Comic books take centre stage at expo

By Kyle Wells

It may be all about the comics but don’t expect to see any X-Men walking around or lineups for a celebrity signing; the Victoria Comic Book Expo is all business.

With four events per year, the Expo eschews the cosplay and fanfare of bigger comic events and focuses on what’s important: the comic books. The expo is geared towards collectors and dealers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t treasures to be found and deals to be had for comic book fans of all ages and levels of interest.

So said expo organizer Glen Jack, who says he sees everyone from hardcore dealers from Vancouver hunting for the old and the rare, to new comic book fans out to score a deal on some good reads.

“It’s just for comic books, the love of comic books,” said Jack. “It’s always interesting to find a good one to read or something different.”

Jack himself got interested in comics at a young age when he realized some of his favourite toys, such as Transformers and GI Joes, also had comic books. He dived into the medium from that point on, becoming a big fan in the 1990s, around the “Death of Superman” era.

Still a collector himself, Jack said trends come and go over the years, but the love of comics is always present. Right now, alternate covers are popular collectors’ items, meaning collecting the varying covers released for the same issue. Zombies are also a more recent trend, especially with the popularity of The Walking Dead on TV.

In fact, anything TV or movie related tends to sell well, Jack said. For instance, at a recent expo someone managed to snag a copy of a rare Harley Quinn comic, which became more popular around the release of last year’s Suicide Squad movie.

And a lot of people are simply trying to find comics they remember from their youth.

“Different trends come and go,” Jack said. “There’s new people come in, others drop off. Some people try to find the comics they had as a kid.”

But no matter what the flavour of the week is, it’s the people, from the sellers to the buyers, that make the event the fun it is. About 300-400 people attend each one and Jack said they make a point of keeping entry free so that families can come and young people can discover the same enthusiasm for comics that he did.

The Victoria Comic Book Expo is Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Comfort Inn and Conference Centre. For more information visit victoriacomicbookexpo.ca.

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