davemerrill: (Default)
May 22- Anime North Staff Meeting

May 26-28 - Anime North http://www.animenorth.com/live/
Going to be doing Anime Hell and some panels at this one!

June 4 - Ancaster Collectibles Extravanganza http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/TOY_2017-06-04.php

June 10 - giant Danforth yard sale http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/city-s-largest-yard-sale-will-take-over-much-of-the-danforth-next-month-1.4118713

June 17 - Liberate Your Locker yard sale in Liberty Village, which I have already signed up for!

June 25 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

June 25 - Ancaster Nostalgia Show http://www.collectorshows.ca/Shows/NOS_2017-06-25.php

July 28-30 - Con Bravo - but this is also the weekend we're meeting my family for a vacation somewhere down South, so we will miss Con Bravo again. Sorry fellas.

August 6 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

August 20- Zine Dream 10 is happening August 20, 2017 at the Polish Combatants’ Hall in Toronto. http://zinedream.com/

Sept. 24 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/

Sept 28 - Oct 1 AWA http://awa-con.com/
Gonna be doing Anime Hell and panels at this one too, obvs

Nov. 26 - Toronto Comic Book Show http://www.torontocomicbookshow.com/


Aug. 29th, 2016 11:51 am
davemerrill: (harvey)
We went to the Cambridge show! And it was OK! Very super heroey. Cosplayers front and center blocking the doors of the library with photo shoots of Dude Dressed As Dr. Evil (bringing the role back to Ontario, as it were) and Pink Power Ranger, and Guys Staring At Pink Power Ranger's Butt. We printed a lot of zines but only sold a few. The crowd was mostly People Who Bring Their Kids To The Library On Saturday Anyway - a demographic I support fully, but not one really in the market for self-published comics. Especially not self published comics that aren't very kid friendly. Other tables were a pretty typical mix of aspiring super hero artists, a smattering of edgy zombie monstery professional illustrators all chatting with each other about next week's Fan Expo, one table of people selling their board game.

On the plus side, the table was free, the event was well-run and provided coffee, pizza, water, and snacks to the artists. It was nice to table again, it's been a while. The zines and the promo stuff we produced for the show can, of course, easily be used for the next show. I brought the strip I'm working on and Shain brought her sketchbook and we spent most of the time working on our various projects, and having a solid block of time away from typical distractions was really helpful. We handed out a lot of postcards and met a few people and swapped comics with one guy.

The minus side was that this really wasn't our crowd, the event wasn't that well attended, and it's a solid hour of 401 traffic away from our place. If it happens again next year, and the tables are still free, then it might be a thing we think about. But it, and tabling in general, are such a commitment- gas money, supplies, and time - that I don't know if it's worth it. Certainly for a show that pretty much sucks up an entire day, for us the return on investment is dependent on many factors.

I think we'd sell more zines at a show like Con Bravo, at a larger, more eclectic convention. Of course those tables cost more money and demand a larger time commitment. There was a zine festival last Saturday in Toronto that we probably would have done fine at - "Zine Dream" - but one half of a table was $30, which isn't onerous, but still, it's more than zero. It becomes a question of, are you at the con to sell zines, or are you selling zines to be at the con? Are you making comics just to give yourself an excuse to attend as many conventions as you can? Because I've seen that mindset in action and it might be great for some, but I don't want to attend as many conventions as humanly possible. I'm 47. I value my weekends away from my actual job that pays my actual bills.

(I did buy a zine from a guy at "Zine Dream" and chatted with him for a bit about zines and I mentioned the Cambridge comics show, and he lives in Cambridge and had heard nothing about the show. I think if you aren't an aspiring super hero artist, the Cambridge show just wasn't on your radar, if you aren't a super hero fan, the Cambridge show just didn't know how to reach out to you.)

Back in the 1998 daze, we knew enough people that we could send an email and get a free artists alley table at AWA, at ACen, at AZ, at A-Kon, you name it, we could get a table and camp at it for however long we wanted, selling whatever. Most conventions, with the exception of late Saturday nights at Anime North, do not operate like that any more, for several very good reasons. I'm good with doing the very occasional zine or comic show and distributing most of our published output on a one-on-one basis.

Anyway we did meet a guy at the Cambridge show sporting a t-shirt from the 1972 anime series Dokonjo Gaeru, the show about the frog squished onto the kid's T-shirt. He bought the shirt in a local thrift store. So jealous!!

Sunday we met visiting Twitter anime pal Dylan for lunch at a crowded, slow, brunch-filled Lakeview, and then we dropped him off and drove out to Grand Bend and got in some late summer swimming and beach time. The water was just about perfect. We got back to town really late and that was the weekend. Oh yeah, we stopped off at the antique mall in Stratford.

davemerrill: (Default)
I had the day off on Friday, so we decided to take a little trip through the hinterlands to hit a few stores that we never seemed able to get to on the weekends. The weather was gorgeous, just right for a little road trip. We went down the QEW past Hamilton and Grimsby and at St. Catherines we hung a right onto the 406 for a while, and then we were in the Fonthill/Pelham area, home to De Ja Vu Collectibles.


There's a lot of neat stuff in this shop. Closes early on Saturdays, which is why we've missed it twice, so get there early if you can. Old Halloween costumes, dolls, toys, a Snuffy Smith board game, various diecast Batmobiles, books, furniture, that bowling game starring Buddy Hackett, and more. What we came out with was a toy from the UFO Commander 7 series of diecast Japanese toys.


