Savage Enterprises Publishing
Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

Convention Venture

Toronto Metropolitan Comics Convention - Dates: August 23rd through August 24th, 1997

Friday August 22, 1997
Weird day for a trip. Maybe cause it was grey and rainy. Maybe cause I didn't sleep much. Not sure. Anyhow, took off at 5:45am to get Francisco. I had a Surfing Wasp on my windshield who stayed with us until Jeff's house. Weird bug, but he knew how to surf!

The drive down was uneventful with music provided by CSAV Radio, The Snatch Patrol Band (KISS), and Gangsta Rap (brought by Francisco - really nasty music). The regular stops (Tim Horton's for breakfast, Wendy's for lunch) brought no enticing snatch! We met Ronn Sutton at Wendy's which was cool cause it was the first time we'd met another traveller on the road during this or any other trip.

We made another stop to check with the hotel and it earned another X as the woman provided a missing piece to getting there which the guy I had spoken with on Thursday forgot to mention. We finally get there and they don't have their own parking lot! One more X. We check in and five minutes later 2 British guys are trying to get in our rom. They'd just been booked into our room, right after us!!! 3 X's for that.

With everything taken care of, we headed out to roam the streets. Sheesh. Toronto is definitely not my town. On every corner, Squeegee Patrols of folks who look like they've just gotten out of jail. Homeless beggers everywhere. It was downright depressing.

We stopped in at Tower Records and Sam The Record Man (Terry Pallot was there, his wife had to remind him that we knew each other from PriMedia - and they were also staying at the Stratcohna) and the World's Biggest Book Store.

Jeff and Frank wanted to go to Taco Bell for supper. I'd never been there but decided to give it a try. It was fucking disgusting. I felt like I was eating diced cockroaches. Yuck. We went back to the hotel but it was early and I was bored so we went out again for coffee. Saw more beggars. Saw more homeless. *sigh*

You know, the only fun we had was how we'd been speaking with accents from the moment we'd gotten to town. I was Tony Montana (speaking with a Cuban accent), Frank was a Mexican, and Jeff was an Australian. Made for some hysterical Snatch moments.

The night wore on and the city with no soul put us to sleep.

Saturday August 23, 1997
Got up at 6:30am, took a shower and then waited in the lobby for Frank and Jeff. Jeff only made it down at 8:20 and the lounge was full so we couldn't eat there. Ended up having breakfast at McDonald's trying to figure out what it was we were eating.

After walking for what seemed like a mile in the convention center itself, we got our badges and set up our tables. Got to talk with some interesting folks as well as the regular convention friends (Ronn Sutton, Janet Hetherington, Terry + Tanya Pallot, Leonard Kirk, Mark Shainblum). Got to speak a little more with Rob Kraus. Always an amiable fellow, I love how his mind works. He has good ideas and always comes up with interesting ways to get his product out to the public. Also met Melita and William from Hot Brazen Comics through Francisco and finally met Richard Comely through Mark. Plus, I got to put faces to some Cserve names such as Pamela Hazleton, and Mike + Diana Okomoto.

Picked up a few items, but didn't really do any shopping. Maybe tomorrow because the con day was over. Walked Yonge Street again and then went to the Industry Night Supper at the Hot House Cafe. Nice place, good atmosphere, great food. Mark showed us some submission work Todd McFarlane had sent him back in 83 which included his early ideas for Spawn. Todd's dad was there and he wanted Mark to make him a copy. It's funny. Reading through that submission (sent when he was still in school) actually made Todd seem somewhat... human, instead of the spoiled brat he comes across as.

After supper, we walked Yonge again and then headed back to the hotel. Yup, another uneventful night.

Sunday August 24, 1997
I wrote nothing for this day. It was (obviously) spent at the convention center (after breakfast at McDonald's again) and it was another great day of talking to folks. Highlights would be chatting with Mike Okomoto, and seeing and speaking with Les Barker again (Golden Age creator of Johnny Canuck -a gun-toting hero of WW2, for those non-Canadians). Oh yeah, and I spent a shitload of money.

Recap: Since I wasn't on any panels, it was a different convention experience than I've ever reported. As such, there aren't any highlights or lowlights to this report.

(Convention Venture (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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