Comiccon Montreal 2017 – who remembers and what are these characters?
Comiccon Montreal 2017 – What makes grown-up men and women dress-up as their favourite superheroes or video games characters? Comiccon Montreal 2017. What makes so many people—about 60 thousand during the three-day event—to venture for a few hours into the cavernous ambience created by ComicCon at the Palais de congrès, an environment that might resemble the bazaar depicted in Star Wars? Comiccon Montreal 2017. Let’s be taken away by imagination and fantasy, seemed to have been the thought during these ComicCon days. Undoubtedly, this immersion into a world of fantasy is an interesting phenomenon: it is one of the most representative celebrations of popular culture that comes to various cities all over the world. Montreal has proven to be one that has embraced this pop culture party with great enthusiasm.
Of course, the term “popular culture” is, at the same time, easy to grasp (an image of a ubiquitous Spiderman would immediately be associated with it) and hard to explain in a more articulated form (is it “inferior” to high culture?). Even specialists such as Chandra Mukerji and Michael Schudson (editors of “Rethinking Popular Culture—Contemporary Perspectives in Cultural Studies”) would admit that “(it) is a difficult term to define”. They then settle on the idea that “popular culture refers to the beliefs and practices, and the object through which they are organized, that are widely shared among a population. This includes folk beliefs, practices and objects rooted in local traditions and mass beliefs, practices and objects generated in political and commercial centres. It includes elite cultural forms that have been popularized as well as popular forms that have been elevated to the museum tradition.” Before the age of films, television, and the Internet, pop culture was very much associated with the idea of folk culture, rooted in what was mostly a rural environment. Today pop culture is urban, although images rooted in an agrarian past are still present in science-fiction films and video games such as some images resembling landscapes from western movies found in Star Wars for instance.
Then there is no question that, depending on the age of the many visitors to ComicCon this past weekend, some may still be looking for those visions of a romanticized past, paradoxically, in the futuristic images of their favourite video games and movies. In any case, for many, it was a good opportunity to enjoy the fantastic at a time when reality may seem so hard to handle.
Certainly, the visitors shouldn’t have been disappointed. Besides displaying their costumes, they had the chance to the likes of John Cusack, Nathan Fillion (Captain Malcolm Reynolds in “Firefly” and “Serenity”), and Sir Patrick Stewart who delighted many people with his impeccable delivery of Captain Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Scottish actor David Tennant who incarnated the tenth Dr. Who was also here and so were the actresses Alex Kingston and Freeman Agyeman from the same famous science-fiction series.
Most people, however, spent more time visiting the various booths where you could find vintage comic books from the 1950s to more recent times, to T-Shirts, and many other memorabilia associated with comics and pop culture in general.
For the young, ComicCon was an occasion for discovery, for the mature, a time for nostalgia. In any case, an opportunity to enjoy the delights of fantasy.