Cosplays, Panels, and So Much More

Montreal Comiccon 2017 Goes Off Without a Hitch

A group of Storm Troopers from Star Wars. Photo Franca G. Mignacca
Green Goblin facing off with a battle-worn Spider-Man. Photo Franca G. Mignacca

They say that nothing good will ever come of meeting your heroes. But what about your villains, or even your supporting characters? At Comiccon, you can get the chance to meet all of them at once and then some.

This year’s Montreal Comiccon took place from July 7 to 9, with nearly 60,000 people in attendance at the Palais des Congrès. It had a variety of events to take part in, from panels about slasher films to cosplay contests, photo sessions, and even beeswax candle making workshops.

Some travelled to Comiccon from outside of Canada to meet some of their favourite celebrities and to get a taste of what Montreal’s Comiccon has to offer.

“It’s nice to have events like this where it doesn’t matter what genre you’re dealing with or what age,” explained Renee Krajcar, an attendee from Syracuse, New York dressed as Peggy Carter from Agent Carter. She had come to see David Tennant. “So it’s really cool that there are no barriers and you can do whatever you want.”

While Comiccon started as a comic book and sci-fi convention, it now includes other aspects of pop culture. This year featured additional horror content, with the inauguration of Rue Morgue magazine’s Necropolis.

Necropolis was a new partner of Comiccon, bringing in horror movie icons like Adrienne Barbeau and Tony Todd as celebrity guests, and put together horror-themed panels for people to check out.

“The hope is to have someone be really involved with the horror aspect of the show and help us bring in more horror guests,” said Montreal Comiccon spokesperson Jason Rockman. “[Rue Morgue’s] been carrying the horror flag in Canada for years.”

Comiccon also had more music content this year, continuing their yearly series of concerts with the L’Orchestre à Vents de Musiques de Films, and added a geek music concert, Nerdstock, at Foufounes Electriques on Friday night. According to Rockman, they also hope to add vinyl record booths to the convention in the future.

The Cosplay Community

There’s something special about being surrounded by some of your favourite characters, sprung from your childhood, your favourite tv shows, your movies and games.

Cosplay is a big part of Montreal Comiccon, bringing joy to its attendees for its three-day duration. For some people, it’s also an opportunity to break out the creativity.

This year was no exception, because the convention was jam packed with tons of impressive cosplays from many genres and mediums. Some were seasoned cosplayers, while others were just starting out.

“For me, it’s been just four years [since I’ve been going to Comiccon], but two years since I’ve been coming in cosplay,” said Stéfany Yargeau, who was cosplaying as Officer Hopps from Zootopia. “Right now I’m really hot because I’m covered in fur. But just seeing the children’s faces and even the reactions of some of the adults is worth it. I really love that part.”

People go to the con in cosplay for fun, to enter contests and other interactive activities that Comiccon has to offer, to put their artistic abilities to the test, or even to feel like another person altogether for just those three days.

“What I think is so interesting is how people come up to me and go ‘Oh my gosh, I love Lexa,’” said Sabrina Jarry who was, of course, cosplaying as Lexa from The 100. “I get to have a little piece of that admiration that the characters get [in the show], and I can’t Imagine how the real Lexa would feel. I think it’s really cool, I just feel very empowered in my costume and I like it.”

Jarry’s friend, Daniela Ramirez, who was dressed as Octavia from The 100 explained how she felt about cosplaying at the convention. “Nudity is not a problem, no one is being slut-shamed. I like the fact that, as a woman, I feel safe,” she said.

To Yargeau, some people should know that it’s okay to say no to people that make them uncomfortable. “Like ‘no don’t put your hand on my hip,’” she said. “But usually some people are very respectful and they ask if they can take a photo with me.”

Cosplayers seemed comfortable and happy walking around among other people who were dressed in their own colourful costumes. Some people even took on the personality of their characters, acting smug, confident, or intimidating as they struck poses for people asking to take their photograph.

“I find that cosplay is a very nice way of expressing certain facts about yourself. [Whether it’s] your artistic side, or also [just to show] that you don’t really care what other people think about you,” said Daniel Shapiro-Callahan, dressed as Stevonnie from Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe. “It’s an opportunity to not dress [how you normally would].”