…but I just gotta say this:

    Jägermeister should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet. As I said in an earlier post, my tummy has been bothering me all evening. I tried eating some chicken – it didn’t help. I tried a little wine – it didn’t help. I tried white rice – it didn’t help. I was really fearing that sooner or later I’d be bowing down to the porcelain god. So I tried a bit of Jäger, which is a digestif. Now, some will argue that such digestifs don’t really work, but since Jäger contains gentian (a known digestive aid) I have found that it actually does ease tummy troubles (in small doses, of course 😉 ).

    das

  15. Yeah, geek festival.

    I really, really, really want to attend ComicCon just once. Just to experience it.

  16. Well, there you have it! Look into the bright and unclouded epiphany of truth:
    You are a geek!

    hihihihihihihhi 😀

    I wish I could have gone to the geek festival, too.^^

  17. Hi Joe,

    Could I ask James Moran a question? I love Spooks, and am a long time Doctor Who fan. Would James be willing to say who his favourite Doctor is?

    I have to confess that mine is David Tennent, followed closely by Tom Baker – but I know that sometimes our fondness is due to who was playing the role while we were growing up. Come to think of it – who’s yours?

    And is he the one responsible for that horrific scene in the first series – where the girl’s head was shoved into the deep fryer? If so, both shame on him, and congrats…it was such an outrageously horrific scene, I still have nightmares about it. The sign of truly great writing.

  18. @ Debra – 😆 Poor puppy! Dogs are just so easy to tease. Do something like that to a cat, it will walk away and go poop in your shoes, just for spite. 😛

    das

  19. Stop the denial. Embrace your geek… You’ll feel so much better for it.
    A fishtank I had on order simply had ‘nerd’ written on it as a reservation name. I don’t deny it anymore (it was apparently my comparison of a tropical tank heater to a nuclear reactor that tipped them off). Turns out they’re all closet nerds.

  20. this is funny, correct?:

    http://youtu.be/AvHnENYYlhU

    was one of my mischievous attempts at giving stargate some exposure. not my main channel though, thats just one where i goof around. i just find it hilarious how rickrolled them or maybe it should be called stargaterolled?

  21. @ Narelle – Hiya! You know what’s worse than embracing your inner geek/nerd? Being considered MORE of a nerd by other nerds. There should be a term for a Super Nerd (besides super neerd, that is).

    das

  22. Hopefully you can and will address this:

    What was the super-secret mission the Odyssey was on that was referenced in EATG?

  23. the Odyssey’s super secret mission was to find bin laden. you can take down alien gods from other galaxies but one guy in a cave takes them 10 years.

    but seriously, why hasnt the white house ever used SGC to deal with al qaeda? seems like a wasted opportunity, and why hasnt al qaeda used lucian alliance?

  24. You should take Akemi to a multi-genre/media con. SDCC or Dragon*Con come to mind.

    Or…to a gaming con that features the full range, from cards thru LARPS to video.

  25. Speaking about Cats, mine was recently speaking with another local cat through the gate for about a minute, kinda funny. They were both sat opposite sides of a gate meowing back and forth.

    Both girl cats, just amazed me how intelligent cats are, that they can carry on a conversation back and forth in such a pleasant way. Well I assume it was.

    I should of got a video, I regret not doing so now lol. Not sure if it would of interested anyone here though =/

    @JoanieC

    Speaking of Doctor Who, Matt Smith is a great doctor, almost as good as David Tennant, surprised you didn’t name him.

  26. Of the “new Doctors” my order of preference would be David Tennant, Christopher Eccleston, Matt Smith.

    I do like Matt Smith’s doctor, but I’m just not as fond of his detachedness as I am Tennant’s charming self-centeredness and Eccleston’s bi-polar intensity.

    Amy Pond, however, is brilliant.

  27. Hello Mr. Mallozzi,
    I have few Stargate-related questions for you:

    1. Are Elizabeth and the others still flying over that planet?
    2. Why did they actually sent them there? They could just shoot them…
    3. Does SGC send teams to galaxy Ida after Asgards left?

    Thanks for your aswers.
    Matt

  28. @ das – that dog video is hilarious! I’ve had to watch it several times.

    @ Debra – and your dog video is the cutest thing too! Dogs are wonderful animals!

    @ Tammy Dixon -that flood photo is worse than the one you showed yesterday. That is terrible. Hope things are better today.

  29. @Lou Zucaro – Brilliant, and beautiful!
    I don’t mind Matt Smith, David Tennant was alright, but, I first caught the Doctor with Tom Baker.
    I also liked Billie Piper as the companion but disliked Catherine Tate.

    Elminster

  30. quoting Randomness;

    Speaking about Cats, mine was recently speaking with another local cat through the gate for about a minute, kinda funny. They were both sat opposite sides of a gate meowing back and forth.

    Both girl cats, just amazed me how intelligent cats are, that they can carry on a conversation back and forth in such a pleasant way. Well I assume it was.
    if neither party was hissing or growling, then it was a pleasant conversation.
    and i, for one, would be interested in a video of such a thing. it’s probably just as interesting as the twin babies babbling to each other.

