Travel Blog

24 Mar

Warning all Trekkies and Batman fans: An epic Montréal Comiccon this way comes

Every year, Montréal’s Comiccon gets demonstrably bigger and better and cooler and crazier. This year is no exception. An estimated 60,000 fans of science fiction, fantasy, horror, video games and, of course, comic books are expected for a very special edition that’s also celebrating milestone anniversaries of both the Batman and Star Trek TV franchises in the company of the Captain himself: William Shatner.

ComicConMontréal Comiccon, which runs from July 8-10 and takes place in the Palais des Congrès, is gearing up for what’s likely to be an epic instalment marking 50 years since Batman and Star Trek first took over the tube in the 1960s, firing the imaginations of what would turn out to be many decades of superhero and science fiction fans. For the Batman faithful, Comiccon won’t simply be about celebrating the TV show’s popularity, but will also emphasize how it continues to spawn different interpretations and variations.

Morena_Baccarin“We’re drawing attention to the anniversary by bringing in some of the more current [Batman-influenced] TV shows,” explains Comiccon Programming Director Cliff Caporale. “So we’ve got Morena Baccarin, who plays Leslie Thompkins on Gotham, as well as Robin Lord Taylor, who portrays Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin.”

As for Star Trek fans, Comiccon is boldly going where it hasn’t gone before with the inclusion of none other than Captain James T. Kirk, or rather Montréal-born TV and movie star William Shatner, who will reflect on 50 years of the Star Trek phenomenon in, doubtless, his own inimitable and hilarious way.

William_Shatner“We’ve been planning for about 18 months to get William Shatner to Montréal because we knew the Star Trek 50th anniversary was coming and if we’re going to do this, we’d better get Shatner,” says Caporale. “We’ve also got Nichelle Nichols [a.k.a., Lt. Uhura] and Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager. Every time we do something Star Trek it’s hugely popular. I know Star Wars takes over everything, but Star Trek fans are hardcore and they will come.”

Caporale also notes that, as they were putting the conference’s guest list together, they discovered that at least three representing “legends” at the event were born in Montréal.

“We have pop culture icon Shatner of course, but also Peter Cullen, who used to play a Québécois astronaut on a kids show on CFCF in the ’60s, and who went on to become the voice of [Transfomers’] Optimus Prime, the voice of my youth,” laughs Caporale. “We spent years trying to get him… years! And the third one, Elias Toufexis, speaks more to millennial fandom. Toufexis is the voice of Adam Jensen in the video game Deus Ex.”

Comiccon_2015Among many new Comiccon programming developments this year is a substantial increase in the attention being paid to making sure conference participants are experiencing maximum EE (enjoyment and entertainment). The video gaming component will grow again this year with two rooms dedicated to panels and workshops, one to an eSport zone as well as a retro-gaming area, and there will also be a special once-daily event that will be music to attendees’ ears.

“A lot of people come for the celebrities or the costumes obviously, but then they go, ‘Okay, what do I do next?’” says Caporale. “Well, we’re upping our game from 100 activities to 150 activities over the weekend, and that’s not even counting the autograph sessions because that would be too much to count. That’s panels, workshops, live dubbing and three themed orchestral concerts [Geek Universe, Video Games and Star Wars], playing music from films, TV series and video games, performed by the 50-person Film Music Wind Orchestra… and more.”

Up next: Your Montréal Digital Spring Survival Guide


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