More than just comics at a con

Comicon conventions are growing in size and popularity, and are changing each year to suit the needs of the attending public.

At this year’s 2015 Toronto Comicon event, anime, horror, superheroes and science fiction were just some of the fan cultures represented and dictating the available content.

The event also featured a variety of vendors selling everything from medieval swords to plush toys, along with numerous pop culture related merchandise.

However, despite there being certain genres, vendors, and fan cultures present, this year’s Toronto Comicon focused on a different idea as well.

Individuals attending the event were there to form new bonds and gain a sense of belonging.

Timothy Smith, a Toronto Comicon and Fan Expo Toronto aficionado who has been attending the events for the past ten years, feels that these conventions are establishing new trust mechanisms for attendees.

“When [someone] is at a con, they feel a sense of belonging to a massive community or like minded people,” said Smith.

“You don’t need to impress anyone, you can be yourself, or you can dress up as an alter ego. No one questions your motives and you make new friends. Over the past couple years, I can honestly say I’ve become best friends with some people I’ve met at Toronto cons.”

The ideas discussed by Smith were present just about everywhere throughout the convention. Even though people ranged in race, sex, and ethnicity, bonds were being formed.

The exhibitors floor of Toronto Comicon was bustling with people, and even though it was difficult to navigate because of the abundance of people present, people were still acting cordial to each other. People respected line-ups, and the mood was happy.

“Okay, maybe the merchandise at some of the vendors is super pricey, but when you’re at a con, you’re willing to pay anything,” said Amanda, a twenty-seven year old female who attended the 2015 Toronto Comicon in order to meet Terry Farrell of Star Trek fame and the cast of Bitten.

“When your [at Toronto Comicon or FanExpo], you feel rejuvenated. The people here, celebrities, and the volunteers make you want to spend money, and have fun.”

“[Toronto Comicon] is basically one of three events where I undertake a ‘treat yo self’ mindset, and I forget about my job, problems and issues”said Amanda.

Overall, the three day event created hype and got all individuals ready for Toronto Comicon’s larger event, Fan Expo 2015.

Fan Expo 2015 will be held from September 3-6, 2015 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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