Toronto Comic Con
|Toronto Comic Con|
|Status||sold to Wizard Entertainment|
|Organized by||Wizard Entertainment
(formerly Paradise Comics)
|Filing status||For profit|
The Toronto Comic Con is an annual comic book convention held in Toronto, Canada starting in 2003. It was sold in 2009 to Wizard Entertainment owner Gareb Shamus and was relaunched as a Wizard event in 2010.
From 2003-2007 the subtitle for the event was "A Celebration of Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Manga and Sequential Art". During those years the event was scheduled to run over three days (Friday through Sunday). In 2008 the convention was a two-day event (Saturday and Sunday).
Features have included: exhibitor room for commercial selling of related goods, a corporate area for companies to promote their projects, an Artist Alley area for comic book creators, a guest area for invited guests of the convention, panel room for discussions on various aspects of comic books and creators, workshops and children's programming. In previous years the convention was the home to additional special events programming such as Women of Comics Symposium and the Joe Shuster Awards.
The event was originally run by Paradise Comics, a Toronto comic book store. Staff from Paradise Comics put on one-day comic book conventions in Toronto since the early 1990s. In November 2003 they held their first three-day event. In 2004 it was held in mid-June. In 2005 and 2006 it was held in late April, in 2007 it was held in June and in 2008 it was held in mid-July (July 12–13, 2008). On occasion Paradise has also held one-day shows at the Hilton and Holiday Inn on King (now the Toronto Hyatt Regency).
From 2003-2007 the convention was held at the National Trade Centre (now called the Direct Energy Centre, located at Exhibition Place (home of the historic Canadian National Exhibition). Hall size varied at that location, and the convention's largest hall rental was Hall C in 2006-7, which is 58,315 square feet (5,417.6 m2).
In July 2007, in a controversial move, Paradise Conventions co-owner and organizer Kevin Boyd resigned from/abandoned the convention to work for Hobbystar Marketing as the Canadian guest and programming coordinator for Fan Expo Canada and other Toronto ComiCON events. Boyd claimed at the time that "The convention business was not successful so I decided it was time to end it. I worked on it for five years and did not receive any money for time spent on the big convention.".
In 2008 it moved to the Holiday Inn on King, a smaller venue (21,000 square feet) that is closer to downtown Toronto.
In 2009, it was announced that the show would be on hiatus in 2009 due to scheduling concerns.
On June 24, 2009, via press release, Gareb Shamus, owner of Wizard Entertainment, announced that he had purchased the event from Paradise owner Peter Dixon, who would remain involved in the show in some form, in a manner similar to Wizard's purchase of the Big Apple Comic Con. The former comic book-only show will be retooled as a multi-genre event similar to other Wizard events in Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York, and relaunched in 2010.
Dates and locations
- 2003: March 23 — Toronto Hilton Hotel
- 2003: November 7–9 — Queen Elizabeth Building, National Trade Centre
- 2004: June 18–20 — Queen Elizabeth Building, National Trade Centre
- 2005: April 29–30, May 1 — Hall F, National Trade Centre
- 2006: April 28–30 — Hall C, National Trade Centre
- 2007: June 8–10 — Hall C, Direct Energy Centre
- 2008: July 12–13 — 2nd Floor, Holiday Inn on King (Last Paradise event)
- 2010: March 26–28 — Hall A, Direct Energy Centre (First Wizard event)
- 2011: March 18–20 — Hall D, Direct Energy Centre
- 2012: April 14–15 — Metro Toronto Convention Center, North Building
Guests of Honour
- 2003 Jim Starlin and Michael William Kaluta
- 2004 Will Eisner and Dave Sim
- 2005 Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis and Jerry Robinson
- 2006 George Pérez and David Lloyd
- 2007 Michael Golden, Terry Moore, Marv Wolfman and Matt Wagner
- 2008 Herb Trimpe, Joseph Michael Linsner, Greg Land