The second day of Montreal ComicCon has ended and I am exhausted. If yesterday was a good time, then today was a total blast. As with every year, the second day of the fest is always the busiest, with more panels, Q&A’s and other fun events to participate in. Of the many celebrities in attendance today, the star most fans were eager to see was perhaps David Tennant of Doctor Who fame. Unfortunately, Tennant’s Q&A was part of the Doctor Who Special Event (which also featured Alex Kingston and Freema Agyeman) and it was not included in any single day, 3-Day, Deluxe, or VIP tickets (and as far as I know, my press pass didn’t get me in either). It was a tough choice to make but I decided to skip on a date with the good doctor (due to the cover charge) and find other things to do instead. Fortunately, there was plenty of other sights and sounds to check out and an even bigger guest in town who anyone with a Comiccon pass was able to see without having to pay any additional fees. I’m of course talking about the award-winning British star of stage and screen, Sir Patrick Stewart. The good news is, Patrick Stewart was a class act, eliciting mostly laughter from the crowd and filling us in on his views of Montreal Mayor, Denis Coderre’s ban on pit bulls (turns out, he’s not a fan and is also the proud owner of a pit bull named Ginger). Stewart then went on a slight political rant expressing his disappointment with Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, calling it one of the most embarrassing things to happen this century before discussing his friendship with Sir Ian McKellan. Things were off to a good start but sadly it didn’t last very long.
The bad news is, Montreal ComicCon opted to not have a moderator up on stage asking the prestigious actor questions and trusted the audience to lead the entire discussion instead. You see, as with every Q&A, a few members of the audience were able to line up and individually ask the actor one question. And as with every Q&A at Montreal ComicCon, more than half of these people tried to sneak in more than one question (often three), wasting precious time, and more often than not, most of these questions were a complete waste of even more time for both the guest and other audience members. I hate to be negative but when you have someone like Sir Patrick Stewart on stage – a man who’s garnered acclaim for his early stage work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and later gained widespread fame as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation (not to mention as Professor X in the popular X-Men franchise) – you would think there are hundreds of great questions you could ask someone with such an incredible career. Unfortunately, the best questions that the audience came up with included a question about his bald scalp and two similar, uninspiring questions about American Dad. To be fair, Patrick Stewart did come up with some funny responses, but even he took a second to poke fun at how the Q&A was off to a rocky start. This isn’t to say it was a total disaster because that would be far from the truth but the problem is, we only had 45 minutes with the actor and I know I’m not alone when I say it might have been far more interesting had they had someone onstage moderating the panel and guiding the discussion. Needless to say, I left feeling somewhat underwhelmed.
As with the first day of ComicCon, the best way to spend most of your day is to walk around the Palais des congrès and snap photos of the best-dressed cosplayers you come across. This year I saw fans dressed as characters from some of the most popular video games including Halo, Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy along with comic book characters such as Deadpool, Batman, and Spider-Man. But the best costumes were those that were a bit obscure including one lady dressed as Mr. Rogers from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (complete with Casey and Finnegan) and Big Daddy and Little Sister of the Bioshock series (also Goomba Stomp’s own Pat and Marisol).
While it would have been great to have attended the John Rhys-Davies Q&A, I must say, I’m glad I decided to see Kevin Conroy’s Q&A instead. While most of the questions from the audience were a complete waste of time (once again), we did have a moderator on stage helping guide most of the conversation. But beyond that, Conroy killed it!
It’s my opinion that the best question and answer panels usually consist of the guest explaining the ins and outs of the industry he or she works in. The best panels tend to have the guest(s) teach the audience something about their trade, the craftsmanship and the art of the medium they work in while also finding time to entertain by reminiscing on some of their fondest memories. Kevin Conroy managed to do all that and then some. While I wasn’t looking at my watch, his Q&A session felt well over an hour (although it wasn’t) and was both informative and engaging from start to finish. He explained the painstaking process of creating an animated feature and how much work goes into doing the voice over for Batman in the Arkham series. But the best part of his panel came when someone asked him if he had ever worn a Batman costume and his response was pure gold! Turns out Kevin Conroy was a foster dad and the child he adopted later found out what he does for a living – so naturally, his foster son (and all his friends) kept begging Conroy to one day show up dressed as the Dark Knight. Obviously, anyone can understand why this is hilarious since as a voice actor, Conroy not only didn’t own a Batman suit but had never worn one ever in his life. That Halloween however, he decided to surprise the kids and told us about the time he went shopping for a costume at some Hollywood costume shop. He then went on to explain that in order to prepare himself and “get into character”, he decided to put on the costume before leaving his home. At one point he had the entire audience in stitches when describing himself driving down the L.A. highway in his beat down Volvo fully dressed like the World’s Greatest Detective while the people who drove by looked at him like he was completely crazy. Needless to say, if you ever have a chance to see Kevin Conroy take part in a Q&A panel, do yourself a favor and check it out!
There were, of course, many other highlights throughout the day but as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, there is only so much I can cram into one article. I’ll be publishing more articles throughout the week but in the meantime, check out some more photos of just some of the great costumes I saw today.
Editor’s Note: We believe it is common courtesy to ask each cosplayer if we can post their photos on our website first. With that said, each and every one of the cosplayers featured on our website did give us permission to post images of them in costume.
– Ricky D