Yukon to see first ever comic con this August

With a nightmarish shriek, the Heldrake bursts through the clouds of flak and ash, belching fire hot enough to burn flesh and soul alike.

With a nightmarish shriek, the Heldrake bursts through the clouds of flak and ash, belching fire hot enough to burn flesh and soul alike.

On scything wings it arcs across the smoldering battlefield, swiveling its mechanical head, searching for its next victim.

Finally, the Heldrake’s malevolent eyes pick out a squad of Space Marines, huddled behind the bulwarks of a Skyshield Landing Pad. It zeroes in for the kill.

The Marines check their weapons, glancing nervously at each other and preparing for doom when, suddenly, everything freezes.

“Wait, what are the rules about ranged weapons again?” asks Ian Duncan’s opponent, politely.

“Hold on, I’ll check,” Duncan replies, setting down the intricate Heldrake model and pulling out one of his Warhammer manuals from an imposing stack on the table beside him.

Duncan and his friends are playing a Warhammer 40,000 tournament at Titan Gaming. It’s how they spend almost every weekend, rolling dice to determine the fates of inch-high plastic figures and – according to the mythology – that of the entire besieged galaxy.

“It’s kind of like Risk, but about a million times more complicated,” Duncan explains.

“It’s set in the year 40,000. You have a certain set of point values, and you build an army within that point value. You get to pick out all your guys, all your gear, your unit sizes.

“We have tanks, and big heavy monstrous creatures, even little light infantry guys. It’s all based on dice roles and statistics,” he says.

Each figure has its own set of attributes governing its armor strength, weapons and movement. Even the distance between models affects how much damage certain weapons do. There are literally dozens of manuals and rulebooks governing how the battles unfold.

“It’s a great hobby because you buy the models, you get to customize the models and paint them yourself,” Duncan says.

The tournament at Titan doesn’t require any painting, so some of the players’ armies have yet to receive their incredibly detailed finishing touches. But coming up late this summer is a much bigger tournament that Duncan is getting excited for.

Duncan and about 40 other tabletop gaming enthusiasts make up Northmen Gaming. They will be running a Warhammer tournament at Yukon’s first comic-con event, coming up in August.

“There are a number of us that are pretty excited about it,” Duncan says.

“We’re going to try and have some fully-painted armies on the table so it’s more visually inspiring, maybe get some more players out there and get more people interested in it.”

Christi Matthews is the president of the newly formed Yukon Comic Culture Society, which is throwing the event, called YukomiCon.

“I was thinking I wanted to do an event for High Country Inn every month,” said Matthews, who is an event co-ordinator for the Whitehorse hotel.

“I wanted it to be something weird, kind of like what I’m doing with the Night of the Frozen Dead (a zombie-themed party coming up later this month).

“I asked the owner at Titan Gaming back in November whether anyone would like a comic-con up here, and he says, ‘Oh my God, there’s a comic-con meeting next week,’” she said.

Unbeknownst to Matthews, a collection of comic nerds had already been working towards holding the Yukon’s first comic convention. What they needed was a venue.

Caitlin Beaulieu chaired that meeting. A graphic designer and long-time con fan, Beaulieu moved from Halifax to the Yukon almost two years ago, and found herself missing the East Coast comic scene.

“I was looking at my Facebook and there was all this stuff about people getting ready for Hal-Con (Halifax’s comic convention) and I started thinking about how much I missed it. I also knew there were quite a few people here who were interested in comics and things like that,” she said.

“During that general meeting we had so many people show up who were interested. Christi basically came in, and her support was huge,” Beaulieu said.

“What I said was, ‘I have the venue, and I have the sponsor,’” Matthews explained.

“Northern Vision Development wants to be the biggest sponsor. They’ll give you all the space free, all the accommodation for the guests you can bring,” Matthews said.

“That was that,” Beaulieu said.

“I jumped on the board with everyone else.”

From that meeting grew the Yukon Comic Culture Society board, and plans for the summer’s convention fell quickly into place.

The event is slated for three days, August 8, 9 and 10. Matthews is tight-lipped about some of the special celebrity guests who will be coming, hoping to keep it a surprise. But she’s got leads on securing “someone big.”

Along with the Warhammer tournament, there will be many other events, including Magic: the Gathering games, panel discussions with local and celebrity comic writers and artists, and demonstrations by cinema fight-scene co-ordinators.

Of course, there will also be plenty of costumes and workshops about costume play, or cosplay – the adult role-playing in full costume that most comic conventions are known for.

“There’s also going to be a panel discussion about women in comic culture,” Matthews said.

“Comic culture can tend to be a little sexist sometimes, and we want to talk about how to interrupt that,” she said.

The group shouldn’t have any problem getting interest. Matthews said the board plans to sell 4,000 tickets to the three-day event, and they’ve already lined up 44 volunteers to help run everything.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, head to www.yukoncomicculturesociety.com.

Contact Jesse Winter at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three new COVID-19 cases identified in Watson Lake

The Yukon government has identified three locations in town where public exposure may have occurred

Indigenous lobster boats head from the harbour in Saulnierville, N.S. on Oct. 21. Elected officials in the Yukon, including all 19 members of the legislature, are backing the right of Mi’kmaq fishers on the East Coast to launch a moderate livelihood fishery. (Andrew Vaughan/CP)
Yukon legislature passes motion to support Mi’kmaw fishery

“It’s not easy, but it’s also necessary for us to have these very difficult conversations”

A pedestrian passes by an offsales sandwich board along Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse on Oct. 22. NDP MLA Liz Hanson raised concerns Oct. 21 in the legislature about increased hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption that correlate with an extension in the hours alcohol can be sold in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Alcohol-related hospitalizations rise after off-sales hours extended

Reduced hours for off-sale liquor establishments likely part of Liquor Act spring reforms

Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys) speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. The Yukon government has announced $2.8 million in tourism relief funding aimed at businesses in the accommodation sector that have already maxed out existing funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tourism relief funding offers $2.8 million to hotels and overnight accommodations

$15 million in relief funding is planned for the tourism sector over the next three years

The Whitehorse sewage lagoons photographed in 2011. With new regulations for wastewater anticipated to be introduced by the federal government within the next decade, the City of Whitehorse may soon be doing some prep work by looking at exactly what type of pollutants are making their way into the city’s wastewater. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Pondering pollutants

City could spend $70,000 looking at what contaminents are in waste water

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging the reduction of its caribou quota to zero. (Yukon News file)
YG replies to outfitter’s legal challenge over caribou quota

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging… Continue reading

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this year, saying that with COVID-19, it’s “more important than ever.” (Black Press file)
Get flu vaccine, Yukon government urges

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

COMMENTARY: Me and systemic racism

The view from a place of privilege

Today’s mailbox: Electricity and air travel

Letters to the editor published Oct. 23, 2020

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Irony versus Climate

Lately it seems like Irony has taken over as Editor-in-Chief at media… Continue reading

Most Read