An interview with Cliff Skelliter of Launchpad Creative about Graphic-con 2016.
- What’s been the response to Graphic-Con so far?
At first we were met with confusion about what the convention was exactly, but once the word was out people loved it. We’re realizing how geeky of a city Greater Sudbury is. There is so much excitement. The response has been incredible.
- What impact do you think a fan convention like Graphic Con has on the Sudbury community?
A fan convention like this can certify that we are in fact the happiest city in the country. It’s fun to pretend to be a kid again. Also, it has an economic impact on the city. It draws people in from the surrounding areas (Timmins, Sault St Marie, North Bay) which is great for the Sudbury economy.
It’s one thing to get people to spend their money, it’s another thing all together to get them excited to spend their money. That’s what Graphic-Con is doing.
- What are the key features at this convention? Which one specifically are fans looking forward to?
Panels where you get to hear people talk about hot topics like Game of Thrones, how comics took over Hollywood, Comic books, and Cosplay. As well, we have a cosplay masquerade that’s also a competition for the best costume. People seem to be really excited about this in particular. Who wouldn’t love to see a live Iron Man, Storm Troopers, or Elsa live and in person?
- Tell us more about the vendors. What can we expect?
We have large and small vendors at the event including Smash Kits, HMV Canada, Twisted Doll, Mustang collectables, Suzy Q art, Secret Identity apparel, Fabulous Geek Shiek, etc. Paintings, sculpture, clothing, crafts, décor, and games. There are over 70 vendors in total. There will be something for everyone’s interest.
- For a convention of this size the ticket prices are remarkably low. Why is this?
Launchpad Creative and the Greater Sudbury Public Library partnered to build Graphic-con. We want to ensure the event is accessible to everyone. By keeping the ticket prices low ($5.00), it becomes possible for everyone who hasn’t experienced an event like this before to have the chance to be a part of it.
- We’re seeing a rise in popularity of so-called “geek” culture. Why do you think this is? How do you think this benefits the people who partake?
A lot of people are really open to staying young at heart. There’s been a movement lately toward really enjoying your life, which has motivated people to hold onto the things from our childhood that made us really happy.
It benefits us because we’re happier people. When we have fun and play we don’t take things too seriously. It also allows us to explore arts and culture in a unique way.
- For people who don’t consider themselves die-hard fans, what does Graphic-Con have to offer them?
A spectacle! It’s a carnival of fantasy characters. That’s something everyone can have fun with and enjoy being a part of.
- How do conventions like Graphic-Con build community beyond the event itself?
Graphic-Con gives people with similar interests the chance to connect with each other under one roof. When you begin a relationship with by bonding over a mutual love for something your friendship lasts long after the event itself.
- Aside from participating in the convention on Saturday, are there other events fans can participate in throughout the weekend?
Yes, there’s a kids-con across the street (on the Saturday) at the Farmers Market, an after party at Fromagerie on Elgin, Deadpool is playing at the IMAX theatre after the convention, and on Friday there’s an interactive Howard the Duck showing at the Ramada Inn.
- What’s the biggest draw at this year’s Graphic Con?
I’d have to say it’s the cosplay itself. People love dressing up as their favourite characters. It’s like having Halloween in the middle of the year! Even if people are not dressing up themselves, they’re excited to see their favourite characters come to life.