There are few things more satisfying than having the inside scoop on something new and hip. Catching a great band at an intimate venue, scoring a table at an up-and-coming restaurant or attending the very first year of Victoria’s Capital City Comic Con (CCCC) perhaps?

CLIPPER TIP:  You’ll save on your Victoria Clipper ferry when booking our exclusive Capital City Comic Con overnight package!

For Victoria, a city experiencing a revival from a quaint, quiet town to a vibrant, sophisticated city with a strong undercurrent of “geek” culture, Comic Con is the perfect opportunity to assemble a veritable justice league of nerd-dom. To answer that call, this brand-new event offers up a weekend packed with cosplay, celebrities, comedy and a celebration of all things pop culture, right in the heart of downtown Victoria.

Capital City Comic Con organizer and Cherry Bomb Toys co-owner Biagio Woodward affirms, “This has been somewhat of a dream of ours to create and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to help build something special for Victoria!”

With so much to geek out over during the course of three days, it’s best to go into the weekend with a game plan. Chart your course with our breakdown of the best things to see, activities to do and spots to grab a bite around town!

SEE

After a day spent wandering among the booths at Comic Con, you’ll no doubt be itching to meet some of the famous faces behind your favorite shows and movies! Catch up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel’s resident blood-sucking bad boy, Spike (actor James Marsters) or rub elbows with actor Patrick Warburton of The Tick, Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Seinfeld fame.

Don’t miss out on the chance to hobnob with versatile Vancouverite Leah Cairns. She’s dazzled in everything from Battlestar Galactica to Oscar-winning film Interstellar to her role in 88 Minutes alongside Al Pacino.

Though he may often portray a villain on screen, James Marsters is all smiles while greeting a young fan. Credit: Flickr user Karo

Give your feet a rest and snag a seat at Improv Against Humanity, hosted by Vancouver’s award-winning comedy troupe The Fictionals. If you’re feeling bold, enter your name for the chance to flex your own improvisational muscles and join the group onstage for a game of Cards Against Humanity. Just be prepared to be crowned the “Most Horrible Person of CCCC 2018!”

The Fictionals put on a rousing performance at a Vancouver show. Credit: Flickr user Zemekiss

If you need a little breather from the onslaught of childhood nostalgia that Comic Con promises to bring about, then you’re in luck. Catch two shows from the acclaimed fandom theater troupe, the Geekenders, featuring an ensemble of 17 all-star nerdlesque performers. With a combination of dance, comedy, vaudeville, outer space and a little va-va-voom, this Vegas-style spectacular show will keep you on the edge of your seat all night long.

Luke, Yoda, and a roller skate-clad R2D2 take the stage for a Geekenders performance. Credit: Flickr user Zemekiss

EAT

To complete the nostalgic, slumber-party-era vibe that a weekend of comic books and gaming will evoke, the clear choice is pizza. Low key it at The Joint Pizzeria, a crowd-pleaser where you’ll find everything from a Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza to their vegetarian Happy Hippie. Or opt for a slightly more elevated pizza experience at Pizzeria Prima Strada, where you can pair your Neapolitan wood-fired pie with local wine and craft beer.

Nosh on a hot, cheesy pie straight out of the wood-fired oven at Pizzeria Prima Strata. Credit: Pizzeria Prima Strada

Keep the gaming going through mealtime and duck into Yates Street’s bustling Interactivity Board Game Cafe. Peruse the café’s collection of more than 700 games to find the perfect one to pair with your meal. Feast on a palate-pleasing Mediterranean or Wild Salmon sandwich or split one of their shareable platters with your crew. Still hungry? Pick out a couple of crowd-pleasers from their “snacks” section, which offers comfort food mainstays such as a bowl of popcorn or a plate of fresh-baked cookies.

Settle in at Interactivity Cafe for board games and bites. Credit: Natulive Canada

If you have the kiddos in tow, Frankie’s Modern Diner offers a menu brimming with made-from-scratch dinners perfect for little tykes. Try their Pesto Chicken “Burger” or Diner Mac & Cheese with a divine focaccia crust. For a tasty morning fuel-up, tuck into the centrally-located Cora. Known for their warm and friendly service, it is one of our favorite spots in the city to grab a hearty meal. Head straight to the good stuff and order a plate of spinach and cheddar crepes with a fluffy stack of powdered sugar-dusted pancakes for the little ones.

PLAY

With no shortage of toys and novelty gear, Comic Con is the ultimate excuse to let your inner child call the shots, so why not lean into that playful mindset and indulge in some serious gaming goodness. Dive into the history of your favorite characters, toys and action figures at The National Toy Museum of Canada, with some new exhibits put together with CCCC-attendees in mind.

Owner and curator Candice Woodward states, “We’re looking forward to creating new exhibits in the museum, focusing on toys that are based on comic properties and from movies and TV shows that some of the celebrity guests at Capital City Comic Con have starred in.”

After you’ve soaked up some newfound knowledge on everything from early Jim Henson creations to the evolution of the Bat Mobile, head around the corner to local gem The Vorpal Gnome and stock up on all your gaming needs. Whether you’re a die-hard RPGer or just looking to expand your board game collection, you’re bound to walk out of this shop with a new treasure in hand.

For good measure, throw in a stop at Yellowjacket Comics, which hosts the city’s best-attended Magic: The Gathering tournaments. Flip through their enormous selection of Magic Card singles (the largest collection in Victoria) and you may discover a rare find or two.

Check out Yellowjacket Comics’ namesake superhero emblazoned on the front of the shop. Credit: Flickr user Blu

SHOP

If you’re familiar with Victoria then you might know Johnson Street as the city’s boutique shopping haven, but its bustling blocks are also packed with first-rate comic, toy and cosplay shops. Stop by Legends Comics and Books where the extensive selection of comic books are regarded as art, literature, entertainment and valued collectibles.

Right at the corner of Victoria’s Johnson and Broad Street, you’ll find local favorite Curious Comics. Credit: Flickr user MBehemoth

One block down you’ll find Curious Comics, a one-stop shop chock-full of comics, graphic novels, toys, statues, collectible card games and board games. Round the corner and head over to Yates Street, where you can shop for all your LARP and cosplay needs at Dragon Impact. If you don’t spot exactly what you’re looking for, they can also special-order rare or hard to find items to ensure that your costume duds are on point.

Once you’re fitted with some new and exotic gear, cruise over to Fan Favourites and set aside some time to browse their vast selection of secondhand video games, consoles and movies, plus pop culture-themed goods of all shapes and sizes

STAY

Located just outside the hub of downtown with a playful, quirky vibe, Hotel Zed is Victoria’s most distinctive option for lodging. More than just a spot to crash, a stay at this unique locale ensures the fun won’t stop when Comic Con winds down for the day. Swing by the lobby to borrow a board game or challenge your travel companions to a match in the ping-pong lounge. If your legs feel like Jell-O after a day of exploration, suit up and soak in their hot tub or just kick back with the complimentary in-room comic books.

Need some wheels to get around town? Just take your pick! Offering free bike, longboard, roller skate and penny board rentals, plus a free scheduled shuttle service (in a vintage VW bus, no less), there’s no shortage of ways to explore the city with Hotel Zed as your home base.

Catch a ride around town in Hotel Zed’s vintage VW bus. Credit: Sean Daniel

With a passion for all things geeky, Victoria has been long overdue for one event to bring together its pop culture scene. Whether you’re looking to shop for comic book rarities or meet The Tick himself, Capital City Comic Con is a must-attend event for self-proclaimed nerds to unite!

 

 

Featured Photo: Scott Papineau

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