Nerd Culture Exists Outside of the U.S.: Montreal Comiccon


Editor

I promise, we really do watch Whedon here in the Great White North (Canada). We play Assassin’s Creed. We watch Star Trek, Nerdist, even My Little Pony. We read comic books and graphic novels. I’m almost sure they do the same thing all over Europe, Asia, even down under in Australia.

I can only speak for Canadians, but we do love our nerd culture. Montreal Comiccon, which happened on September 14-16, is the ultimate proof.

Walking through the convention center, the cosplayers are infinitely impressive. A guy with scarily accurate Robert Downey Junior facial hair wearing a mechanized Iron Man suit was posing for a picture with gender swapped Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi. As I walked away from that scene, I heard the girls laugh to each other saying: “We’re totally gonna see that on Tumblr.” That’s right, we even have Tumblr in Canada.

Geekdom celebrities even made the long trip north. The lineup for autographs and pictures with William Shatner was only rivaled by the line for Patrick Stewart, with fans competing over which is the better Star Trek captain.

Wil Wheaton played a game of Settlers of Catan with a lucky fan and his wife, smack  talking all the while. Wil said on his blog that he was blown away by the passion of Montreal fans even back in 2006 for CruiseTrek, as well as giving daily updates about how much unadulterated fun he is having in the wonderful city of Montreal.

The best part is how much Montrealers care. How much Canadians care. People travelled from all over the country because Montreal Comiccon is the only opportunity some of us have to feel the joy of being among our own, among the nerds. The costumes were just about as impressive as those in New York or San Diego, the artist booths were busy and the people were just as excited, even though they knew they wouldn’t be hearing any blockbuster announcements.

For you Americans, appreciate how much you have. Appreciate the amount of nerd culture events that happen in a town near you and take advantage of it. I’ve had to spend countless hours on Greyhound busses and all-too-expensive commercial airplanes to get to New York, Chicago, Orlando and more.

For all of you non-American nerds and geeks: I feel your pain. Montreal Comiccon, as amazing as it is, is completely dwarfed by the other conventions. When people tell me how lucky I am to at least have a Comiccon, no matter how small, I respond with: “Great, it’s like being the tallest midget.” I apologize for the political incorrectness, but that nicely captures my frustration with being a nerd outside of the United States.

We who live, eat and breathe nerd culture suffer, but we exist outside the U.S of A. We’re around and we love it every bit as much as our American counterparts. We have the natural disadvantage of living in another country, but that’s the only difference. We do whatever we can to experience the culture as fully as possible.

Thank goodness for the Internet.

  • MegalomartyrHummer84

    @http://goo.gl/p1OQb

  • kira902k

    preach.

  • critterfur

    I get where you’re coming from (as best I can, considering I do live in America). But you have to remember that the U.S., like Canada, is a big country. In some ways it’s just as difficult for me to travel from rural Minnesota (where I live) the 1800 miles to San Diego, or the 1300 miles to New York (Chicago is a bit easier for me, but still a good 500 miles away). I’m not going to get too sorry for myself, however, because like you said, there are international fans who have to traverse oceans and continents to get to these things. I do think that the center of gravity for geekdom is shifting, however; just look at how many sci-fi and fantasy television shows film in Canada now, trying to pass it off as the United States (including Smallville, trying to be Kansas, or Once Upon A Time, trying to be Maine). And that’s just a tiny fraction. We’ve also got British actors playing American comic-book icons (Spider-Man and Superman). I mean, imagine the outcry if two guys from California were cast as James Bond and the Doctor, and they decided to film Downton Abbey in Texas. I already know the outcry that happened when Steven Spielberg suggested an American play Harry Potter. I guess all of this is just playful jabbing by me, just to remind you in the world at large that there are huge swaths of America which exist outside of L.A. and New York, or any big urban center, really, and in a way we are as separated from big geek culture gatherings as much as any of you. Hope this posting didn’t offend anyone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.etcovitch Daniel Etcovitch

      You are totally and absolutely right. The U.S. is enormous and I was just being an angsty foreigner. Though the only difference I can still claim is transport. Crossing the border is a hassle and a half.
      But again, you got me there.
      Sincerely,
      The author of the article XD

  • realityfree

    You should have come to the Calgary Entertainment Expo. The cast of STNG reunited this year for the first time since filming, and that was just the start. Canada has a vibrant geek scene. If Montreal Comic Con wasn’t enough for you come to Calgary it is twice as large as the Montreal one, or stop by Toronto which is even larger then that.