Moncton — Fanboys and fangirls from a few parts of the province flocked to Moncton this week for the East Coast Comic Expo to share their passion for pictured pages and people in costume.
According to Brent Godfrey, the expo’s organizer, the event was expected to draw no more than the people who organized it. But almost 12 people showed up in costume, ready to talk comics (one man left the event before entry, after realizing the convention was not for aspiring comedians).
There, they enjoyed lectures and workshops led by some of New Brunswick’s most celebrated names in the comic book industry.
Featured was James Carter, who writes and illustrates an Internet comic strip called Middle-Aged Married Man. The strip is heavily based off of his own experiences in this exclusive demographic, and is read by over 30 percent of his Facebook friends who swear they “like that one about the wife.” Carter attended the convention to spread awareness about the hardships of fame.
“It can be awful,” he informed. “You try to be discreet, shouting your name in the street. Then people pretend they don’t recognize you, but you just know they secretly want an autograph.”
The expo also featured talks by children’s author Kimberly Cooper, as well as local hero Jason Gordon, who has been in the industry for more than 25 years. He runs a book store that sells comics.
But headlining the weekend was a character-creation workshop by artist Jeff Kelly, who delighted fans with his own experiences inventing his superhero, The Blind New Brunswicker. “It’s important that your hero gains strength from their defining feature,” he explained. “For example, the Blind New Brunswicker can kill a guy by drinking and driving.”
And the dweebs are raving. Derek Stewart travelled all the way from UNB Saint John campus to share his nerdy love with like-minded people. “It was the best day of my life,” he blushed. “I’m a pretty big nerd. For example, I love the comic book shirts worn by characters from The Big Bang Theory! So you can imagine how hard it is to find others like me.”
“I just couldn’t justify not going,” mentioned Amanda Burns of Shippagan. “People call me poindexter all the time because comic books are my favourite movie genre.”
Will Moncton host more comic expos in the future? Godfrey said, “Well, it’ll be hard to top this year.”