Toronto Comicon kicked off the convention season on Friday, March 20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and fans were eagerly awaiting the chance to geek out with their old friends and make new ones. Fans arrived dressed as their favorite characters and waited in line for their favorite celebrity, artist or voice talent for autographs and photos. Comicon is a chance for fans to express themselves and to come together to appreciate their genre, whether it be sci-fi, pop-culture, anime or horror.
From the producers of Orphan Black and creator of Lost Girl, comes the new series Killjoys – a politically unstable solar system called Quad is on the brink of a bloody war. A group of bounty hunters – also known as Killjoys – act as peacekeepers by chasing down dangerous warrants. Star, Aaron Ashmore and creator, Michelle Lovretta were on hand to promote the show and talk to the fans on what to expect. Fans were also treated to a teaser.
Michelle revealed that the idea of Aaron being perfect for the leading man came to her while showering, which gave the audience something to laugh about. She also mentioned that when she thought of the series, it had to have a spaceship. Aaron recalled that he broke the spaceship named “Lucy” the first time he was filming. Killjoy also stars Luke Macfarlane and Hanna John-Kamen and will premiere in Canada later this year.
J. August Richards, who is most popularly known as Gunn on the TV show Angel and now as Mike Peterson/Deathlok on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., sang a few bars from the song “Happy” to express how much he loved being there. Fans tried to get him to reveal what was next for his character in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but unfortunately because the movies and the shows are intertwined, Marvel is very strict on keeping what happens confidential.
He said he loves being spoiler-free and not knowing what was going to happen next. He recalled that he really had to dig deep to play the character and every time he was called back, he felt that he was playing a different role each time because the character would transition from Mike to Deathlok in the end. The most powerful line to him was when Deathlok said, “Mike Peterson is dead,” and that he felt it was a lie, that he was still in there wishing he was dead, but just had to turn himself off. Lastly, he expressed his love for Star Wars. When asked what part he would play if J.J. Abrams offered him a role, he said he would play anything – an extra or Stormtrooper #12, but in reality he’d like to play a Jedi with four lightsabers.
Amber Benson, best known as Tara Maclay from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was full of smiles and extremely giddy. She revealed that she had retired from acting and is now concentrating on writing, while also producing and directing. One of Buffy’s most popular episodes was “Once More, With Feeling” – a musical written by Joss Whedon. The idea came about while hanging out at Joss’ house. He would be tinkering at the piano and they would start to sing. He realized he had a cast that could sing and some of them could dance and created the episode. Amber pointed out she was not one of the ones who could dance. Although she used to teach writing workshops, she has since stopped to concentrate on finishing her novels, which were available at the con.
Shannon Doherty, best known as Brenda from Beverly Hills 90210 and Prue Halliwell from Charmed, was the last panel of the day. She graciously took questions and was surprised at the younger fans who knew 90210 better than she did – since they were probably not yet born when it aired. She spoke of the mistakes she made in the past and her relationship with Jennie Garth and says now they are close friends. She noted her favorite episode (and least favorite) of Charmed was the death of her character, Prue, because she directed the episode. Shannon feels that directing and producing is now where her heart is and it’s what she wishes to continue.
The second day of Toronto Comicon was filled with panels and celebs interacting with fans. Karen Gillan originally announced on Twitter that she was cancelling her appearance at Comicon. However, later that morning it was announced that she had caught an 8:30 a.m. flight and she made it just in time to sign autographs and take photos by 5:30 p.m. Stay tuned for her panel on Sunday, March 22! ~Article and photos by Joanne Chu-Fook