Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Scott Pilgrim vs The Annex

Ok, so I’m a bit of a geek. As much as I try to hide it, people usually figure it out once they hear about things like my job as a programmer, the math degree from Waterloo or that I had Napoleon Dynamite glasses with super thick coke bottle lenses back in high school.

However, one of the things I never really got into was comic books. I’m pretty sure that I wanted to be Batman at some point of my childhood (but face it, who didn’t?) but outside of Archie & the gang from Riverdale, I never explored the medium. It’s only been lately that I’ve been checking some of them out, like Watchmen, V for Vendetta or Scott Pilgrim.

Today is the release day for Issue #6 of Scott Pilgrim or Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour. I’m sure you’ve seen the trailer or the commercials for the upcoming feature film starring Michael Cera and thought that it looks kind of like a comic book. Well, yeah, it’s actually six different books with the conclusion of the series being released last night. Actually, I shouldn’t act like this is some big underground, secret series as it’s featured in most bookstores these days and it’s pretty tough to ignore.

So anyways, where was I? Right, Scott Pilgrim #6. Since the series was set in Toronto and the writer was from Toronto, there were some pretty cool events in the city last night to celebrate the release of the conclusion to the story. I met up with fellow SilentTalkie Radio host Karim and his wife Kristie to check out the goings-on at The Beguiling, which is apparently a famous Toronto comic book store in The Annex. There was to be a few bands playing, awards for costumes, swag for sale and of course a lengthy autograph session with the man himself Bryan Lee O’Malley.

Karim and I showed up around 9pm and there was already the beginnings of a crowd gathering. There were a couple hundred people dillying about on a street that would typically have been quiet on a Monday night. I would’ve contemplated joining the autograph line, but I didn’t bring anything with me to get signed. After wandering the block, there were plenty of signs of life among the patios surrounding the store, but we could find no sign of the promised bands, so we tried to find a patio to grab a drink. An hour and a half later, we joined Kristie and headed back. The street was now so crowded with people that it was unofficially shut down. About halfway down the block, they were handing out awards for the best costumes and some other stuff. Unfortunately, instead of a PA, they were just using a bullhorn, so I couldn’t really hear exactly what was going on, but there was a real sense of anticipation building.

After a short detour for ice cream, (which I got in a mini-Blue Jays helmet, just admit it, you’re jealous) it was finally time for the book to be unveiled. The event seemed to lack organization for the hundreds of people there. (I think they hit their target of 1000 or at least were really close) People were standing in unofficial lines until about 11:45 when they finally announced where the lines were to get your autographed copy, or if you didn’t want to wait in the line of 500 strong, just your copy of the graphic novel. After a muffled countdown at midnight, we were handed our books and sent on our way.

All in all, it was a neat event. It was cool to see so many young people (everyone seemed between the ages of 15 and 35) just chilling, waiting for their piece of Toronto lore. On the nerd scale, with 0 being the Super Bowl and 10 being LARPing or a Star Trek fan expo, this is probably an 8 or about on par with the World RPS Championships. It was definitely nerdy, but it was still cool with plenty of girls and hipsters to be found. As for the actual book? Well, I won’t ruin the story for you, but it’s a fitting end, so check it out or just wait for the movie in a month.


2 Comments so far

  1. 416expat July 20th, 2010 8:59 am

    The trailer for the movie has been sustaining me for the past couple of weeks in the land without toothpaste.

    Going to be in Toronto opening night – you can bet I’ll be watching the SP movie, if only to cheer each time they past east of Yonge.

  2. Matthew Fabb July 20th, 2010 9:41 am

    Note, the bands were playing inside the club/restaurant beside the Beguiling. However, it was a really small venue and generally hard to get in with the number of people at the event. Also another restaurant had a bunch of video games set up against one of their walls, a mix of old school Nintendo games plus new games made by Toronto indie game companies (some of these companies being just one developer and one designer). It was definitely a very cool night. Too bad it couldn’t have been a Friday night, otherwise I imagine they could have gotten an even bigger crowd.

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