Get your geek on at the Montreal ToyCon this weekend!

That’s right, that time of year is upon us again! For those of us who need a mid-year fix before the Montreal Comiccon in spring, here’s the annual Montreal ToyCon, presented by CmdStore.com and Toys on Fire Montreal. Over 55 dealer tables will be present at this toy, comic book and sci-fi exposition.

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We’ll be holding the 2015 ToyCon at the Courtyard by Marriott Montreal Airport hotel on Sunday, October 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is only $5 and kids under the age of five get in free! We’ll see you this Sunday at 7000 Place Robert-Joncas, accessible via the Côte Vertu metro station and bus #121 west.

For more information, like CmdStore and Toys on Fire Montreal on Facebook, or contact us at montrealtoycon@gmail.com or 514-948-2627. See you there!

montreal-toycon-october-17-2010-47

May the strings be with you: Guitar Wars Project blends Star Wars and shredding

Lightsabers and Wookiees and . . . classical guitar riffs? After the viral success of their Star Wars-themed YouTube guitar cover, Sébastien Moreau and Robbin Blanco launched onto the cosmic ride that became the Montreal-based Guitar Wars Project. Naturally, we here at CmdStore were all over that like C-3PO on conventions of intergalactic etiquette. We caught up with these two to learn more about this super-rad creative undertaking. Read on to get all of the juicy gossip, from how it all started to being hypothetical jacuzzi pals with Jabba.

Source: GWP

Source: GWP

Hi, guys! Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
Sébastien: I’m from Trois-Rivières, [Quebec] and we both live in Montreal . . .
Robbin: But I’m from Mérida, Mexico.

Tell us a bit about your backgrounds in music.
Guitar Wars Project: We met in university during our studies. We’re both holders of master’s degrees in music performance.
Sébastien: I’ve played in a lot of different projects before Guitar Wars. I’m more a classical guy. I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of concerts in established festivals, mostly here in Canada and in Europe.
Robbin: I did studies in classical music, but I’ve always been an electric guitarist, playing jazz, rock and pop all around Mexico, South America, the U.S. and Europe. Outside the Guitar Wars Project, I have a power fusion trio with original music and a tango project.

What gave you the idea for Guitar Wars? Was there a special “Aha!” moment?
Guitar Wars Project: We are fans of the movies, and also we think that the John Williams soundtrack is awesome.
Sébastien: So my Robbin here decided to write unplayable arrangements for two guitars [laughs].
Robbin: And of course you wanted to do this project to have a valid reason to put on a costume and possess “real” lightsabers [laughs].

Your “Imperial March” music video went viral not too long ago. What did that feel like?
Guitar Wars Project: We’re really happy with this first video, but to be honest we hope that our next one will get more views.
Sébastien: But having great feedback from fans all around the world is amazing.

Moreau and Blanco make up the crossover Guitar Wars Project. Source: GWP

Moreau and Blanco make up the crossover Guitar Wars Project. Source: GWP

What’s the weirdest or most awesome thing that has happened to you as a result of this project?
Guitar Wars Project: We did this concert at a music festival in Mérida, Mexico. More than 500 people came with costumes and toys. Even Darth Vader wanted to make a speech.
Sébastien: By now, I feel kind of strange when people tell me that this project is weird.
Robbin: I told you that the costumes were a bad idea . . . I just wanted to play the music on guitar [laughs].

On a scale of one to this excited train guy, how stoked are you about Star Wars: Episode VII coming out in December?
Sébastien: My excitement level exceeds the highest level of midichlorians ever found in a human.
Robbin: I’m very exited about the next film and also very happy with John Williams’s participation in the score! He rocks.

You’re playing a comic con in Dubai as part of your tour. How did that come about?
Guitar Wars Project: The “Imperial March” video helped a lot when it came to showing our project to people all around the globe. By now, we’ve received other invitations that we’ll announce soon. But don’t miss our show in Montreal on March 28.
Sébastien: Lord Vader wants us to find two droids hiding in the desert . . .
Robbin: It’s a good opportunity to show our concept in front of many people and also a great place to visit.

What is your favorite thing about Montreal?
Sébastien: I have lived in many cities, and I can tell you that there’s no place more amazing than Montreal in the summer. The bars, festivals, restaurants . . . and the multicultural aspect is so awesome. The amount of activities to do is astonishing.
Robbin: It’s a cool place. The winter is a little long for me (a Latin guy), but I like to meet people from everywhere.

