Forest City ComiCon is a place to celebrate pop culture, gaming, and geekery.

There are many ways to experience the Forest City ComiCon! Cosplayers dress as their favourite characters from a variety of games, comics, TV shows, and movies. Gamers play a few rounds of old favourites like Mario Kart, or test out some brand new board games. Fans get a chance to meet their favourite celebrities and listen to panel discussions.

For the first time in five years, the event returns to Centennial Hall. Between 2015 to 2018, the annual event was held at the London Convention Centre.

Angela Turner as a Ghostbuster at the 2017 Forest City ComiCon
Angela Turner as a Ghostbuster at the 2017 Forest City ComiCon. Photo by Emily Stewart

John Houghton, a committee member of Forest City ComiCon, talked about the transition back to the convention’s original venue. He also took the time to talk about his favourite memories of the event, and what to expect this year.

For previous coverage, check out a gallery of 2018’s event, and read an article about the cosplay community as part of the 2017 coverage.

To find out more about what Forest City ComiCon has to offer, read more in the following Q&A.

Forest City ComiCon returns to its original venue, Centennial Hall. What brings the event back to this venue?

Our goal from the beginning has been to be able to put on an affordable and fun show for Londoners to enjoy.

Over the years, our costs were rising more and more. The result was those costs being passed on to fans and exhibitors.

Dave Gertz playing the Wave of the Passive Fist Game at Forest City ComiCon at the London Convention Centre in London, Ontario
You can get your game on at Forest City Comicon with games such as Wave of the Passive Fist, which Dave Gertz played at 2018’s event. Photo by Emily Stewart

By coming home to Centennial Hall we’ve been able to get our general admission tickets down to just $20. Centennial Hall worked well for us back in year one. We wanted to be able to put on a more affordable, grassroots show for the fans.

How has the event changed over the years?

The Digital Extremes Interactive Zone has probably been the largest change. Since 2014 we’ve seen a big increase in the amount of VR we’ve been able to put in front of fans, in no small part because that technology has really started to come into its own.

Alison Marco, and Cameron MacDonald as Fiona from Adventure Time and Poison Ivy at the London Convention Centre at Forest City ComiCon in 2017 in London, ON
There are a variety of cosplayers at Forest City ComiCon, like Alison Marco, and Cameron MacDonald as Fiona from Adventure Time and Poison Ivy from the DC Universe. Photo by Emily Stewart

The cosplay seems to be getting better and better each year as well. The time and energy fans put into their costumes is phenomenal!

What makes this year’s event unique to other years prior?

Certainly, fans will appreciate the lower admission prices.

It’s rare for an event of this size to roll back on pricing, but we’re hoping it makes the show more accessible to fans.

A stormtrooper mannequin with a Hufflepuff yellow and black scarf at Forest City ComiCon in London, Ontario
Who knew that the force was with Hufflepuff? The convention also has some neat displays, like this Stormtrooper mannequin. Photo by Emily Stewart

It’s always more fun to come to a show and you don’t feel like you had to empty your wallet at the gate just to get in!

The guests, of course, are different from years past. Our headliners this year are voice actors Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche, known for their work on Pinky & the Brain, Animaniacs, Futurama, Disenchantment, Zootopia, and more.

Who is the community of Londoners that attend and support events like Forest City ComiCon?

Unapologetically, we are geeks and nerds. The community that comes out are looking to have a fun time surrounded by video games, cosplay, artists, special exhibits, and even meet some celebrities.

Brendan Danielson and Serge Parent as Cabbage Man and Titus. Photo by Ed Phin.
Brendan Danielson and Serge Parent, as Cabbage Man from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Titus from Final Fantasy, exploring the event. Photo by Ed Phin.

Of course, you don’t have to be a full-on geek to enjoy the show. Events like this also include a pop culture component.

Why is it important to have events like Forest City ComiCon in London?

It’s a chance to pull the community together for some affordable geeky fun, see some cool exhibits, artists, and even meet some celebrities. It’s the convention experience close to home.

Justin Hoag, a gender-bent Harley Quinn, and Stephan Raposo, a merman at Forest City Comicon. Photo by Ed Phin.
Justin Hoag, a gender-bent Harley Quinn, and Stephan Raposo, a merman, love the cosplay community found at Forest City ComiCon because of the positive people. Photo by Ed Phin.

What are some of your favourite memories of Forest City ComiCon?

Certainly meeting some of the celebrities over the years have provided some great memories.

Meagan Reid and Rebecca Norman as Ray and Cheryl from Archer at Forest City ComiCon at Centennial Hall in London, Ontario
Sometimes, fans dress up to honour celebrity guests. Meagan Reid and Rebecca Norman cosplayed as Ray and Cheryl from Archer in 2017 when Amber Nash was there. Photo by Ed Phin.

But truly, among our team, some of our best memories came from that first show at Centennial Hall six years ago. The event had a real grassroots feel to it and it felt like around every corner was something unique and different. That’s the feel we’re trying to get back to this year.

Why should Londoners attend this year’s Forest City ComiCon, whether they are a new or returning guest?

If you like geeky, nerdy fun, we’ve got you covered.

Quiltoni and Matt Williams at Forest City ComiCon at the London Convention Centre in London, Ontario
Quilroni and Matt Williams, who is wearing a Dr. Who inspired outfit, showcasing plenty of unique quilts perfect for events like Forest City ComiCon. Photo by Ed Phin

From cosplay, to artists, celebrities, special displays, and even panel presentations, you’re sure to have a great time at this Saturday’s show.

Fans can get tickets online at forestcitycomicon.ca for priority entry the day of the show, or simply purchase the tickets at the door the day of the event.

Squirtle at Forest City ComiCon in London, Ontario
Squirtle is ready for Forest City ComiCon! Are you? Photo by Emily Stewart

Fans should check the full schedule of special events taking place throughout the day to get the best value for their ticket: presentations on how to be a voice actor, nerd law, artists, and of course a chance to meet Rob Paulsen & Maurice LaMarche.

Check out Forest City ComiCon at Centennial Hall on June 1 from 10 AM to 6 PM.

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