Report On: Toronto Comic-Con 2014

The Toronto Comic-Con (March 7-9) is called Mini-FanExpo or FanExpo Jr. for good reasons. A lot of guests, a ton of cosplay, and just enough events to ring people to the Metro Toronto Convention Center for and event which, while a lot smaller than current FanExpo is now, is easily an experience on par with FanExpo just seven years ago.

For reports on previous year’s Toronto Comic-Cons:  [2013] [2012]

While the convention was born from integrating a small anime convention and a small comic convention and then inviting every guest between the two fandoms, it’s clear from the program that Anime was a lower priority this year, with less big anime guests than 6teen cast members. There was plenty of imported material for a few hours of consumerism but on the whole it’s understandable why most of them are saving their money for Anime North around the corner.

Despite that, there were still many many cosplayers of every size and shape. A whole gang of Gothamites, a class ful of mutants, and a hospital full of Doctors. Sudden photo-shoots disrupted any crowd of traffic so some designated photography areas might be a good idea next year, so people aren’t disturbed having to make room for LEGO characters. The most admirable outfit must be Shockwave, an imposing robotic suit made by the 15 year old who wore it.

For the full gallery of many more pictures of cosplayers and scenery, check out TdotComics Facebook Album for the event.


Fans of Live Action Media had plenty of guests to enjoy. Super-Popular shows “Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad” were represented by one guest each. A surprisingly large crowd was drawn to the guests from the Canadian television series Orphan Black. Jon Heder was absent, but he was missed as much as people miss the Napoleon Dynamite animated series. “Lords Of the Rings” actor Billy Boyd amazingly drew larger crowds than Sean Astin since so many attendees had already seen Sean Astin last year. (Although I’m personally glad I had another chance and now need to meet a Leonardo).

Most of the Toronto regular artists were there promoting their projects and meeting with their fans. Professionals were several times more accessible than FanExpo where they’re burried behind lines. “Kevin Maguire” was a rare treat to meet, along with Nick Bradshaw and hopefully they will be at Canadian conventions more frequently. Sharing space with the professionals were a number of self-published creators trying to grow their audiences. Some tried aggressive marketing, but just friendly interaction makes a bigger impression, like the couple developing the comic $10 Hitman.

While the deck of guests was extremely impressive and there were enough dealers and exhibitors. There was almost no corporate exhibitor presence, but that’s actually a blessing since it means a lot of smaller studios can grab attention. So Shuyan the Kung Fu Princess isn’t hidden in the shadow of Ubisoft. When it comes to Conventions, Community is more important than Corporation. A few more community events would really help attendees looking for more to do, like Andrew Walsh’s trivia panel, which was fun on a bun. The Cosplay War event  (not listed in the schedule and difficult to locate) could start an ongoing tradition at every convention.

In a lot of ways, the smaller scale makes this experience a lot more fun than Fanexpo. Reasonable crowds and lines but still great guests were the Toronto Comic-Con’s big selling point. Spread between the two conventions, there’s almost a perfect convention experience. And the food court was impressive but could have used some low-budget options.

-Michael S Ryan, March 20th 2014

Oh man, the announcement’s over the public address system were made in such a dreamy English accent.

Related posts:

Report on the Canadian Joe Convention.
Report on: Con G 2013
Report On: Hammer Town Comic Con
Report On: GTA Comic Con
  • Fortress Geek

    We are actually trying to figure out the attendance numbers for the event ourselves, but after attending; we have to say that people definitely kept their money in the pockets. Doubt we’ll be back next year – it’s expensive coming from Vancouver!