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Ottawa Comiccon 2016 Edition – Day 1

T-Shirt of the Day - 1
T-Shirt of the Day – 1

People attend cons for a variety of reasons.  Personally, I enjoy soaking in the atmosphere of the entire site – it really is electric – costumes, exploring the exhibition area, commissioning a piece of art from one of the many artists in the artist’s alley and of course, having the opportunity to meet the people behind my favourite movie and television characters.  I have been waiting for a year, and the day is finally here!  I donned my special “T-Shirt of the Day”, hopped on the 97 and headed out to the EY Centre!

This year con organizers developed their own app – which worked really well.  I reviewed the schedule all week and had a pretty good idea what I hoped to do each day.

First Up – Celebrity Vehicles

This year, three celebrity vehicles were in attendance:

Delorean time board

Animation Screening

Next was a screening of the Canadian Animation Celebration sponsored by the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Did you know the OIF is the longest running animation festival in North America? The show was excellent!  Highlights included:

I’d recognize Richard Condie’s voice anywhere!

Panel 1 – John De Lancie and René Auberjonois

René Auberjonois
René Auberjonois
John de Lancie
John de Lancie

The first panel of the day followed: 50 Years of Star Trek Q&A with John De Lancie and René Auberjonois.  Both were gracious and good-natured with fans who for some reason asked the same question over and over again.

John De Lancie is known for portraying Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.  I was surprised to learn he had roles in Charmed, Torchwood, Breaking Bad, Stargate SG-1, Battlestar Galactica (1979), Days of Our Lives, The Twilight Zone, Matlock and MacGyver, among others series.  As a voice actor he has appeared in Batman: The Animated Series, Assassin’s Creed (video game) and in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

René Auberjonois is known for portraying Chief of Security Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,  Col. West in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) Clayton Endicott III on the comedy series Benson (1979), and as Paul Lewiston on Boston Legal.  Recently he appeared in The Librarians.  As a voice actor he has appeared in The Last Unicorn (1980)(The Skull),  Superfriends (Desaad), Little Mermaid (1989)(Louis) and the video game Skylanders: Superchargers (Pomfrey).

A short interview with the two actors at the con can be found here.

Geek Universe Concert with the OVMF

Montreal’s L’Orchestre à Vents de Musiques de Films closed Day 1 out with an excellent concert.  50 musicians under the direction of conductor and arranger Jocelyn Leblanc took the audience through the soundtracks of video games, movies and television.  The playlist included:

  • Skyrim
  • Halo
  • Star Fox
  • Zelda vs Final Fantasy
  • Contra
  • Rey’s Theme
  • Lando’s Theme (Bespin)


  • Doctor Who
  • I am the Doctor (11th Doctor)
  • All the Strange Strange Creatures (David Tennant)
  • Am I a Good Man? (Peter Capaldi)
  • Star Trek (new)
  • Our Shore (Fellowship of the Ring) Medely
  • Zelda a link to the past


  • Captain America – The First Avenger
  • Game of Thrones
  • Avengers

It was a wonderful way to wind up Day 1 of the Ottawa Comiccon – 2016 Edition.


Ottawa Comiccon 2016 Edition

Ottawa Comiccon is a popular culture convention held each May at Ottawa’s EY Centre.  Since 2012, it has been a forum where people of all ages can gather to share their passions for science fiction, horror, anime, video games, tabletop games and comic books.  Programs are wide ranging and consist of a variety of activities.  This year’s event included:

  • Celebrity Q & A, autograph, and photo sessions.
  • A performance by Montreal’s OVMF Orchestra.
  • Movie and documentary screenings.
  • Panels on everything from acting and costuming to cultural studies.
  • Improv, game shows and musical performances.
  • Board game beta-testing and tournaments.
  • An exhibition hall for artists, vendors and charity events.
  • Cosplay.

Why is this a thing?

Groot at Ottawa Comiccon

Simply put, it is a place where people go to be themselves.  (Even if “themselves” means dressing up as Groot).   It is a place for our inner child, and our children.  To borrow from Mikey Neumann, these things we like were built into incredibly impactful slices of our lives.  They remind us of the time we spent on the couch where we watched or read the very first thing that truly captured our imagination.  We are reminded of all the time spent running round the back yard pretending to be characters in films, TV shows, books, games or comics.  These things can surprise us and create in us such feelings, feelings that we carry with us in every moment of every day.

Why am I telling you this?

It was my cabbie.

Gordon Freeman at Ottawa Comiccon
Not unlike this – I wonder what my cabbie was thinking?

My wife left for a business trip Saturday evening.  I had to leave the con a little early to get home to see her off and put the boy to bed.  A cab seemed prudent, given the OC Transpo commute time.  I emerged from the building with several hundred people – half of whom were in costume of one kind or another.  There was a single cab sitting at the taxi-stand out front.  I climbed in with my backpack and con-bag, told him where we were headed and gratefully sat back in my seat.  As we pulled out of the EY Centre’s driveway the driver asks, “So, what is going on here?  Why is everyone dressed like this?”  I stammered my way through an explanation.  He had never heard of a pop-culture convention.  Judging from the look on his face, I’m doubtful my explanation made things any clearer.

A Day in the Life – Ottawa Comiccon 2016

Over the next few days I propose to share a little of my experience at this year’s con.  Maybe it will convince someone to attend one – at the very least I hope the photos are enjoyable!

Steampunk at Ottawa Comiccon

Why Does DC Hate Gorillas?

It’s no secret that I’m a comic book fan.  But I’m a bigger fan of real science fiction; that is, fiction whose narrative necessarily depends upon a fanciful or not-yet-possible scientific element. I struggle with whether traditional superhero comic books qualify as science fiction, since mostly the sci-fi elements are an excuse for having extraordinary characters.  Any other excuse can often suffice: magic, for instance. Continue reading Why Does DC Hate Gorillas?

Jewish Science Fiction


by Peter Marmorek

Let’s face it, when it comes to science fiction, Jews wrote the bible. And they wrote a lot else besides. Ursula Le Guin says that the Frankenstein myth (and Mary Shelley) are the mothers of invention of science fiction, and she may be right (she usually is). But the Frankenstein myth is a variant on the Golem story, the story of a man created without a human soul, and it goes back over a thousand years in Jewish folklore before Shelley created her version, on that dark and stormy night in Switzerland. Continue reading Jewish Science Fiction

Review: Avatar

First, let’s get this out of the way.  Yes, Avatar was an unbelievable visual spectacle.  That’s what everyone will be talking about, I’m sure.  In fact, the quality of the 3-D effects, the richness of the visual world that James Cameron has created, and the thickness and believability of the visual characters are, without question, marvels to behold.  Is that enough to warrant the price of admission?  Actually, yes, I think it is.  In fact, 3-D might be Hollywood’s salvation against online piracy: you just can’t duplicate Avatar‘s big screen, three dimensional effect on your computer screen. Continue reading Review: Avatar

Review: Star Trek XI

The new "Spock" and the new "Kirk".
The new “Spock” and the new “Kirk”.

Well y’all knew this was coming.  Star Trekwas a huge influence on my life.  I know whenever someone says something like that, the common response is one of pitious disdain.  But people need to remember that science fiction was a rarity in the early 70s, and smart entertainment accessible by children rarer still.  Even more obscure were role models in such a milieu that were appreciable by ethnicities other than the White North American mainstream. Continue reading Review: Star Trek XI