London Comic Con 2016

London Comic Con – September 23-25, 2016

Last month, I set up at the London Comic Con, here in London, Ontario, Canada. This is the second time that these promoters have held the show at the Western Fair. While the venue is nice and spread out, the challenge still remains to fill the show up with venders and attractions. This year’s show was a definite improvement upon last year’s, but as with anything that we do, we should always strive to make it better.

When you’re away on the road at a show out of town, you’re away from your family. This can be tough, especially when you have around 10 shows a year to do. So, these local shows are always very nice, as there is barely any drive involved and no hotel rooms to pay for. If I’ve forgotten anything, it’s no trouble to run back to my shop to pick it up. Most importantly, though, I’m minutes away from my family.

This year’s show was well attended. The promoters did a good job in inviting a number of special guests. A few of the celebrities that did show up were Levar Burton (Star Trek TNG’s Geordi La Forge), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Kevin Nash (WWE Legend), Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy), Lori Petty (A League Of Their Own, Point Break, Tank Girl), Pat Mastroianni (Degrassi Junior High), and Emily Kinney (Beth from The Walking Dead).


These big comic shows are getting further and further away from comics and more towards anything pop culture related and having the chance to meet one of your favourite celebrities. For me, I chatted with Pat Mastroianni (Joey Jerimiah from Degrassi) for a while. As younger kids, my sister and I would always watch this show. It’s so great to see, and finally meet, someone that you have known for so many years, albeit only through a TV set. Great guy!

For sales, this year was better than last – by far! Notable sales for CGC or CBCS graded comics include:

  • Fantastic Four #2 5.0
  • Star Trek #1 5.0
  • All American Comics #18 6.0
  • All-Star #33 8.0
  • Batman #47 8.0
  • Walking Dead #1 9.4
  • Strange Tales #110 5.5
  • Avengers #1 4.0 and 5.0
  • Four Color #26 9.2
  • Little Max #1 9.2
  • Horrific #7 4.0
  • Amazing Spider-Man #13 4.0
  • Marvel Premiere #1 7.5
  • Wolverine Mini-Series #1 9.6
  • I also sold over 25,000 cheap comics to another dealer. It was nice to haul those to his truck, just one last time. That’s a lot of work that I no longer have to do.
    All in all, it was a successful show. I’m looking forward to the progressive changes made for next year’s London Comic Con.

    Fan Expo Toronto 2016 Report

    Fan Expo Canada – Sept 1-4, 2016

    Ah, the Fan Expo Canad.  Held in Toronto every year, Fan Expo always strives to be Canada’s best and biggest comic show.  They always do a great job in bringing in the top celebrities, artists, and creators. And 2016 was no exception as they pulled out all the stops!

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    The list of superstars in attendance was phenomenal. Take a look a just some of the names below:
    Actors:

    • Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
    • William Shatner, George Takei & Brent Spiner (Star Trek)
    • Kevin Smith & Jason Mewes (Jay & Silent Bob)
    • Gillian Anderson (X-Files)
    • Charlie Cox & Elden Hensen (Daredevil-TV)
    • Adam West & Burt Ward (Batman-TV)
    • Sonequa Martin-Green, Michael Cudlitz & Scott Wilson (Walking Dead), and more and more and more…

    Comic Book Artists:

    • Stan Lee (in his very last Canadian appearance!),
    • Frank Miller, Joe Quesada, Andy Kubert, Brian Azzarello, Margaret Atwood, Klaus Janson, Greg Capullo, David & Meredith Finch, Dan Slott, Tim Sale, Greg Land, John Tyler Christopher, and many more…

    When you have this kind of line-up, the fans will come out in droves. This year, they came out in droves. I believe the total number of attendees passed the 124,000 mark.  That’s a big crowd!  Sure, it’s spread out over 4 days, but there are times when you will likely feel a bit claustrophobic.  There are pockets throughout the floor that don’t have a ton of people, but there are lots of other spots that are so congested that it can take a long, long time to get to where you’re going.  If you can deal with the crowds, you’re going to have a great time!

    Aside from the special guests, the show offers large set ups by some big companies. Lego, Ubisoft, DC, Hasbro, and EB Games all had impressive displays, some of them quite extravagant.

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    Last, but not least, were the vendors.  The small guys (like us!). We make up a huge portion of the floor space, but we are no longer the main attraction. Nevertheless, year after year, we set up and take these 4 days as a chance to sell as much as we can of our treasured collectibles.  This show is usually right up there among my most successful.  I always bring a ton of good material for sale, and the comic fans know to seek me out.  Forest City Coins is known for setting up with killer books at decent prices, and always willing to listen to offers.  With this in mind, the show is always a good one.  Listed below are some notable sales from this weekend.
    CGC and CBCS graded comics:

    • Amazing Spider-Man #129 (9.4)
    • Werewolf By Night #32 (9.2)
    • Flash Comics #7 (4.5)
    • World’s Finest #30 (7.5)
    • Wolverine #4 (9.6)
    • Incredible Hulk #181 (7.0)
    • Batman #1 9.8
    • Batman #1 Variant Cover (9.6)
    • New Mutants #98 (9.6)
    • Amazing Spider-Man #23 (7.5)
    • Amazing Spider-Man #361 (9.4)
    • Y the Last Man #1 (9.6)
    • Daredevil #168 (9.6)
    • Avengers #57 (9.2)
    • Avengers #24 (9.2)
    • Avengers #12 (9.0)
    • Hero For Hire #1 (7.5)
    • Sub-Mariner #1 (9.2)
    • Star Wars #1 Action Figure Sketch Variant (9.6)
    • X-Men #50 (9.2)
    • Incredible Hulk #271 (9.0)
    • Avengers #4 (5.0)
    • Green Lantern #1 (1.0)
    • Avengers #1 (6.0)
    • Detective Comics #441 (8.0)
    • Funnies #64 (3.0)
    • Forever People #1 (9.2)
    • Invincible Iron Man #7 (9.8)
    • Mystic Comics V2 #1 (7.0)
    • Fantastic Comics #5 (1.0)
    • Action Comics #1 – reprint (9.6)
    • Annie Oakley #2 (8.5)
    • Strange Tales #110 (8.0)

     

    I also sold a lot of trades, kids comics and a few higher end raw books. I actually did really well with WW2 Canadian helmets, believe it or not!  We sold 24 of them over the course of four days!

