An annual tradition, the Humboldt Sizzler Comic Con, is making a return after its three-year long lockdown absence. It’s a welcome reincarnation for organizer Jeff Burton, for the writing and artistic community who gather to celebrate comic culture, and of course for fans of the creations. Touted as the best one-day Comic Con on the prairies, the day promises to be a showcase of Saskatchewan comic and “geek” culture, but it will draw on participants from elsewhere as well.
“We’ve got people from all over Saskatchewan, drawing in from Manitoba, and we’ve had interest from a few group in Alberta as well,” says Burton. “It’s really cool to see such a span like that. There’ll truly be something there for everybody.”
Burton’s own creation, the Adventures of Auroraman, will be one of the indie comic draws. The character, now spanning five years in publication, has provided readers with a homegrown hero to call their own in a comic that resonates with Saskatchewan fans. Alongside Burton will be Colin Work of Watson with his creation, Blackthorn, a number of creators from Saskatoon, others from further afield, along with dozens of comic books up for grabs donated by businesses and creators. Burton says a local group has also put together a virtual reality gaming booth for attendees to experience.
For hard core comic collectors, Burton says there will be vendors on site bringing in some favourite back issues of popular mainstream comics.
“It’s always fun going to these shows seeing boxes and boxes of comics and getting to hunt for some of your old favourites or for something new to you that is no longer in print. There are always a few new vendors who come out to these things along with lots of returning booths. And since we haven’t had it for three years now, lots of the indie creators who usually come to our show are really excited. Most of us haven’t been together at a show since before COVID, so being able to hang out with each other and being able to hang out in that atmosphere is really exciting.”
For Burton, it’s all about the atmosphere which he likens to a bunch of friends hanging out in a really big garage. The creative energy that spins out of those casual collaborations is key. Then there are the fans who stop by to learn more about the people behind their cherished characters and to discover new offerings. For both the creators and the consumers, it’s the ultimate relaxing and reconnecting vibe.
Look for issues of 10 and 11 The Adventures of Auroraman later this year. Comic Con is happening at the Uniplex on June 18 as part of the Summer Sizzler.
Enjoy the full conversation between Jeff Burton and Calum McAnally.