Comics, cards, and canucks: a look at KW Tri-Con

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Last weekend, KW’s Themuseum was shut down and converted to KW Tri-Con, a two-day convention celebrating anime, comics, and gaming. 

Themuseum was a fitting location to hold the convention, as the paintings hung on the walls took a backseat to the numerous artists showing off their works on the dealer’s floor. The museum setting naturally lent itself to the various displays, which featured traditional convention fare like sketches, board games, and card packs, as well as some more niche spectacles, such as ball-jointed dolls, steampunk gear, and chainmail. 

Tri-Con’s visitors were almost as colourful and varied as the building itself, with many attendees cosplaying for the occasion. Anime, cartoon, and video game characters were the norm, with a furry here and a probably-uncomfortable Edward Scissorhands there, all giving the event more character. 

The cosplayers were not the only people catching attention, however. The Sean Ward Show’s Sean Ward, as well as Two Generals’ Scott Chantler and the GI Janes, a feminist gaming group created by UW grad students, graced the convention floor to meet their fans and lead panels. 

The guest of honour was Richard Comely, creator of the famous Captain Canuck, who came for a Q&A session and to show off Season 1 of the Captain Canuck webseries, a crowd-funded project featuring Canadian talent like Kris Holden-Ried, Tatiana Maslany, and Laura Vandervoort. After the show, Comely, accompanied by producer Fadi Hakim and actor Paul Amos, gave a Q&A discussing Captain Canuck, Canadian TV, and crowdfunding. 

Many other panels were held at the convention, where discussions were held about topics like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, girls in gaming, Pokemon, and paranormal investigations. There were also many how-to panels, teaching newcomers about cosplay, Photoshop, and making it as an independent artist, among others. 

Along with the panels, several workshops were available for those craving a more hands-on experience. With instructions from industry professionals Hush Plush, Dragonsmith Armoury, and the GI Janes, attendees could create an Iron Man plushie, learn how to make cosplay gear out of sheet metal, and even learn how to create their own board game. 

While panels and workshops occupied the lower levels, the third floor of Themuseum was devoted to gaming. Tables were set up to accommodate fans of card and tabletop games, and a booth was set up for video game fans (or just people who like seeing other people get their asses handed to them in Marvel vs. Capcom 2). 

Throughout Tri-Con, anybody could drop by the third floor and sit with their friends for a nice, casual game, but the convention also hosted several gaming tournaments to keep things interesting. Heroclix, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Magic: the Gathering tournaments were held for more skilled players, and prizes were available for the winners. 

Tri-Con exists to please fans of anime, gaming, and cosplay, which was clear as soon as you walked into the building. The diversity of the show’s offerings and the emphasis on DIY workshops set Tri-Con apart from other conventions of its kind, and the unique guests, panels, and attendees made Themuseum’s latest event a true work of art. 

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