    Again, this is a show that I enjoy very much, and I always look forward to it every year. This year was no exception, it was a success.  I look forward to seeing you at Fan Expo 2017!

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    San Diego Comic Con 2016 Report

    5 years ago, my family and I visited San Diego for the first time.  Our intentions were to see some friends and also experience the largest comic book convention in the world, the San Diego Comic Con.  We had a really great time and every year since then I’ve been trying to arrange to go back. As it turned out, 2016 was my year!

    This time, for speed and cost reasons, I went by myself and was only there for a short while.  I flew into San Diego on the Wednesday afternoon, and I flew out on Friday night. For me, this trip was meant to be a buying trip, so I traveled very lightly.

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    For those who have never gone, but have heard great things about the SDCC, let me tell you, the show did not disappoint.  The venue is massive; the crowds of attendees were seemingly never-ending.  The show is so heavily attended that there is even a tickets lottery to get in, and another one for parking spaces at the venue!  Once inside, there were aisles and aisles of vendors selling their toys, statues, plush dolls, pillows, t-shirts, costumes, tons of other collectibles, and of course, comic books.  The corporate displays were immense and so very well planned and organized.  It is the comic book show of all shows. If you have ever considered going to experience this show, I would highly recommend it.  There’s nothing like it anywhere else.
    Comic books have become a very small part of this show.  With the attention now mostly on the celebrities, movies, toys and miscellaneous items for sale, comics are getting harder and harder to find at this “comic convention”.  Now, for the ones that were there selling comics, they sure brought the good stuff!  If you had the money, you could have bought 5 copies of Batman #1.  For me, the buying trip was successful.  I bought a number of CGC and CBCS graded comics for my shop, and a few Richie Rich comics for my personal collection.

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    The highlight for me was getting to meet legendary comic book artist Russ Heath. He is 90 years old now and still very sharp.  Growing up as a huge fan of DC war comics, I was very familiar with Russ’ fantastic work and attention to detail. Being able to meet him in person was unbelievable.  I attended a war comics banquet and Russ was the guest of honour.  That was a great opportunity to have a very casual conversation with him.  The next day, he was signing comics for fans at the show.  I brought a few of my favourites and asked Russ to sign them. He was very humble and signed happily.  I even got to hang out with him poolside for a little over an hour.  What a chance of a lifetime!

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    Niagara Falls Comic Con 2016 Report

    2016 marked the third year of Forest City Coins participating in the Niagara Falls Comic Con – a show that I always look forward to.  Comic books aside, I mean, who doesn’t like to go to Niagara Falls?  The amusements, entertainment and attractions don’t do as much for me now as they used to when I was a kid, but I still greatly enjoy the magnificence of The Falls, itself.

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    It’s a decent sized show, held in a very nice venue, the Scotia Bank Convention Centre.  It was very well attended this year, with many showing up to see the great lineup of celebrities that the organizer put together.  Just a few of the notable celebrities that come to mind are Vern Troyer (Mini Me), Henry Winkler (The Fonz), Lou Ferrigno, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob), and Peter Davison (Dr Who).  Also present, were wrestling legends Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Hillbilly Jim, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Shawn Michaels. And of course, there was lots of great cosplayers!

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    A 3-day show usually equates to a 4-day show, when you take into account an extra day to drive there and set up.  After a two-hour drive and a busy morning/afternoon of setting up our booth, I was very pleased. I am mostly a comic book seller, but sometimes I will cart with me some miscellaneous items that I’d like to let someone else have a turn to own.  It’s not uncommon to see me selling toys, statues, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, as well as vintage comics.  At this show, I had also brought celebrity 8×10 photos, in case someone wanted to meet one of the guests, and also the sleeves and top loaders that these 8x10s slide into, for protection.
    The sales were pretty good, and overall it was another very successful show. Some of my notable sales were as follows:
    Graded:

    • Marvel Tales #96 CBCS 5.0
    • Witchcraft #3 CGC 7.5
    • Unseen #10 CGC 7.5
    • Iron Man #282 CGC 9.8
    • Iron Man #282 CGC 9.2
    • Strange Adventures #180 CGC 5.5
    • Superman #52 CBCS 4.0
    • Venom/Deadpool What If? #1 CGC 9.8.

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    Raw:

    • Reid Flemming #1
    • Marvel Spotlight #32
    • Marvel Spotlight #5
    • Swamp Thing #37
    • Batman Adventures #12
    • Devil Dinosaur #1
    • Incredible Hulk #271
    • Watchmen #1
    • Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134
    • Batman #227
    • X-Factor #5
    • Amazing Adult Fantasy #12
    • Many Deadpool books
    • Many (many!) Star Wars action figure variants
    • Canadian edition comics
    • and of course our awesome solution of dollar books!

    To be honest, the 8×10 photos didn’t sell that great for me this time, but I sold a record number of sleeves and top loaders to the people walking around with photos, but no holders.

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    Again, it was a fun and successful show, and I’m already looking forward to next year!