[Feature] Montreal Comiccon 2012

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The 2012 edition of Montreal Comiccon brought together Trekkies, gamers, cosplayers, and comic fans for the shows 4th annual edition of the show. The con has grown immensely over the past few years, solidifying its spot as one of the largest in Canada. This year, Montreal Comiccon took place in the area known as Old Montreal, situated right by the waterfront, surrounded by aged cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture. Watching Captain America strutting into the distance down a patch of cobblestone bricks is a sight you can only see at Montreal Comiccon.

Unlike the bigger Cons that feature various announcements from publishers and film production houses, the panels at Montreal Comic Con are catered toward the die-hard fans, rather than members of the press. With tons of Q & A sessions, breaking into comics panels, Star Wars droid building sessions, and lots of horror film screenings, there’s really something for everyone.

The main attracting of the 2012 edition was the slew of Stark Trek stars. Fans waited in line for hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for photo opportunities with one of two Captains of the Starship Enterprise, William Shatner and Patrick Stewart. Other special guests this year included were the ever-popular Mike Mignola, Ben Templesmith, Jim Starlin, Darwyn Cooke, Malcom McDowell, Wil Wheaton, James Marsters, Tom Savini, and many more. Check it all out after the jump.

This was one of the most well organized cons I’ve attended in the past few years. Panels started on time (for the most part), the staff was friendly, and the event was never overloaded with people. Despite the extremely long lines for public entrance, Montreal Comiccon 2012 was a huge success and I imagine it will only continue to grow.

While the panels were not packed with groundbreaking news, they did offer some insight into the minds of some of the most well-known creators in the industry. Below is a summary of the panels and activities with a few news bites to sink your teeth into.

David Finch

David Finch spoke at length about his work on superhero comics, giving the audience an in-depth look at his career as an artist. Finch stated that he was a high-school dropout, and that when he started illustrating he was often lazy with his work. It wasn’t until his 30s that he started cracking down, honing his craft, and finding projects he enjoyed. He spoke of his love for more “intellectual” comics from the Vertigo catalog such as “Sandman”, saying that he reads them as much as he can. When asked if he would consider doing artwork for a Vertigo title, he said that he doesn’t think his style fits the books.

Finch admitted that he took on writing because he wanted the freedom to do what he wanted with “Batman”, but realized how useful a writer can be. He’s excited for his upcoming work on “Justice League of America” with Geoff Johns, and he hinted at the potential for working with Scott Snyder in the future.

Ben Templesmith

Templesmith’s panel was one of the most laid back, moderated by fellow artist Kelly Tindall (letterer for “Green Wake”, and colorist for “Rebel Blood”). Tindall started off the panel asking Templesmith about his degree in Marine Biology (according to his Wikipedia). Templesmith was unabashed in admitting it was a lie, and that his degree was actually in Design.

From there the panel focused more on his work in comics, and how he returned to the medium after nearly two years away. Templesmith recently formed a company titled 44FLOOD, along with Menton3, Kasra Ghanbari, and Nick Idell. The company’s first Kickstarter, for an anthology series called “TOME”, was funded within 3 hours of launch and it has attracted artists such as Dave McKean, Riley Rossmo, George Pratt, Bill Sienkiewicz, Neil Gaiman, and many others.

Templesmith noted that there is possibility for another arc of “Fell” with Warren Ellis, saying he’s already drawn a full issue, but has no idea when there will be more. He hinted at a project coming up with Steve Niles, who he partnered with on “30 Days of Night”, that will be announced within the next month (likely at New York Comic Con).

Mike Mignola

As a Guest of Honor, Mignola was kind enough to draw up a special edition logo for Montreal Comic Con 2012 that features Hellboy eating a poutine (A Quebec delicacy of french fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. See above). Limited edition prints and T-shirts were sold at the show, but you can get a sweet computer background of it here. It was also the monster-creators birthday on Sunday, and the entire audience sang to him, in French nonetheless.

Mignola began his panel by saying, “All I ever wanted to do was draw monsters,” which was quickly followed by the news that are indeed talks of a third “Hellboy” film with del Toro and Perlman on board, but it’s moving slowly, and he has no idea as to when production will begin. The rest of the panel was spent discussing the upcoming, and much anticipated, return of Hellboy in “Hellboy in Hell”. Mignola plans on keeping Hellboy in the land of fire for quite a long time.

Mignola commented that he was using hell as a way to explore different mythologies and folklore from cultures such as Japan and Arabia. We can expect parts of hell that feel Middle Eastern, and others that feel Asian. Hellboy in Hell begins in 2013, and it is Mignola’s return to the series as both writer and artist.

Mignola spoke at length about his creative process, much of which apparently takes place in the shower. He said he can spend hours showering as Hellboy and other characters chat back and forth while he listens. He admits that the “B.P.R.D”. books are slowly falling more and more out of his hands, although he still approves what happens in the books.

Kill Shakespeare Live!

Co-writers Anthony Del Col and Connor McCreery adapted their “Kill Shakespeare” comic for a stage performance, in partnership with the Shakespeare Theatre Company. The performance displayed the artwork of Andy Belanger and was accompanied by a live dramatic reading of the book from Shakespeare Theatre Company actors. Montreal Comiccon was the official Con debut of the show, which will be brought to New York Comic Con in October before it goes on tour.

Heroes of the North

Heroes of the North is an all-Canadian web series featuring original superheros and villains. The company recently expanded to offer comic books as part of their continuity, which are now available through Diamond Distributing and can be ordered anywhere. The crew is wrapping up episode 20, the final chapter of season 1, which will be available online in the next few weeks.

The showrunner, Christian Viel, spoke of the plans for season 2 and the new characters they will be introducing. Season 2 episodes will be longer than those in season 1, ranging from 10 to 20 minutes in length. They will introduce several new villains and heroes, and they plan to spread across Canada, rather than sticking within Quebec and Ontario. Season 2 will bring back Marie-Claude Bourbonnais, Bianca Beauchamp, Yann Brouillette, John Fallon, and bring in many other actors.

Viel spoke of a television deal with an American station that is currently in the works, and stated that he was trying to get it on TV in Canada but due to the hot button issues of the series it is proving more difficult than he hoped.

The Joe Shuster Awards

The Joe Shuster Awards, which honor excellence in Canadian comic creators, took place on Saturday night at Montreal Comiccon. A big congratulations goes out to Kurtis J Wiebe who took home the award for best writer for his work on “Green Wake” (my #1 series of the year last year). For full details on the winners, see here.

Darwyn Cooke

Cooke spoke of his work on “Before Watchmen”, which most people seemed excited to hear about. He was hesitant at first to take on the project, but once the story came to him, he knew he had to tell it. He announced that there will be more “Parker” books on the way, and perhaps a surprise project of his coming sometime in the new year.

The Cast of TNG

Trekkies lined up for hours waiting for a chance to take a picture with one of the beloved captains, Kirk and Picard throughout the weekend. The show also brought in Brent Spiner, Will Wheaton, John de Lancie, and Daniel Stewart. There was no shortage of Star Trek action figures and cosplayers, taking up almost as much floor space as the comic book booths.