What makes grown-up men and women dress up as their favourite superhero, princess, or villain at Montreal ComicCon 2019? Besides the simple explanation of just having a good time and enjoying some kind of juvenile attempt to escape from the daily routine, there is also the increasing appreciation of the fantasy involved in comic books, TV series, action movies, and videogames. The illusions created by these different media are the elements of what is broadly known as popular culture, the products of mass media that once were looked down as second rate items for fast consumption by uneducated masses but that since at least the end of the last century are being reclaimed as objects worth of serious even scholarly consideration.
Rethinking Popular Culture
“The rigid conceptual barrier between ‘high’ or estimable, culture and popular, or representative, culture has broken down,” wrote Chandra Mukerji and Michael Schudson in the introduction to their book “Rethinking Popular Culture” (University of California Press, 1991). Then nothing extraordinary in the fact that many people who in their daily life may be office secretaries, blue collar workers, university students, or professionals, converged on the Palais des congrès this past weekend to attend the Montreal ComicCon dressed like characters in the Harry Potter saga or in the Game of Thrones. It was a way of partaking in the fantasy at a very personal level.
Of course ComicCon was not only an opportunity for people to show off their costumes but also the occasion to meet some of their favourite stars, authors, comic book artists, and attend some of the many panels which ranged from Norse Mythology and Pop Culture, to Autism and Cosplay, to some more practical discussions as to how to launch your own project in the workshop on Crowdfunding. In total, more than 200 activities including workshops, concerts, masquerades, autograph signing sessions, and many more took place during the three days of the event from July 5 to 7. According to the press release of the organizers, more than 60 thousand people attended ComicCon this year, setting a new record for this, the pop culture festival in our city.
Stars at Montreal ComicCon 2019
Some highlights of the event were provided by presentations of Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings), Tom Felton (Harry Potter franchise), William Shatner (Capt. Kirk in the classical version of Star Trek), Georges St-Pierre (UFC Champion, The Winter Soldier), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs), who shared some insights into his new Tarantino film “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” and voice players Jim Cummings (Winnie The Pooh) and Paige O’Hara (Beauty and the Beast), among others. On the music front the Film Music Wind Orchestra (OVMF – L’Orchestre à vents de musiques de films), composed of 50 talented musicians under the direction of Jocelyn Leblanc, returned with new film and video game soundtrack favourites, including Marvel Cinematic Universe (Friday, July 5), The Legend of Zelda (Saturday, July 6), and James Bond (Sunday, July 7).
The next edition of the Montreal ComicCon will be held from July 10 to 12, 2020.