ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
By Kelly Marcella
& Paolo Zinatelli
TORONTO -As one of the mainstays of our generation's popular
culture, The Simpsons not only provide endless hours of laughs,
but they really know how to draw a crowd.
This past Saturday, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre hosted
the first ever Simpsons Mania. Hundreds of people streamed
into the Centre to look at animation sketches and ask questions
of one of the original Simpsons animation artists, Wes Archer.
The event was put on by Animation Connection, an animation
art gallery based in Toronto. Owner Steve Watt said The Simpsons
are the gallery's best selling and most popular act, surpassing
Looney Tunes, which was the best seller.
"We are the world's leading sellers of Simpsons' art
and we have a tremendous clientele," Watt explained, adding
there has been incredibly strong public demand.
Watt stated he would like to make it a recurring event, getting
bigger and better every year.
Archer was on hand to sign cels purchased by collectors. "I've
been with the show since its creation," Archer said. He
left in 1996 to work on King of the Hill, where he has since
According to Jack Skorochod, director of Internet marketing
for Animation Connection, this event was important because
with the majority of animation now digital, it's hard to find
people like Archer anymore.
"This is the first big event with a personality involved
with the creation of the show," Skorochod explained. "Collectors
and fans of the show will buy regardless of the event." "I
want all of it, but I can't afford it," said Dan Vanrooy,
who was purchasing a sketch of Wayland Smithers. Vanrooy added
he had travelled all the way from Lake Louise.
Dina Wendler from Toronto attended the show for one reason. "Because
it's free [admission]." She added she was fighting the
urge to purchase Simpson's art. The credit card stays in the