  31. @Lou Zucaro

    I have to wonder if Eccleston was really into his role as the doctor, he did leave it rather quickly, and the BBC was desperate to have someone play the role for several years, not just one.

    Speaking about the tone of the shows, I found Matt Smiths doctor to be more family friendly than David Tennants, not sure if its because they toned the show down a bit but Matt Smith has this potential to be the best Doctor in recent years, if he will stick around enough to make that happen is anyones guess.

    I do agree that David Tennant is the best Doctor thus far. But would rate them

    Tennant > Smith > Eccleston.

    Amy Pond, well her character comes accross as rather tomboyish, which is good, I like the way she isn’t just some helpless stereotypical female that needs rescueing all the time lol

    I wish Chloe(In SGU) had Amy Ponds spirit.

  32. @ Lou Zucaro – I really liked Eccleston – I found him rather sexy, or something. I warmed to him much easier than I did Tennant, and was sad to see him go. I find myself drawn to Smith, too…there’s just something in his manner or expressions that I find endearing, and that makes it easier for me to like the Doctor himself. Tennant I had some trouble with – not sure why, but maybe it was his ‘crazy eyes’…they kinda scared me off a bit.

    das

  33. @archersangel

    Next time it happens I’ll get some video. Cats are such unique creatures, I regret not getting video now, probably missed a once in a lifetime thing.

    Just when you see something you’ve never seen before, critical thinking sometimes never happens.

    I have a HD video camera anyhow so it’d look good anyway.

  34. das– Hey, right back at ya 🙂
    The “super” needs to be a nerd reference relating to extreme size. My brain is just back for a week of annual leave so I’m going to have to leave that thought with it for a while. It will get back to me with a fitting word eventually.
    Miss you guys!
    Take care.

  35. Each doctor I think.. wow, can’t get better than this, and they prove me wrong. I was furious about this KID taking over, and yet I find Smith brilliant, my fave ever.

    ANYONE going to tell me how to embed a video link instead of just the link?

    Btw, in case not clear, that poor dog not mine lol.

  36. @Elminster – Yeah, Karen Gillan’s pretty dishy. And she has this thing about her. When we were watching the first episode with her, about 10 minutes after she made her “adult debut” (Karen, rather than the girl who played her as a girl), I said to my wife “Ok, why do I feel like I know her somehow?” and my wife replied immediately with “Ok, I’ve been thinking the same thing. Where do we know her from?”

    But it wasn’t a “What else have we seen her in” but more of a “Do we know her in real life?” Of course we don’t, but there’s something about her that has given both of us that vibe.

    @Randomness – We wondered the same thing about Eccleston. Neither my wife or I had ever seen DW before “the new ones” so we had no basis for it, but we were immediately hooked. I think casting Billie Piper as Rose Tyler was a phenomenal casting choice. So many great qualities in her that made her as much the star as the Doctor himself.

    In fact, we didn’t fully realize how great Billie Piper was as Rose until “Doomsday” (season 2 finale). I think that may be the single most sad and heartbreaking episode of TV I’ve ever seen. Just phenomenal.

    @das – We were actually very sad to see Eccleston go at the end of the first season (or ‘series’, if you’re feeling all British-ish), particularly because we didn’t know about the whole regeneration thing and we were caught off-guard. But keeping Rose around and having her warm to him helped the audience, too, I think.

    We quite liked Martha but, yeah, Donna we weren’t as fond of. I guess the Doctor and Donna didn’t seem as good of friends as he and Rose or Martha, but I’ll say this much…every time Wilfred (Donna’s grandfather) was in an episode, we watched with smiles pretty much glued to our faces. What a great character, and played so perfectly by Bernard Cribbins.

  37. What an awesome geek day. I can’t believe you remembered so many details with so many awesome distractions. Did the comic artists know you’re shopping for a comic artist or are they always nice enough to let a stranger take pictures of them in front of their art?

    I’m not going to admit to how much time I spent trying to see the art over the artists’ shoulders in your pics. I saw a fish!

    I gots to hear that impolitic version of the cancellation NAO! If you can’t say it straight-out, I can fully translate anything you write in GE-speak.

    I’ve found the buzzword-laden chatter of the General Electric bizarro culture to be the perfect language for talking around the elephant in the room in a way that remains cryptic to elephant-deniers. It’s like how the Eskimo language has a lot of words for snow. They call it Imagination at Work for nothing.

    @das – thanks for the heads up about Free Comic Book Day. I took the kids in.

  38. @ Narelle – How about Nerdents of Unusual Size? 😉

    @ Lou Zucaro – I loved Rose and Martha, Martha a bit more than Rose (maybe because I’m a tad jealous that Billie married *MY* Laurence Fox – a.k.a. Sergeant Hathaway 😉 ). I didn’t care as much for Donna either, but I think it’s because she reminds me of the type of characters in Eastenders. Amy Pond, however, really beats them all. She’s a bit more matter-of-fact and less whiny, more like River Song, who I also enjoy very much.

    das

  39. Really happy you chatted with Tara and talked up her work. I’ve known her for years and it’s been fun watching Galaxion grow.

    So maybe you can stop dissing my hometown now?

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