Ottawa Comiccon 2017: Freaky Friday in ‘Bytown’

Ottawa Comiccon splashed into the Canadian convention scene in 2012 with a record-breaking first-year turnout, and five years later, it’s one of the largest and best conventions in the area. This year – OCC 2017 – the guest list was especially impressive, boasting Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who), Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER), Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter) and John Cusack (Say Anything) among others.

The first day of OCC 2017 was a quiet one, serving as a prelude to the often-crowded Saturday and giving folks a day to focus on smaller panels and merchandise. It was a slow day for cosplayers. However, the panels included such standouts as ‘Oh Deer! Antler and Hoof Crafting’ for faun and satyr cosplays, ‘Licensed vs. Original Properties’ (hosted by Thomas Gofton) on his experiences with board game design, and a Q&A panel with Ruth Connell (Supernatural).

HIGHLIGHT PANEL: ‘Board Games in 2017: The Cult of the New’

Stephane Lebeau, Mandi Hutchinson, and Tracy Thillmann from ‘To Die For Games’ hosted this panel, where the difference between board games then and now was discussed in detail.

Notable points of interest include the debate of video games versus board games, in which Mandi also mentioned that board games are excellent for those with ADHD and anxiety because of how they function. Mandi then went on to talk about crowdfunding and some of its successes for new board games, including One Deck Dungeon. This game, produced by Asmadi Games and designed by Chris Cieslik, is a dungeon-raiding roguelike, notable for featuring only women in its art. Its first expansion garnered full funding within 30 minutes on Kickstarter. (Currently, it’s 1219% funded!)

occ 2017, one deck dungeon

Tracy Thillmann then went on to discuss the phenomenon of ‘meshing mechanics’. It’s something new to board games within the last decade or two.

“Most games you grow up with have one mechanic – word games, card games – but two different mechanics now get meshed.” – Tracy Thrillman

This meshing often means there are more ways to win, features to appeal to a large variety of players, and an increased level of complexity.


pat patenaude, the professor, occ 2017

Pat Patenaude is the author of ‘The Professor’, a daily one-panel comic satirizing the modern world. He has been producing ‘The Professor’ since 2013, and inks every comic by hand with a brush.

“It’s meant to be in the style of old newspaper comics. There’s no vulgarity, no nudity, mostly because I’m bad at those things!” -Pat Patenaude

the professor, webcomic, occ 2017

The Professor is hosted at

HIGHLIGHT COSPLAYER: Sayaka by Northern Zero Cosplay

occ 2017, northern zero cosplay

This Sayaka cosplay (Puella Magi Madoka Magica) is by Northern Zero Cosplay!

HIGHLIGHT MERCH: Wasteland Artisan

occ 2017, wasteland artisan

Wasteland Artisan is a Montreal-based artisan shop, selling handmade creepy/post-apocalyptic rings, masks, and other accessories! Of note are their plague doctor and tentacle leather masks. Their unusual decor and Lovecraft inspiration made them a standout at OCC 2017.

Wasteland Artisan’s Facebook page is here.

Did you attend OCC 2017? If not, get ready for next year!

Elliott Dunstan
Elliott Dunstan
Elliott Dunstan is a semi-professional Canadian nerd with a special talent for reading way too fast, spouting weird trivia, and latching emotionally onto that minor character with a one-liner in the second episode. Elliott was born in 1995 and is mildly annoyed by this.