Aug
28
2012

Fan Expo Canada 2012

This summer seems to be one of firsts for me. I got a chance to finally head down to Fan Expo Canada at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and I was not disappointed.

I was always a fan of all things geek: sci-fi, comics, gaming. So it surprised me that I’ve never been to one of these ‘conventions’ before this past weekend. Then I realized that not many of my friends share my love of sci-fi, and they weren’t taking the bait when I was trying to bribe them to tag along.

I promised myself that I wouldn’t let another opportunity pass me by. I stepped out of my comfort zone, took the plunge and headed downtown on the last day of Fan Expo. The line-up was long and winding down the underground parking garage, but it moved fairly quickly and I managed to purchase my $35 ticket in about 20 minutes.

Time passed by quicker as I people-watched all the eager fans dressed up in costume. I was put at ease a bit more as I noticed other solo-goers in line. When it comes down to it, everyone is there to have fun and even make new friends. I actually bumped into a couple people I knew (including  Toronto Batman)!

Entering the MTCC was like entering a different world. There is so much going on: eye-catching posters, giant screens, interactive displays, and people everywhere! I felt like a kid in a candy store… I didn’t know where to start. Unfortunately I knew I only had 1.5 hours to kill, as I promised my friends that I would meet them at the CNE later that afternoon.

So I hightailed it through the majority of the aisle. Saw some old school Star Trek action figures (I should really try to find my old ones), loads of comic books, video game demos, and graphic t-shirts. I was going to purchase one with the face of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s “Carlton Banks” on it, and another one with ‘Sheldon Cooper’s’ game of Rock, Scissors, Paper, Lizard, Spock, but there was a 2.5 hour wait for custom printed shirts. I’ll just get it online.

I headed over to where the celebrity panels were. I didn’t have (or see the necessity) of forking over $40-50 to get an actor to sign a poster or take a photo with me, so I pulled out my 300mm lens and started snapping my own photos of these sci-fi stars. This in itself was worth the admission price! I got to see Norman Reedus (The Boondocks Saints), Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager), LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), director John Carpenter, Nelsan Ellis (True Blood), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Nana Visitor (Star Trek: DS9), and Tony Todd (Candyman).

The guest I was most excited to see was legendary Marvel Comics creator, Stan Lee! I didn’t get a photo of him (due to the volunteers “no photos please” sign, plus he was hidden in a private corner), but I did get a glimpse of him! It’s too bad that Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: TNG) postponed his appearance… now that I would pay money for (gotta love Picard).

One of the most innovative and intricate exhibits was the one for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie (an upcoming remake of his 1984 short film). I’m grateful to have gotten the chance to see it because the presentation is the only Canadian stop on the exhibition’s world tour. Seeing all the puppets, glassed-in scenes, diagrams, sketches, and other stop-motion items was impressive.

There’s so much to see and do at Fan Expo, which is why it’s a good idea to purchase a multi-day pass. A couple of hours were definitely not enough for me to venture through each exhibitor, and I doubt a day is going to suffice hardcore geeks between all the panels, celebrity photo ops, gaming demos, autograph signings, merchandise sales and other events.

What I really enjoyed seeing was people dressed up in costume. It’s so nice to see fans get into it, especially when they use to much creativity in their outfits.

Fan Expo Canada was quite the experience. Perhaps next year I’ll wear a costume (or at least a geeky t-shirt).

What do you think?

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