It’s been five days, and I can still smell the freshly swept convention floor. The tables had been used many times. The chairs had been sat in. Toronto Comic Con was called the Con of Dreams, and it was. It really was.

Toronto Comic Con had a decent set-up, with big stars like Nicholas Brendan, Ray Park, and Jake Lloyd on the East wall, while it showcased vendors, Sucker Punch, and a big Halo car at the entrance. I may have squeed as I passed Clare Kramer and Mercedes McNab.

Here is a pic of FanExpo for comparison

Our friend Gav is correct, we are sitting in the wrong order to the table display names

As you can see from the photos Toronto Comic Con lacks the sheen and warmth of FanExpo. At FanExpo they have red carpet everywhere and it is well lit large windows that let in natural light. I don’t believe Exhibit Hall D in the Direct Energy Centre has any windows. Just cold vents.

As we were setting up on Friday night I looked next to us and saw The Captain’s outfit from Romantically Apocalyptic. If you are already a fan of the comic or artist (Vitaly S Alexius) that is to your credit. His comic’s art is a combination of photography and digital painting, and the comic’s premise is unique. The story mostly follows the oddball character “The Captain” in a post nuclear holocaust world. I’ve admired their product for a long time so it was a pleasure to meet them.

Some of Sopes’s former artists were also there. They have a brand called Heroes of the World which posits one hero unique to a country in the world. Their site says the project “emphasizes the importance of unity through diversity in their artwork.” They also have a comic now and some kick-ass merchandise, in addition to being warmly authentic gentlemen.

I remember the first person that came to our booth before the doors opened. She was a guest of one of the other vendors and was taking an opportunity to take a peek around. I’d say she was around eleventeen. She asked us, “So what are you guys selling?” We showed her some prints and mentioned our T-Shirt contest, then Sopes said, “We’re also selling ourselves actually.” I’m fairly sure he was talking about selling us as a brand, but I can’t be certain; she moved on to the next table.

Our table’s promotion changed over time. On Friday we harnessed the power of the carnie, and learned that Sopes has a natural carnie ability. “Hey, you wanna win a T-Shirt?” became his call. Then people would come in and learn more about the comic and take a business card.

On Saturday people were walking a lot faster. They came to comic con with a purpose: to buy some shit and to see it all. So automatan suggested we make it our mission to give out all our business cards, and give away prints of the comic for free. This shocked a lot of people, because other tables charged at least charged $2 for a doodle. One couple told us, “You guys are cool, every table should be like yours!” I wouldn’t recommend our financially-averse model, but pitching a comedic webcomic is tough because people have to stop and read an entire strip in order to be sold. In some cases when we told people they could take a print for free they panicked because they were forced into a decision AND had to read too. This lead to snap judgements based on over-arching content: “Oh cool, Street Fighter. Thanks guys!” or “Hey Mega Man, all right!” But lots of people would read several comics before they picked one, often laughing out loud or chuckling. Several people asked us to sign the prints as well.

The Sunday the crowds were a mix; more people had the slow saunter of Friday’s crowd, but there weren’t as many as Saturday’s crowd. We modded the carnie call yet again to “Hey, do you like funny?” Sopes was our carnie champion, and got good at practicing a pitch “We’re a webcomic by gamers for gamers.” Some people would shake their heads and say “no” to indicate they did not like funny, but they lied because they smiled as they did it.

Reaction to the comic and our carnie calling was very positive. But don’t take our word for it, see what Dean said about us.

There are a lot of mini stories about comic con worth sharing, I will make a small list of them for you:

  • One little girl who could barely see over the table looked at the Street Fighter comic that used the term “hyper-dick-report” and asked how much it was. I told her and her Mother they were not for sale.
  • A gentleman next to me in the men’s washroom got gun shy and decided the cure was to wave his penis around like a lightsaber. He was a fair distance from the urinal, so I’m not sure why you would do that. No pee came forth.
  • The artist across from us, Dave Ross, had an unknown allure. He charmed people everyone in his vicinity for long periods of time. I would like to drink of his power.
  • The Max the Mutt Animation School was near us. Please click on the link. She had a lovely booth that should have gotten more attention.
  • I did an interview with Geek Hard Sunday morning before Sopes arrived. I was sad to be alone, but I got the impression they had a lot to do. It was very short so it may never appear online, but I will be listening to their show tonight at 7:00 PM EDT to see if we get a quick mention.
  • automaton met Jake Lloyd outside the con. Lloyd was alone so automaton went up and introduced himself, and they chatted about about his life and what he’s been doing since Star Wars. He was a cool guy.
  • I had a competition with one of the guys over at Quiver St. about who could put more business cards in the mens washroom. I have this to say to them: Recognize.
  • Most of us missed when an Up Up Down Down reader came by, but I heard he was cool, and brought his friends over and asked for autographed prints

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our table. A big thank you to those who took prints and stopped to chat for awhile. Much love to our friends who came to the con just to see us, or supported us vicariously. And to you people who took a card or print and came back to the site (and judging by our analytics, there were a lot of you), you’re awesome. Welcome to the Up Up Down Down family.