The Guitar Wars Project will be in Montreal on March 28. Source: GWP

The Guitar Wars Project will be in Montreal on March 28. Source: GWP

What sorts of cool things can audiences expect to see at your shows?
Guitar Wars Project: This is a concert, so you’ll hear the best theme composed by John Williams in a totally new way. We cover the entire saga, from “Duel of the Fates” to “The Emperor’s Theme”, along with “Princess Leia’s Theme”, “Main Title”, “Cantina Band” and, of course, “The Imperial March”.
Sébastien: For us, it’s a great way to show all the possibilities of the guitar with great music. And you can expect different music styles, from jazz and world to classical.
Robbin: But please keep in mind that this is a concert, not theater. I broke my clavicle last year, so no more lightsaber fights [laughs].

If you had to watch one Star Wars movie on repeat for a month, which would it be?
Sébastien: My favorite one is definitively The Empire Strikes Back.
Robbin: Return of the Jedi, and I think I already did that [laughs].

If you had to be in a hot tub with three Wookiees or one Jabba the Hutt, which would you choose? (Snacks would be provided.)
Sébastien: I would never join them in a hot tub. I’m a Jedi, like my father before me.
Robbin: Maybe this question is more for the girls [laughs], but for sure we would rather hang out with Princess Leia and Amidala. I think they’re the only hot chicks in the saga [laughs].

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The Guitar Wars Project will be performing in Montreal, Canada on March 28. Scope the official Guitar Wars Project website for more details, and grab tickets for their live Montreal performance. You can also buy the Imperial March single on iTunes.

Montreal to host Mini Comiccon in December

To mark the halfway point after one Montreal Comiccon and the next one, the wonderful folks who the yearly toy and fan spectacle put together the Mini Comiccon for one day during the winter. The Montreal con in particular is known for uniquely bridging the gap between the American pop-culture market and the European bande dessinée art form. Now fans have more opportunities to cosplay, purchase the comic-related stuff on their holiday lists and mingle with like-minded people!

The 2014 Mini Comiccon will be held at Montreal’s Palais de congrès on December 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $5, or free for children 12 and under. It’ll be well worth the deal to see the special guests, which will include Canadian cosplayer and glamour model Marie-Claude Bourbonnais and American comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver, known for his work on titles like Green Lantern and The Flash: Rebirth.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Like “Mini-Comiccon de Montréal” on Facebook for more information leading up to the event!

Montreal Comiccon 2013 is this weekend….we will be there!

Montreal Comic Con 2014

Jay and Silent Bob are back!

Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are hitting the road with their new animated film, Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, which blazes across North America in a series of one-night-only shows which started in April of this year. The legendary best buds from Jersey are back to dispense weed and wisdom in cartoon form and audiences will have the opportunity to watch the new movie AND  stick around for a rip-roaring Q&A afterwards. This will be a special event at the Montreal Comiccon at the Palais des Congrès on Saturday, September 14 at 8:00 p.m. Check out the Montreal ComicCon website for more details and tickets.

Jay  and Silent Bob

There were some celebrity cancelations and changes but the line-up still looks great.  Lots of things to see and do at the show.  We have 5 booths packed with our toy inventory (and our Ottawa store has 3 booths).   Oscar and Alex have done a fantastic job and this will be a awesome show.  Hope to see you all there this weekend.

Montreal Comic Book Store

Carsley's Comics

By Josh Rubin,  Montreal Gazette — On the ninth floor of a nondescript office building at the corner of Ste-Catherine and Peel Sts., more than 50,000 vintage comic books lie hidden from view from the pedestrians below, its whereabouts known only by the most die-hard of fans. Like the superheroes whose adventures sit stocked on its shelves or piled high in boxes, the origin story of Carsley’s Comics is unusual.

It traces back to 1985 when owner Mike Joffre, 42, first began buying and selling comics after he was given a copy of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, which lists practically every comic book ever produced. Fascinated by the world of comics, especially vintage ones, Joffre began amassing as many back issues as he could.

“Some of my friends’ older brothers didn’t want their comic collections anymore. So I pooled some money with a friend of mine and we started buying comics from people and selling them at school,” Joffre said.

Within a matter of months, Joffre, who was only 14 years old at the time, became a vendor at various comic conventions where he was often the youngest dealer. Apart from comics he also developed an interest in other collectibles like baseball cards and coins.

Although he earned some money, Joffre never seriously considered making a living as a comic dealer. Determined to finish university and become a professional, he eventually wound up as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch, but maintained his passion for all things collectible.

In 1998, he was introduced to Bill Whetstone, owner of Carsley Whetstone & Co., one of the oldest coin dealers in Canada. He became a silent partner three years later, and in 2005, purchased the firm outright.

