Wizard World Comic Convention invades Exhibition Place

Miranda Anthistle
A&E Reporter

Those looking for a pop culture fix can find some of their favourite television, movie and comic book characters all under one roof at the Wizard World Comic Con Toronto 2010 — but for one Humber student, it’s the chance to get closer to achieving her dream of becoming a comic book illustrator.
Second-year visual and digital arts student, Lauren Ground, 20, said she’s excited for the big event to come to Toronto.
“I’m psyched for Comic Con. This is a big opportunity for Canada,” she said.
“I hope to get tips from the artists because I’m trying to publish my own online comic strip.”
Film and television production program co-ordinator and professor Michael Glassbourg said the event is worth attending — having so many different types of media — but the convention is still about business.
“The exhibitors are there to make money, not to give advice.”
The inaugural three day event begins tomorrow at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place and features exhibitors who create and sell comic books, movies, television shows, toys and video games.
Toronto is the only Canadian stop on the convention’s North American tour.
“Toronto is a fantastic city,” said Gareb Shamus, CEO of Wizard Entertainment, the company running the event.
“It’s a large market with many fans and this is a great opportunity to meet them and put together an enjoyable experience for them.”
Guests range from actors in Battlestar Galactica and the SAW movies to writers and artists of various comic books.
While Glassbourg said pop culture is an exciting indication of where art and media is going, he said the convention won’t be useful for his students.
“The selling of pop culture doesn’t mean it’s important. I’d tell my students to go to the AGO if they want to see great art.”
However Shamus said Comic Con will benefit students in a creative field.
“They can see a thriving community wholly based on being creative. Comic Con shows that there’s a prosperous market out there for what they’re studying.”
Student tickets are $10.