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  • Annette Dawm

Forest City Comicon 2017

Last year I started going to Comic Cons in London, ON. I didn't think they would be my thing because I am deathly afraid of mascots or people in costumes where you can't see their faces. Comic Cons seem to be the mecca for these sorts of things. My mom asked me, "Why do you go to these things if they scare you?" Well, last year I got to see people like Alan Thicke, Kevin Sorbo, Levar Burton, Sean Gunn, Billy West, Tracey Moore, Chris Grady and Nick Seluk, so that was worth facing my fear. Also, it's expected there will be people in costumes whereas if it's a regular day and a mascot pops out, I will not be mentally prepared.

I felt a lot braver this year, except when a giant dragon got in the elevator with me. Then once I recovered, I asked to take a picture of him, so I could show you why I was not excited about this moment. Elevators aren't very big, you know.

Last year, I also saw Pikachu and Squirtle running around. Kids were giving them hugs and I sat there saying to myself, "I am not afraid of Pikachu. I am not afraid of Pikachu." I was afraid. Very afraid. So this time I told myself I would be brave and get a picture of them and I actually had to follow them around to get their attention.

Look how close I got! Just as a reference point, here is how close I was to Pikachu and Sonic (and whatever that other scary thing is on the right) last year at London Comic Con. It might not seem like much, but 10 years ago I probably wouldn't even have entered the building.

There were other costumes that I enjoyed though. I think my favourite was Gumby and I caught him playing "Duck Hunt".

I don't know who these characters were, but they were fixing each other's hair.

I also saw a grown up Iron Man and a young Iron Man (Iron Child?) and the child's father wanted them to get a picture together, but the kid ran away.

Harley Quinn was by far the most popular character I saw this year, but he was my favourite.

Two of the strangest things I saw this year had to be a Lego version of Michael Jackson and a "Choose Your Own Adventure Game" When I saw the first page, the story was about a bat. Then later I found a page involving a bird and it said, "What did you think about how the bird pointed out your mobility issues?" Without reading the rest of the page, I was actually kind of offended and was like, "How does the bird know I have mobility issues???"

Like I said earlier, I go mostly for the guest speakers. This year I was excited to see Brian Hull who is now famous for his Disney impressions and Jeff Lemire who has worked for DC and Marvel and has done many of his own graphic novels.

I was hoping that Brian would talk like Winnie the Pooh! He also did an impression of Kermit when I asked!

I met Jeff Lemire a few years ago at Fanshawe right after my book, Carl Goes to College won "The Academic Vice President's Award for Excellence in Student Writing". There was a professor named Ingrid who said, "Annette, Jeff wants to see your book".

I was like, "Nah... he probably doesn't want to see that."

Then Jeff said, "Actually, Ingrid told me all about it and I do want to see it." He told me I was doing everything right and that's exactly how he got started making his own books. That always meant a lot to me and I finally got to tell him. He told a similar story of how he was able to email his work to one of his comic book idols when the internet was fairly new. They wrote back and said something along the lines of, "Do what you love to do and chances are, someone will love to read it." He never got to thank that guy in person, so I was so glad I was able to thank Jeff.

I watched him as he signed everybody's books, including mine. He drew the main character from each book as he signed them and it was like seeing them come to life. I asked him, "After all this time, you still like drawing the characters in each book as you sign them?"

He said, "Yeah, I miss them. I don't get to see them anymore." I thought that was so nice and a little crazy at the same time. But I knew then that it showed how much Jeff loves what he does. It was worth going just for that and I hope he comes back to London soon! I am going to London Comic Con as well, so you will see pictures from that event next month!

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