If you think Captain America’s corny and overrated, you’re in good company – with the likes of Thor, Spider-Man, and Nick Fury. They’re just three of the heroes who will spend a night laying burns on the Captain at a “roast” during YukomiCon this year.
The Roast, which takes place on Saturday, August 26 at 9 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion in Whitehorse, is a collaboration with Yukon Comedy Collective – and it’s just one of many events scheduled for this year’s three-day celebration of all things great and geeky.
It’s also the newest addition to the convention, which will take place at the Yukon Convention Centre August 25 to 27.
Reid Vanier, board member with the Yukon Comic Culture Society (which puts on the Con) says the first event in 2014 started small.
“It started as an informal meeting,” he says. “People coming together who had a shared interest in comics and geek culture and decided in that meeting, ‘Why can’t we throw our own convention?’”
After 2014, it took place again in 2015, before having a break in 2016.
Vanier says that this year the board of the Comic Culture Society has changed, and the energy of new members has fuelled the organization this summer.
Offerings include talks and workshops from all kinds of Canadian talent, such as Toby Proctor, who voiced “Tuxedo Mask” in the Sailor Moon cartoons.
Vanier says Proctor has been up for YukomiCon in the past, and loved Whitehorse. He talked it up to other voice actors and comic creators, which is how YukomiCon ended up with roughly 15 special guests this year.
Among them is PJ Phil, who hosted the downtime between YTV shows such as Power Rangers and Are You Afraid of the Dark?; illustrator Diana Greenhalgh, who has done movie posters for Deadpool; and Mackenzie Gray, who played “Jax-Ur” in Man of Steel.
Among the workshops, Vanier is particularly excited for a cosplay session led by Andy Rae, a costume designer from B.C. Rae will give demos and explain how to use Worbla, a thermoplastic used by cosplayers to create realistic replicas of costumes and weapons.
For gamers, there will be tournaments including Magic: The Gathering, Settlers of Catan, Pokemon and more. And, down the street from the Legion, locals are part of the programming at Arts Underground, with The True North Strong and Geek. That’s a show of work from Yukon artists that Vanier says turns the idea of northern art on its head.
A lot of northern art focuses on landscape, he says. The pieces in this show have elements of that, but the landscape element is mostly just a backdrop to silhouetted superheroes, and fantasy and industrial scenes.
Vanier says the best part of the convention, though, isn’t the individual guests, workshops, or events, but the atmosphere created by attendees. In 2015, 850 people came out, and Vanier says it’s always exciting to be in a place with that many people who are as excited as you are about something.
“I think when you look at those numbers of people who attend, not everyone in that group would define themselves as a geek or a gamer or a cosplayer or anything like that. There is that level of person, but this brings together huge nerds and people with a passing interest in meeting actors and learning about the craft. I think what’s nice about an event like this is that is kind of runs the gamut… it encourages people to follow [their interests] more passionately. To celebrate the things that we like, and engage further, as a group and a community.”
Tickets for the YukomiCon ‘17 are available online at YukomiCon.com and at the door.