If you enjoyed 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man (or any of the many Spider-Man films that came before it), maybe it’s time you dove into the genesis of all that spandex goodness: the original comic books.
The longest-running comic book expo in Victoria returns this month featuring local artists and a wide range of vintage and current comic issues to view or buy. In the past, is has featured such local artists as Nevin Arnold — best known for his Bombshell Apparel t-shirt line — and Ken Steacy, a comic book artist who has worked in the industry for more than 30 years and who teaches courses on comics and graphic novels at Camosun College.
The expo’s founder, Glen Jack, has been hosting the event roughly four times a year for more than 10 years. According to Jack, it started when local comic store Yellowjacket Comics & Toys stopped running its comic conventions due to the events’ money-losing nature. With Yellowjacket’s convention gone, Jack’s network of comic trading got considerably smaller. So he started an expo himself. “I wanted to bring comic book collectors and traders together all in one place instead of me having to go to a bunch of individual places,” says Jack.
The Victoria Comic Book Expo does just that by hosting more than 12 local comic book dealers and collectors, as well as four from Vancouver. These dealers are looking to sell and trade, and if you’re wondering what your comics are worth, they will price them for you (and possibly even buy them). These dealers have plenty of experience and know what they’re talking about. “They have been collecting comics since they were kids,” says Jack. “It’s been an on-and-off hobby for them.”
Jack hopes the expo benefits collectors both new and old. “One of the more satisfying parts of holding this expo is to help collectors fill the gaps of their collections.”
But this comic convention is not just for the extreme comic fans and collectors. People unfamiliar with this culture are encouraged to attend as well. “That is why there is no entrance fee to enjoy the Victoria Comic Book Expo,” says Jack. “If people with little to no experience with comics just want to come and take a look around, they can.”
Jack hopes to draw in people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as families that want to continue on the tradition of comic book reading and collecting. “It’s nice when families come,” says Jack. “People who grew up with comic books and want to take a trip down memory lane with their family bring their children for the afternoon.”
As someone who has attended the expo both as a visitor and a featured artist, I can vouch for how varied and fun this event is.
Victoria Comic Book Expo
Feb. 24 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Comfort Inn & Suites Conference Centre (3020 Blanshard St.)