The upcoming pop culture convention Edmonton Expo in the Edmonton Convention Centre is a chance for fans to indulge themselves in comic book, movie, TV, video game and other habits, and the local business community will be well represented there too.
Hectic Art by David Tuff, Collectors Solution, Oasis Collectibles and Artforms Illustration are all locally owned enterprises that will be attending the Edmonton Expo.
Owned by Leduc artist David Tuff, Hectic Art offers a wide selection of original art based on popular comic characters, but Tuff said he likes to mix it up. Tuff said he’ll be bringing new prints and will have some original art too.
“I’ve been doing the Edmonton show since it started,” said Tuff by phone Sept. 15. “I love it.”
He said a very popular series he’s drawing right now is “nemesis characters,” such as Batman and the Joker. He’ll have a selection of colour and black and white drawings and prints for sale.
Tuff said he’ll be dressing up in costume with his kids too, and noted it’s great to go to a show where a parent can do that with their kids.
He will also have a special print priced at $15 as a fundraiser for the Stollery Children’s Hospital; $10 of every sale goes to the hospital. Tuff said his daughter spent many months after she was born at the hospital, and he wanted to do what he could to help out the hospital.
Hectic Art will be located in Artist Alley in booth M12.
Owners/operators James and Cindy Thompson of Leduc said their Lego mini-figs are a must-have for collectors. “We will be bringing lots of new and unique mini-figures again this year,” stated the Thompsons.
“This past year we have created lots of unique little carded mini figures that are great for any fan whether it be a child or adult. We’ve gone ahead and made a select few of certain guests/actors etc. that have been invited to attend this years expo. We had an actor last event at the Calgary Expo come specifically to our booth and pick up a custom packaged mini-figure that was of him. Something we as a family won’t forget because he is a villain of sorts in one of our favourite super hero related TV shows.
“I have tried to separate ourselves from any friendly competitors, by offering more than just a random loose mini figure. We have gone ahead and created something a little more collectible and memorable for all expo fans.
Collectors Solution will be located at booth 923. See more at Collectors Solution website, www.collectorssolution.com.
This online store is based out of Leduc, but has a large presence on the world wide web. Owner Dietrich Schirmer began collecting over 30 years ago. “I kinda got hooked on the whole collecting thing,” said Schirmer Sept. 15, who noted his father was a very well known toy soldier collector in Europe.
Schirmer said he made a conscious decision not to sell collectibles for one of the most popular lines, Star Wars. “I wanted to find a niche,” said Schirmer by phone Sept. 15. “I’ve got other stuff.” He said lots of other collector stores sell Star Wars, and the competition is very intense; Schirmer noted at some toy shows, up to 75 per cent of vendors are selling Star Wars. He prefers to sell other lines such as Marvel Select, McFarlane and Neca that are based on popular TV or movie licenses, plus he sells collectible catalogues, magazines, comic books, boxed sets and much more.
Schirmer said he loves attending events like Edmonton Expo because he got into attending toy shows about 20 years ago. He said it’s lots of fun to talk to people who enjoy the same products he does.
He said those attending the expo will remember Oasis Collectibles for the excellent condition of items, and the excellent customer service.
Oasis Collectibles will be located at booths 1413 and 1414. See more at their website www.oasiscollectibles.ca.
Artforms Illustration is owned and operated by local artist and businesswoman Susanne Ritchie. “I’m going to be doing caricatures…on the spot,” said Ritchie by phone Sept. 13.
Ritchie said she doesn’t get any preparation at all at the Expo, she just gets guests to sit down and then draws their caricature over the next 10 minutes. She said she’s been doing it for a couple of years now.
Ritchie said she likes to attend special events throughout the year like the fringe festival, but the Expo tends to be a special place because visitors are dressed up in costume. “They come out of their shell,” said Ritchie.
She said what sets her apart is that she doesn’t carry anything into the Expo to sell. “I guess it’s just the idea…it’s instant art,” said Ritchie. “I’m not selling any actual product.” She said she tries to capture personality. “I’m drawing them doing what they love to do.”
Ritchie will be located in Artist Alley in booth O12.
The Edmonton Expo runs Sept. 23 to 25 in the Edmonton Expo Centre. Find ticket information and a map of the convention centre on their website, www.edmontonexpo.com.