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A comic-con for the little guys

Maples show hopes to see about 500 guests come through doors

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Maples Comics & Collectibles Show organizers Derek Gauthier (left) and Wally Dorvault show off just a fraction of their combined comic book collection.

PHOTO BY JORDAN THOMPSON Enlarge Image

Maples Comics & Collectibles Show organizers Derek Gauthier (left) and Wally Dorvault show off just a fraction of their combined comic book collection. Photo Store

Calling all true believers.

The second Maples Comics & Collectibles Show goes down Feb. 15 at Maples Community Centre (434 Adsum Dr.), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Maples residents Derek Gauthier and his wife Eileen Gauthier, as well as their friend Wally Dorvault, are the organizers behind the event, which had its inaugural show in September of last year.

"It keeps the comic industry and the collectible card industry going. It’s trying to keep the younger people into it so it doesn’t die out," Derek said.

Derek is a lifer. The 54-year-old delivery driver said he started collecting comics in 1963 or ’64.
Derek said he mostly collects Marvel Comics, with his favourite series being The Amazing Spiderman. When it comes to comics, he said he loves the stories, the art and the serial format.

"It’s almost like watching one of these soap operas with a cliffhanger at the end every time," he said.

Derek said it doesn’t deter him that some people might feel his hobby is immature.

"I just like the artists and the storytelling. It’s better than drinking your money away," he said with laugh.

The Gauthiers said they’re hoping for 48 tables at the show, a mix of businesses and private collectors selling everything from comics, trading cards, toys, vintage dolls, signs, posters and jewelry. They’re hoping to attract 500 potential customers, with last year’s show bringing in about 300 people.

Galaxy Comics and Collectibles (200-109 Henderson Hwy.) is one local business taking part.

"You always want to support the people who support you. You always want to be out there showing your face and being involved," said Galaxy owner Jeremy Gartner.

"The people that put on these events aren’t always business people, they’re just customers or people who want to support the scene and you want to support them back as well."

Eileen said while bigger conventions are excellent, such as the annual C4: Central Canada Comic Con, they’re not necessarily conducive to small-time collectors.

"We’re doing it for the little guys," Eileen said. "Even though all the comic stores are coming to our event, we’re still doing it for the little guys, because C4 can be quite expensive for them."

Admission to the Maples Comics & Collectibles Show is $3, with kids under 12 getting in free with a food donation to Winnipeg Harvest. Any proceeds left after expenses are covered will go to the Maples Community Centre.

In addition to a tin for the bin, dressing in costume is encouraged.

"Last time we had Batman and Wonder Woman and a few others," Derek said. "We had Gene Simmons too. He was about seven feet tall. He’s coming again."

For Maples Comics & Collectibles table information, call Eileen Gauthier at 204-963-0708.

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