What to expect at Toronto Comicon 2015

Toronto Comicon 2015, the sister con to fall's blowout Fan Expo, is about to descend on the city. From March 20-22, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will be filled with sci-fi and fantasy actors, comic book artists, and homemade costumes done with varying degrees of finesse. Thinking of making a visit? Dust off your sonic screwdriver and check out my list of highlights.

Celebrity guests
Though the lineup of famous folks attending isn't as sprawling as your average Fan Expo, a few guests should pique the interest of visiting fans: Doctor Who's Karen Gillan (making up her missed Fan Expo 2014 visit), Firefly's Morena Baccarin, Chad Coleman of the Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s J. August Richards, and much of the cast of Defiance. Unfortunately for all you Sixteen Candles fanfic writers, Anthony Michael Hall (also of Edward Scissorhands and The Dark Night) had to cancel.)

Q&As and panels
Most of the celeb headliners will be taking part in panels and Q&A discussions with fans between autograph and photo sessions. Of particular note: A Q&A with the voices of Sailors Moon, Jupiter and Mars (plus Tuxedo Mask), and a panel featuring a trio of actors from Orphan Black. In between, artists will battle it out in live sketching competitions. Check out the events schedule for more info.

Collectors will want to swing by the merch area at the door, where they'll be hawking exclusive variant covers for Star Wars #1, Southern Cross #1 and Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1. The merchandise floor will also feature an indie pavilion featuring small-press comix and an artist's alley where up-and-comers will be plying their trade

Bring home some knowledge from the con, instead of another armload of stuff that's going to crowd out your bookshelves (or, more likely, in addition). For the cosplayers, there are workshops on how to style wigs or build a costume from scratch, as well as a meetup for cosplaying Whovians. Take a pic with some Stormtroopers or Boba Fett in their photo booth area (probably cheaper than paying a visiting celeb for a pic).

A dance party
If you painstakingly recreated an Adam West-era Batman costume for this year's con, you'll fit right in at their retro dance night afterparty (which, technically, happens in the middle of the event on Saturday the 21st). Dance to '80s and '90s tunes, snag some door prizes, and find your Robin at the Velvet Underground. Tickets are $10.

Photo by Christian Bobak

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