Our origin story doesn't begin with a radio-active spider bite, or exposure to gamma radiation. In fact, as far as I know, none of us have been injected with super soldier serums, been trained by a secret league of assassins, had parents who shot us into space to avoid the destruction of our planet, or been billion-dollar inventor playboys/playgirls.
No, this origin story begins with the owners and team at the Nanaimo branch of Curious Comics participating in “Free Comic Book Day”, an annual event that promotes literacy. We made it a celebration of comic book culture - and geek culture as a whole - inviting local artists to display their art and hosting game demoes (both board and otherwise), and by 2015, we were regularly seeing an attendance of around 500 people.
In 2016, inspired by enthusiastic feedback, Free Comic Book Day evolved into its very own convention: Curious ComiCon. Wishing to expand upon the spirit of giving, we linked up with the Children's Wish Foundation to help raise money toward granting a wish. In addition, word had spread about our scrappy little convention and we managed to attract some renowned artists to join the event, who donated items to the free gift bags and, in some cases, original art for the silent auction. Between the cosplay competition, board games, vendors, artists, and many, many activities run by generous volunteers, the convention took over the entire mall and attendance grew to 1500.
In 2017, the convention gained its first celebrity guest, Mackenzie Gray, from the hit Marvel television series, “Legion”. He signed limited edition copies of a Bill Sienkiewicz print depicting Gray's character, "The Eye" (drawn specifically for this event). The artist John Gallagher, who has worked on numerous shows including Supergirl and The Flash, also added his star power to the show, and has since become an annual guest of ours. We also doubled our projected attendance, bringing in 4000 people to the show.
The following year, in 2018, we were joined by Aleks Paunovic, who's appeared in numerous tv shows and movies, including the Netflix series, "Van Helsing" and the movie, "War of the Planet of the Apes". We also had an exclusive limited edition playmat for Magic: The Gathering, with all new Merfolk Assassin artwork by one of the original artists of the game, Dennis Detwiller. John Gallagher also donated an original piece of art featuring Underdog.
2018 also saw us achieve our goal of granting a wish with the Children’s Wish Foundation. Wishes cost $10,000 to grant, and by the end of the show - along with money we had raised at previous shows - we were at $10220.15.
Moving forward, each year we will be supporting a different Vancouver Island charity.
So don't miss out on Vacouver Island's best FREE comic convention!