Forget San Diego, The Montreal Comic-con was the Place to Be
If you happen to have a love for all things pop culture and were thinking of going to the San Diego Comic-con, think again. We at IX Daily hate to break it to you, but the San Diego Comic-con’s dead; the Montreal con, which was held at the Palais des Congres from the 12th until the 14th of September, is the new place to be.
Actually, you’re better off attending any of the smaller conventions, to be more exact.
Although the San Diego Comic-con’s one of the biggest comic and pop culture conventions in the world, it finds itself lacking compared to its smaller con siblings. Sure, they have exclusive content and releases that you won’t find anywhere else on the globe, but it also lacks something that every convention tries to do; unite geeks of every kind. While it may cater to audiences of all genres, and from every corner of the world, the size of the convention makes the celebrities in attendance unapproachable, the convention feel too impersonal, and reduces how many events you can attend. It’s near impossible to see every panel or workshop you want to see, good seats aren't guaranteed, and the size of the crowd can be more than overwhelming.
The point of Comic-con is to unite self-proclaimed nerds, geeks, gamers, and fangirls in their shared passion for all things awesome, not make them fight to the death for a seat at their favourite star’s panel or feel isolated because the sea of people is just too big.
The Montreal Comic-con, however, made every cosplayer, Trekkie, or horror buff feel right at home. If you loved Anime, American cartooning, or something in between then there was a booth, artist, and panel for you. Although there weren't as many activities outside of the main convention room as there were last year, like their Mario Kart tournament on the N64 that came equipped with its own DJ booth, the weekend was full of things to do and see. Panels, celebrity Q&As, film screenings, and workshops to help you with everything from writing to cosplaying were all part of the jam packed weekend. Plus, the Montreal Comic-con also hosts the Montreal Horrorfest as part of its three day event.
While the San Diego convention forces you to line up for hours so you can make an exclusive panel, smaller conventions only require you show up a half hour to an hour ahead of time for prime seating. While the Stark Trek The Next Generation - Engaged panel was full to capacity, as was the one with Stephen Amell from Arrow, many of the Q&As allowed for great last minute seating. For example, despite walking in fifteen minutes late to the Billy Boyd panel (best known for his work as Pippin in The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy) due to traffic, there was still seating in as close as the fifth row.
Smaller conventions can also make celebrities more approachable. Unlike San Diego, where you need to brave hour long lines for a six second signature with your idol, the Montreal convention made meeting the celebrities you’re there to see much easier. Due to the fact that you’re not being rushed through a queue in order to accommodate the massive influx of people, convention goers can actually take a few minutes to ask a question or gush over their star’s newest project.
Legendary writer/director of Night Of The Living Dead, George A. Romero was all smiles and kind words as fans lined up just to shake his hand and tell them how much he changed their life. Julie Benz (known for her work as Darla on Buffy The Vampire Slayer and for her portrayal of Rita on Dexter) answered questions honestly both inside the panel, and on the convention floor as fans came up to say hello. The cast of Epic Meal Time took pictures with their adoring fans, and signed everything from baseball hats to cutting boards, without charging a cent. Robert Englund (Freddy in the popular Nightmare On Elm Street film franchise) amused fans by saying, “Welcome to prime-time, biotch!” (yes, “biotch” not “bitch”). Because the convention wasn't flooded by thousands of people, it made seeing your idols one on one easier and even more private.
Although it wasn't without its faults, including the seemingly nonsensical and comically long line they had going into the convention hall (seriously, it made no sense how it was organized… it’s like they were trying to inconvenience everyone for no reason) and the exorbitant fees they were demanding for signatures (we’re not sure if they were prices set by the convention or the celebrities, but the amount they wanted for celebrity signatures was through the roof… They wanted $80 for Norman Reedus, known as Daryl on The Walking Dead, to sign something. Thanks but no thanks...), the con still kicked ass.
Forget the San Diego Comic-con, we at IX Daily will take the smaller cons any day.