Guess what, true believers — the Van Isle Comic Con is back!
Cosplayers, artists, writers and fans of comics, movies and more will descend upon Sidney on June 10 for the second annual comic convention at the Mary Winspear Centre. Convention Co-ordinator Josh Kully says this year’s event is going to be bigger and better — and that starts with its headlining speaker, who had a major role in the Marvel movie blockbuster Black Panther.
Janeshia Adams-Ginyard is a stunt woman who was one of the eight main Dora Milahe and Danai Guirra in the movie. She was Okoye’s stunt double and has a long list of accomplishments and credits — from bobsled racer to professional wrestler — including the Avengers movie: Infinity War. Kully said her talk at the Van Isle Comic Con will be a one-and-a-half hour block during the day.
“It looks really amazing,” he said, noting Adams-Ginyard will be talking abut her career, inspirations and how she landed the role as a stunt woman in Black Panther. He added the discussion is sure to hit on how that movie became such a social phenomenon.
Adams-Ginyard leads off a series of speakers with some excellent credentials in movies and other media. Chris Williams — an Oscar winner with Disney Studios — is back after headlining the first Van Isle Comic Con last year. He’s going to host a Q&A session.
Kully said they’re welcoming set decorator, art director and production designer Terry Lewis to a panel discussion. His bonafides include Deadpool 2, Star Trek 3, the Planet of the Apes trilogy, Warcraft and much more. Lewis will be talking about how the work he and others like him, contribute to how films look.
Concept artist John Gallagher, whose credits include The Flash, Super Girl, Legends of Tomorrow and the X-Men: The Last Stand movie, will also be on the panel. He’ll speak on the work on concept artists in the film, TV and gaming industries.
Kully added this year’s Comic Con will include an educational writers’ panel, featuring an all-female lineup talking about how young adult fiction has influenced geek culture.
A highlight of the event, Kully, continued, will be a four-artist sketch duel. The panel will be talking about their work and then taking suggestions on original, live-drawn sketches that people will be able to win.
The overall idea, Kully said, was to inspire people — to introduce them to professionals in the industry and help aspiring writers, artists, actors and more on what it takes to get to the next level. Kully himself is a comic book illustrator and writer — and he created the event’s mascot: VI Guy.
Of course, he continued, the popular cosplay contest is back. This extravaganza of costumes and creativity will cap off the Comic Con. There’s $1,000 in prize money up for grabs this time, making it bigger and better.
“There are so many talented people on the Island,” Kully said.
This year’s event will feature more games — video and tabletop — in a Chill Lounge, as well as an Artist’s Alley of vendors.
Last year’s Van Isle Comic Con was a pretty big risk to take, Kully said. After almost a year organizing it, he wasn’t sure how it would be received — as events like it had failed in the past. He said despite that, and people’s guard being up, people showed up.
“I had felt that fear — was it going to be 2,500 people, or would only five people show up.”
As it turned out, it was 2,500 and was a hit. He hopes this year’s response will be just as good.
Find out more about the 2018 Van Isle Comic Con at vanislecomiccon.com.