The Fan Expo Canada Round-Up 2018

Last weekend was Fan Expo, Toronto’s biggest multi-day comics convention.  I’m not your typical convention goer, in that I don’t pay attention to celebrities or cosplayers, and always skip whatever is going on in the north building.  I’m there for comics, and that’s it.

To that end, I was a little surprised to see that no vendors were clearing out recent comics at reduced prices.  I usually catch up on a lot of titles at Expo – if you read my weekly column, you know I alway include a list of comics I’d buy if comics weren’t so expensive – and it’s usually Expo that allows me to stay semi-current with the Big Two.  I thought it was interesting that vendors didn’t have that stuff on hand this year – maybe they’ve stopped chasing variants that require purchasing a massive stack of books that they can’t sell.

Anyway, I didn’t make a lot of individual comics purchases, but I was able to fill out my runs of Primal Force and Young All-Stars.  You can expect Retro Reviews columns on both of these series at some point down the road.

I also grabbed a small stack trade paperbacks from Image and some other independent publishers from one of my favourite Expo retailers.  As it turns out, he’s opening a new store, Nerdcore, at 1353 Main Street East in Hamilton Ontario, on September 15th, for people who live in the area.

I enjoyed walking around Artists’ Alley, and came away with the following tidbits of information, observations, or thoughts:

  • Based on the length of his line, fans have really embraced Matthew Rosenberg’s work at Marvel (although in a better world, they’d be lining up to talk about 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank).
  • Tom King has a lot of copies of Batman #50.
  • John Byrne doesn’t appear to be aging.
  • I learned from Jason Loo that new issues of The Pitiful Human-Lizard are available on Comixology, which was done to tide readers over until Chapterhouse works out some publishing issues.  I’m a big fan of the Human-Lizard, and Loo’s work in general, and had been missing this book.
  • Loo also has a new mini-comic, She’s Always With Us, that I probably shouldn’t discuss much (it comes with a paper wrapper to prevent readers from flipping through and discovering spoilers), except to say it was great.
  • I had a nice chat with Valiant’s Director of Sales, where I learned a lot about the different ways that company has worked to build positive relationships with retailers, providing them with branded boxcutters, and various levels of support.  He was manning a table covered with Valiant trades that he was selling on consignment with local comic store powerhouse The Silver Snail, which seems like a really classy way to support a local retailer while promoting books.  I came away very impressed.
  • James Tynion IV hinted that he might be working on something with his The Woods collaborator Michael Dialynas.
  • Steve Orlando hinted that he might be working on something with his Undowtow collaborator Artyom Trakhanov.
  • I also learned that Joshua Dysart is returning to Valiant soon with a Toyo Harada series – maybe the most exciting thing I learned at the Expo.

In all, it was a good show.  I didn’t spend a ton of money this year, which is probably a good thing.  I look forward to going again next year.

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