Toronto Launches Its Own Comicon, Hunger Games Promotion In Full Force

TORONTO – So apparently this is what San Diego goes gaga over every July.

Toronto played host to its first annual Comicon over the weekend with a line-up that boasted (I guess you could call it that), celebrity guests that included Tia Carrere (Celebrity Apprentice, Wayne’s World), Edward Furlong (Terminator 2), Charisma Carpenter (Angel) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca from Star Wars). The event took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and despite checking, I have not been able to secure final attendance estimates as of yet.

Not to be confused with the Wizard World Comic Con that is taking place next month or Fan Expo Canada’s major event in August, the Toronto Comicon was a smaller affair that hopes to forge its own identity in its debut. Its first installment was exactly what you would expect. Grown men sword fighting (or “live action roleplaying) near soda machines outside the venue, more girls dressed as Wonder Woman than I have ever seen and tons of comics and other geekified material available for purchase.

The standout exhibitor was Alliance Films that used the picture-perfect backdrop to promote The Hunger Games which is officially released on March 23. Their booth and location near the entrance was definitely intuitive as you literally were forced to stop and check them out (not that it required a lot of arm-twisting). The swag they gave out included screening passes to The Cabin In The Woods and Goon hats. As for their Hunger Games merch? There were mockingjay pins, trading cards, a bag that contained both and of course, tickets to the Canadian premiere of the movie on March 19 where stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Alexander Ludwig will all be in attendance. Stay tuned for my coverage and interviews with the cast.

Before I left, I also caught up with Tia Carrere and told her that I would be seeing her at the upcoming Celebrity Apprentice finale in May. While I assumed that her visit to Toronto meant that she would be fired in Sunday’s episode, I was obviously wrong as she remains on the program.

Fan Expo Canada returns to Toronto and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from August 23-26 where guests will include Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, and Patrick Stewart (Star Trek, X-Men). More information is available at Fan Expo Canada.