When the world of comic books, video games, movies, television and pulp fiction all come together at the Edmonton Expo Sept. 25 to 27, the City of Leduc will be well represented. The fourth annual iteration of the pop culture convention will feature local artists and a pop culture retailer from the city.
According to the media spokespersons for the expo, three Leduc representatives will be at the expo, including ZayvenART, Hectic and Collectors Solution.
ZayvenART is owned and operated by Leduc artist Zayn Venne. Venne describes himself on his Deviant Art page: “Born 1990 in southern Alberta, I’ve grown up not really having much exposure to art outside of my own imagination. Very quickly however, I fell in love with the art style of Japanese anime, although I only had what I could find on peasant vision. It wasn’t until 2003 that I got my first video game console and discovered the wonderful world of game graphics. I pursued a college education and graduated in 2009 from Edmonton’s Pixel Blue College (formerly DevStudios College) with a diploma in 3D animation specializing in modeling and texture art.
“It wasn’t until late 2011, early 2012 that I became interested in comics, when my roommate opened his comic store and I began to delve into the world of super heroes that I discovered my passion and love for western comics as well as eastern manga.”
Hectic is owned and operator by artist David Tuff. On Hectic’s website, Tuff is described thusly: “David has always doodled since he was little but it wasn’t until October of 2007 that he started taking it more seriously. This is when he decided to start the clothing line Punx which has now turned into Hectic. His main inspirations growing up have always been punk rock music and tattoos (Mr. Cartoon’s tattooing skills/lettering is unreal), which can be seen in more of his early designs. A love of old school pin up girl tattoos and pin up art in general led to the art of Tyson McAdoo. ‘I remember reading his bio, how he started drawing comics, then became a freelance artist and thinking to myself, that’s what I want to do,’ says David. David started working on pin up girl drawings half the time and t-shirt designs the other half. It wasn’t until more recently that David fell more in love with the art that was in comics and some of the amazing artists contributing them. Inspired by such amazing artists as J. Scott Campbell and Mike Debalfo plus the right amount of push from his wife Nichole, he decided to change the direction of Hectic from clothing to art.
“Currently David is working as a freelance comic book/pin-up artist. He is working as both writer and artist on a creator owned comic ‘Designation: the Wild Ones’ to be self-published through Hectic as well as working on some shorter comic book stories, written by himself and by his wife. David attends many local conventions offering a good chance to come say hi and see his artwork in person.”
James Thompson is a Leduc businessman and the owner of Collectors Solution. “I’ve been collecting all kinds of merchandise for as long as I can remember,” said Thompson Sept. 16. “I’ve been married for almost 20 years and I’m a proud father of three children all 12 and under. We’ve been in Leduc for close to 10 years. I got into collecting and selling around the same time. Over the years I’ve had some pretty amazing items and collections pass through my hands. My family enjoys helping me create and package all kinds of new ideas that I come up with.”
Thompson said shows like the expo are a great social and business experience. “(The family) enjoys helping me at my shows and have always lent me a helping hand when customers are swarming my booth at the events. I love exchanging stories with people at the expos and trade shows. I think that’s one of the best things about these events. Large or small. It allows all of us to just be ourselves. No judging. No bullying. No banter. It allows us to swap stories and ideas and get to know each other. You see so many people with smiles on their faces and it brings everybody closer together. It’s a growing community and unlike real life everybody and anybody gets to join.
“I do these bigger events not just for the sales that I do, but also for the people I get to meet. There’s my regular clientele that I only get to swap stories with at these events. On the flip side, being a vendor is beneficial for selling reasons obviously but it also means that you miss out on a lot of activities that go on during them. I’ve always wanted to go and meet some of the celebrities. But there isn’t much time for that. While other vendors do get to do these things it’s usually because they have the staff to allow that. I’m family owned and don’t have that option. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world with being able to hang out with my family doing something we all enjoy.”
ZayvenART will be located in Artist Alley at the expo in booth H21 and can be located online at zayven-art.weebly.com. Hectic will also be part of Artist Alley at booth G12 and can be located online at www.hecticart.ca. Collectors Solution will be located in corner booth #917 and can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Collectors-Solution/927174960649615.
The Edmonton Expo is heading into it’s fourth annual show, and has attracted over 40,000 visitors since its inception. This year’s special guests at the convention include Cary Elwes, probably best known as Wesley in the Princess Bride movie among many others. The expo is held in the Edmonton Expo centre beside Northlands Coliseum. More information, including a map of booths, is available online at www.edmontonexpo.com.