It's a bit dusty but the treads still move and the drill bit still drills, so if you have drilling that needs done, call on Jeek Tunnellin!

Also picked up a figure of Lynn, from FIST OF THE NORTH STAR, from the Beidoshengquan Yonga Toy Company line of FOTNS figures. Creepy, ill-formed, trapped in plastic with a little dog.


Lynn seems slightly ill at ease. You would be too if you had giant metal bolts sticking through your shoulders.


From there we went westwards cross-country, through the rolling hills of south central-east Ontario or whatever they call the area south of the 403 but north of Lake Erie, until we got to Dunnville, on the mouth of the Grand River. There lies the Time Capsule!


This store has a helpful blog to assist out of towners in finding their location and hours. It's jam packed with neat stuff - 70s and 80s action figures, a well-curated selection of LPs, old comics, video games, books, furniture, Major Matt Mason's gear, Sonny Bono's "Space Prince" outfit, Big Jim's Action RV, old Mads, and more. Well worth a visit when you're in the area. We picked up a percussion LP with Don Martin sleeve art, a karate instruction LP that promises to teach us techniques developed by Buddhist monks 5000 years ago (which is a neat trick since 5000 years ago Buddha was still 3500 years away from being born), and some comics, including an issue of MARVEL TALES, not the Spiderman reprint Marvel Tales, but the creepy horror 50s Marvel Tales with a Bill Everett cover.

From there we kept the river on our left and headed north to Caledonia and the Oasis, home of chili dogs. Best chili dogs you'll get this side of the border, that's for sure, and you can sit down by the river in a little park and watch the geese herd their young while you eat.


Some disrespectful sleaze broke into the Oasis and stole their cash register so they had to calculate our tab the old fashioned way, with a Casio calculator, but the food's still great.

From there we took 6 into Hamilton, stopped by Big B Comics to drool at their collection of original art (yes, original Craftint Wally Wood spot illustration of Liberace from MAD) and dig through the room of $2 comics downstairs.

Once in Hamilton we meandered down Barton, a street that features unlicensed Warner Brothers and Hanna-Barbara characters adorning businesses every which way you look, and soon we were back on the QEW homewards. All in all a great little trip, it is wonderful to see the green finally back everywhere and the sun shining down on it all as we bounce through the farms and towns. Next weekend, of course, we will be spending it inside at Anime North. I bet nobody will be selling any UFO Commander Seven toys, either.
davemerrill: (Default)
Shain and I have a terrible kitsch addiction that leads us to buy dumb old comic books, advertising paphernalia, weird old records, cheesy toys, fragile knick-knacks, and anything else that catches our eye. We feed this habit by getting in the car on weekends and visiting various flea markets and antique malls dotted throughout the hinterlands. But occasionally people put on shows of various kinds, and we try to hit those as well. Usually around this time I try to work out some kind of calendar collating the various show schedules so the things don't sneak up on us.

Notably missing from this calendar are comic book shows, apart from TCAF, which is a great show but isn't really the kind of room full of longboxes of old comics we're talking about here. Wizard bought the Paradise show and turned it into wrestlers and movie stars, and the big Hobbystar show in August has always been wrestlers and movie stars. If there's a comic show in Toronto that's mostly a big room full of people selling old comic books to each other, I've missed it. If there's one in Buffalo they are doing a great job of hiding it. Come on guys, give us our comic book show. Just a room full of tables and longboxes and big hairy guys talking about Lou Fine inks, that's all I ask.

Toronto Downtown Record Show
April 1, 2012
Estonian Banquet Hall
958 Broadview
Not a bad show, parking is iffy, prices vary widely.

Vibrations Record Show
April 15, 2012
Capitol Banquet Centre 6435 Dixie Road, Mississauga, ON
Admission Price: $5
(haven't been to a record show in a while. Last time we hit this one we got some neat stuff.)

Ancaster Nostalgia Show and Sale
April 15
Marritt Hall, Ancaster Fairgrounds, 630 Trinity Road,
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $5.
(dunno what this one will be like, but it's a nice ride out to Ancaster so we might do this instead of the record show)

Deep Groove Record Swap
April 28
The Brain, 199 James St. North

Toronto Nostalgia Show & Sale
April 29
Capitol Banquet Centre, 6435 Dixie Road,
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adm: $6 per person.
email torontonostalgiashow@gmail.com
(have no idea what this show will be like.)

May 5-6
At the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge. This is pretty much the big one for non-stupid comics.

Anime North
May 25-27
Anime Hell is Friday night 10pm!

NXNE Saturday Vinyl Market
Sat June 16
Toronto Hyatt Regency, 3rd Floor
370 King Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1J9

Con Bravo
July 27-29
Went to this one last year and had a good time. We may be out of the country on this date, though.

Sometime in September is the SF/Anime Flea Market at the Toronto Reference Library. We usually get a table and sell comics and junk. Always worth checking out, and it's FREE.

September 28-30
Can't stay away from this one.

Vibrations Record Show
October 14, 2012
Capitol Banquet Centre 6435 Dixie Road, Mississauga, ON
Admission Price: $5
If we don't go in April we'll definitely hit this one in October.

Toronto Downtown Record Show
Nov 4, 2012
Estonian Banquet Hall 958 Broadview

Toronto Toy & Doll Collector's Show
Nov 18, 2012
(possibly at) Hall 4 The International Centre,
6900 Airport Rd., Mississauga, ON


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