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The importance of Comicon

The+importance+of+Comicon

Toronto Comicon has come to an end after a three day long stay at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Comicon is an annual convention featuring all things nerdy; from comic books to anime, cosplaying to meet-and-greets with celebrities, and above all, Comicon serves as a platform for fans to come together over their shared interests and passions. My time spent at Comicon last Sunday made me realize the true importance of conventions, and how crucial an outlet for nicheness is to maintain a sense of community. 

Despite our early arrival, attendees were already filling up the venue, as vendors and small business owners prepared for the madness of fans that were upon them. Cosplayers dressed as their favourite characters filled the convention, coming together to take group photos, interact with one another and connect. It truly amazed me to witness the collectivism of these individuals, and how media forms such as anime, comics, etc. can truly bring people together, and the importance of having a specific place to do so. Overall, Comicon reinforces the opportunity for subcommunities to form, making individuals feel welcome in a way that might not have been possible without it.

I interviewed a handful of dedicated fans and cosplayers to ask them about their experiences at Comicon, and the reasoning behind why they adore the atmosphere and experience so highly, as well as their thoughts on the importance of conventions.

(ig: @krudekids)

I interviewed one attendee who was cosplaying as Shizuku Murasaki from Hunter x Hunter, and when asked what keeps her coming back every year, she explained “Definitely the cosplay community as a whole. Comicon is kind of like one big parade of fans, and you’re walking through it, but you are also a part of it. It is just so fun to see everything that makes Comicon, Comicon.” When asked about the importance of Comicon to her personally, she explained “It’s incredibly important to maintain a space where people can be authentically themselves, and not have to feel ashamed for their niche interests. It’s a way for people to come together and bond over their passions and interests, and it truly fosters a strong community for those who may not have that community elsewhere.”

I also had the chance to interview Emily and Summer, both RH King alumni who are also members of the cosplay community, as well as avid Comicon attendees (three years in a row!), who cosplayed as Mable and Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls. I asked them about their favourite part overall of Comicon, and what keeps them coming back every year. Emily explained “Seeing the cosplays and vendors. It is just so fun to come every year and see the different cosplays people spend so much time working on leading up to Con, as well as the vendors in Artist Alley.”  I asked them about their opinion on the importance and Summer explained “We’ve made so many friends just from Comicon, and I think we feel just so welcomed, and that you’re able to come back every year despite us getting older”.

(ig: @minuyes, @a.o.k.cosplay)

The sense of community was truly reflected within the atmosphere of Comicon, even within the Artist Alley. The Artist Alley is an area hotspot for creators to showcase their hard work. Fanart, collectibles, arts and crafts and more were just a few of what you could find in the Artist Alley, with each creator showcasing something unique reflected upon their own interests. Check out Vidhi’s article for more insight on the creators!

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