2023 Montreal ComicCon : Impressive and bigger than ever

Pop culture at its best, for the biggest edition Montreal has ever had.

2023 Montreal ComicCon

As a pop-culture enthusiast, missing out on the 2023 Montreal ComicCon is not an option. This will be my fifth visit and each year keeps improving. Once again, there was a plethora of diverse offerings under one roof, including comics, collectibles, horror, manga, anime, cosplay, video games, movies, and TV series.

I have been anticipating this event to connect with like-minded individuals and delve deeper into our shared passions. My interests lie in video games and fantasy or superhero-themed TV series, and I was thrilled to hear that Christina Ricci and several actors from Arrow and Smallville will be in attendance.

Similar to the events at San Diego ComicCon, numerous panels were discussing various pop culture topics and offering Q&A sessions with guests. Despite the ongoing strikes in Hollywood, many attendees still participated and willingly shared their stories and answered questions. Although there were some subject restrictions, the organizers managed the sessions efficiently, and it was a pleasure to learn about their past projects and experiences. As a fan of Arrow and Smallville, I particularly enjoyed hearing the anecdotes shared during the panels.

Let’s talk about games

The main reason I went to the event though was to cover everything related to videogames. In the last couple of years where I went, they were a central part of the event. I was able to try out Spider-Man (2018), Sony’s 1st generation VR headset (PSVR), or even discover some indie darlings before they came to the public with their official release (like Spiritfarer).

This year, it was very different. All of the first-party console makers were absent. It was a first for the event, but not surprising, looking at how those companies showed their titles recently, even during the big American events (like Summer Game Fest, etc.). There were also no booths from any big Montreal studios like EA, Ubisoft, and WB. Despite this, there were still many things to look at, try and enjoy. One of the main events was the ability to meet and go to a Q&A panel with one of the most well-known voice actors in the business: Nolan North.

Having an IMDB page of hundreds of titles, this man has a lot of experience in the industry, and hearing him talk about his life, his experiences, and of course, his games (from The Last of Us to Uncharted), the 45 minutes panel we had with him went by very fast. He is energetic and fun and makes funny voices when he talks (not unlike Charles Martinet did a couple of years ago). He is a treasure and I hope he will continue to do his incredible work for still many years.

The other important attraction regarding video games at Montreal ComicCon is the Indie Games Zone, located on a section of the main convention floor. It consists of regrouping indie game developers from the region and allowing them to display the games that they are working on, with people being able to play them (most of the time).

This year, the 3 most known titles that were on display were Chasing the Unseen, Checkmate Showdown, and Goodbye Volcano High, the highly anticipated PlayStation console-exclusive game. I was able to play many others. I will have separate impressions of the games I saw in detail in upcoming articles.

I enjoyed my time in the Zone. With the absence of all major studios, the indie ones had the entire floor to try to make a name for themselves and show what they had in store. It was refreshing to see so many new IPs from hard-working developers that just want their games to succeed.

I even detected some anxiousness and nervosity, because some of them are usually behind the computer screen and not in front of people. I also sensed some anticipation for games that are close to being released (especially from the Goodbye Volcano High team). I love talking to passionate people about their projects and once again, I was not disappointed.

2023 Montreal ComicCon is a success!

As the first event I was able to attend after the pandemic, it felt great to be back in the crowd and just follow my passions and those of the people with me. Attendees were all smiles and happy. The organizers did a fantastic job planning all of the events. Despite the Hollywood strikes, the celebrities looked like they had a great time visiting our city.

In terms of video games, it was great to see all of those indie studios showing their “baby” and be proud of what they have been working on. I am planning another visit next year and I can’t wait to see what their organizers will have up their sleeves. In the meantime, here is a gallery of some of the great cosplayers I have seen.