Joffre didn’t hesitate to make his own imprint on the business from Day 1.

“When I took over, we were dealing in coins, jewelry, porcelain, art, Lalique — basically a whole hodgepodge of things. I eliminated dealing in large antiques like paintings, vases and furniture. Now coins have become an even greater specialty of ours and then, of course, there’s the comics,” he said.

Aware that a space across the hall from their office was vacant, Joffre approached the landlords about taking it over and began calling some old contacts in the comic industry to build up inventory. He recruited his friend Paul Beck, 54, to help run the store and quickly stockpiled comics. According to Joffre, Carsley’s now houses one of the largest collections of vintage comic books in the country.

After a hectic few months, Carsley’s Comics opened its doors in fall 2005. Although it was initially conceived as a side project to the coin business, the comic store has steadily seen its revenues increase at a 20 per cent compounded rate annually, to the point where it is now an integral part of the company.

In order to juggle the responsibilities between the different facets of the business, Joffre relies on his staff of four full-time and three part-time employees. They have to constantly figure out which new releases to buy, a task that’s not as easy as it sounds.

The industry is structured in such a way that retailers have to order comics two months in advance. The result is a bit of a guessing game because of the difficulty of gauging what’s going to be popular in the future, and there’s a risk of being either over or under stocked.

“We’re not a big team of people, but we’re very delegated. … For example, Paul does all the ordering — he knows what the customers like and he runs the retail store. We have another employee, Alex, who manages our online presence. My role is to seek out vintage comic collections,” Joffre explained.

The emergence of the Internet has had a profound effect on comics and the collectibles industry as a whole. Collecting is largely about the thrill of the hunt. Before the Internet, someone might have spent years seeking out an ultra-rare specimen. Now all it takes is a quick visit to Google. As a result, most comic stores have migrated online. This has been a blessing in disguise for the few remaining brick and mortar stores, which have morphed into destinations where serious comic collectors come not just to shop, but to socialize.

“When you go to some stores, a lot of the time, they just want to sell, but here, you can have a conversation with people who are true fans. The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable. You don’t feel like a number when you come here,” said Guy Dam­phousse, an architectural technician who visits the shop regularly.

“If you really like comics, there’s something you can’t replace about holding an old comic book in your hands,” Joffre said.

A new chapter for Carsley Whetstone & Co. and Carsley’s Comics is on the horizon. Joffre is relocating both operations into a decidedly larger and more modern space a little closer to earth: two floors down.

Make sure to pay them a visit and let them know we sent you.  Carsley’s Comics is currently located downtown at:

1117 St-Catherine, Suite 715
Montreal, Quebec
Phone: 514-289-9761
Facebook
eBay Store

In Montreal? Come to Hawgs’ Car, Truck and Bike Meet!

If you’re in Montreal, be sure to head down to HAWGS DELI AND BAR this Wednesday night and bring your souped-up, well-loved bike, truck or car! It’s going down on June 20th between 5pm and 7pm. Here’s the info on how to get there:

Hawgs Deli & Bar
6795 rue Jarry Est
Montréal – Québec
H1P 1W6

(514) 327-3344
For more information: info@hawgsdeli.com

You can also check out the deets on the event page. And for directions, just click here!

It’s Coming . . . THE MONTREAL TOYCON JUNE 10th 2012

Are you ready for it? Amazing deals, tons of collectibles and some brilliant cosplay are coming your way in just a couple weeks! The MONTREAL TOYCON is back again, so get ready for it!

JUNE 10th, 2012

montreal toycon banner

What is the Montreal ToyCon?

The Montreal ToyCon is a one day convention with over 55 tables of toy and comic book dealers selling their merchandise. Each dealer specializes in various product lines so there will be a wide selection of collectible toys and comic books: GI-Joe, Transformers, Star Wars, Lego, Superheroes, Anime, and various vintage toys.

The show will also have exhibits from various clubs: Lego Club, Sci-Fi Club, Costume Clubs, and more.

Where is the show?

The convention takes place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada at:

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT MONTREAL AIRPORT
7000 Place Robert-Joncas
St-Laurent, QC H4M 2Z5 Canada
(Near Mega-Plex Spheretech 14 Cinemas Guzzo)
Metro Cote Vertu (Autobus #121)

Map of Hotel

When does the show start?

July 10th 2012 (Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm)

Where can I buy tickets?

Tickets/Admission will be available for purchase on the day of the show. Sorry, but we don’t sell advance tickets. Admission will be $5 CAD per person (Kids under 5 are free).

BE THERE!