By Woodard, Dale on September 29, 2020.
There was a downright heroic vibe at the Lethbridge Legion last Saturday.
For fans of pop culture, it was the place to be up, up and away for the fourth annual Lethbridge Comic, Card and Collectibles Show as collectors not only perused the impressive selection of comics, but toys, coins, Hot Wheels and drawings by local artists.
Alongside the entire wall right next to the entryway, local vendor Andy Kolasko’s display was a site to Marvel. It was a visual driven even further with his impressive Thor costume, complete with hammer.
“I’m a huge Marvel fan,” said Kolasko. “I think for a lot of kids it started with Spider-Man. I saw the old animated ones in the late-’60s growing up. I’d come home after school and watch that. I started reading comics when I was about seven or eight. Then the movies hit in 2008 with the first ‘Ironman’ and 23 movies later it’s been really exciting. It’s just a lot of that tangibility to your childhood. I think there’s something very sentimental about that attachment.”
Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and comics lined Kolasko’s display, which also included an impressive array of artwork.
A few of his customers went home nicely clothed as well.
“The T-shirts have been very popular today,” said Kolasko. “They’ve gone really well. But then there are lots of action figures and lots of little neat things. I have ice trays that look like Spider-Man’s face and stuff for Halloween.”
Right next to those were coin banks, Captain America and Iron Man plush toys and high-end action figures meant more for display on a coffee table than to necessarily be played with.
Kolasko’s display reflected theme of the afternoon at the Legion.
“People come with comics, toys, coins and Hot Wheels. Everybody is looking for everything,” said Ryan Ulrich, one of the Lethbridge Comic, Card and Collectibles show organizers. “You just don’t know who is looking for what or when. We need to have everything to make everybody happy.”
As it headed into its fourth year Saturday, the show continues to entertain.
“It grows a bit every year. We had about 300 people last year and we’re hoping to break that this year,” said Ulrich, adding the event brings vendors from Calgary and Medicine Hat.
Of course, there were adjustments to be made with the COVID-19 pandemic keeping the Legion capacity to 50 at a time.
The pandemic protocol was recognized.
“Every table has sanitizer and we have free masks,” said Ulrich. “It’s considered a private event, so the mask law, if they want to wear it, they wear it and if they don’t, they don’t. And the crowds aren’t so big that we’re breaking 50 people in the room.”
While T-shirts were moving at Kolasko’s table, Ulrich noted other hot items on the move Saturday.
“Hot Wheels have been busy all day, it depends what people are looking for.”
And Saturday’s clientele was all ages.
“It’s an equal mix,” said Ulrich. “We have ton of seniors and young people and we have families and middle-aged people walking around. People just come looking for that one specific vendor.”
Ulrich’s table boasted an array of comics, coins, gold novelties, antique licence plates as well as some PlayStation 2 video games.
He said comic sales were slow, but other items were moving.
“I’ve sold some coins and some licence plates. It’s all over the place.”
As the show wrapped up its fourth year, pop culture is alive and well in Lethbridge, said Kolasko.
“Entertainment is so big right now. There is a cosplay club in Lethbridge. There was a guy who came in as Star Lord today. There are people who look at that aspect of it and people that are into anime. There is a wide spectrum but I think entertainment, particularly the comic-based stuff, with the success of the Marvel cinematic universe, there has been so much attraction to it. You see the desire and you see people are really wanting this.”
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