A Report from Fan Expo 2013

August 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm (Uncategorized)

My son and I spent two full days at Fan Expo last weekend. Here’s the guts and glory.

I usually buy a deluxe ticket because it seems to be the best value (OK, you can spend over $150 on a ticket , but that’s crazee). With the deluxe, you get unlimited access (the boy gets in free) and this year there was a t-shirt (OK, they raised the prices to cover the t-shirt, but still…) Also, although the expo opens at 4PM on Thursday, with the deluxe, you get in at 2PM. (well, not quite)

We arrived about 1:20 to pick up our tickets, which took a little longer than expected. The lines were ridiculously long, and to make matters worse, much of the time we waited, we were standing in the sun (not good for vampires, those in costume or pretty much anyone). We finally reached the floor at about 2:15. Next year, I’m picking up the tickets early or having them mailed to me.

If you’ve never been to Fan Expo, the first place to stop is the convention floor. Pretty much anything to want comic/SF related is there, although I never did find that Lying Cat t-shirt I wanted. The newbie mistake is to wander in with the view that you will just pick up some stuff. No, no! You must be organized.

No Marvel or DC booths this year, but Dark Horse comics were there for the first time.  Lots of cool sway (the boy and I drank lots of Dr. Pepper, which I remember I couldn’t stand as a child), demonstrations and foolish things to waste your money on. (My dog got a new collar)

In artists’ alley, I met Steve Niles who wrote the 30 Days of Night series and also the Criminal Macabre books for Dark Horse. I splashed out on a Criminal Macabre anthology, but it was a really good deal…

We also stood (sat) in line early to get stuff signed by Mike Mignola. For those of you who don’t know, Mignola is the creator of Hellboy, one of my favourites. nice chap and we did the fanboy thing of getting a picture with Mignola. Later the same day, I met Toronto illustrator Michael Cho and got a book signed by him. Cho is a very talented artists, and if you have time you should head to the Beguiling this September 4 to meet him and get a copy of the black and white Batman book in which he has a story.

To close the first day, we went to a panel on Steampunk. I’m a big fan of the idea of steampunk and the outfits, but I’ve read very little I actually enjoyed. It’s never a good sign when one you detest of the “seminal” books of the genre Moorlock Nights.

as we were leaving on the first day, we saw several Daleks fro Dr. Who. as one negotiated the crowd, it barked in that Dalek voice “Move! Move!” The only thing cooler would have been if it had exterminated someone, but then there would have been a law-suit. (I was brought down slightly by a person behind me explaining to another person it was a Da-LEK – c’mon, DAH-lek!) Minor quibbles.

Saturday is never a day to go to Fan Expo. It’s the busiest of the four, but we decided to venture there anyway. The boy got to play a demo version of the new Marvel Lego game (he was especially pleased because the 40-something playing the game before us was unable to get out of a chamber; the boy did it in about ninety seconds). Then we raced over to artists alley and got my copy of Pixu signed by the very talented Becky Cloonan  (pick up The Mire – it’s well worth it)

Then to a DC comics panel which was interesting for about twenty minutes. Canadian comic readers note that next year, it’s Justice League Canada. no word on where the bad guy will be a thin-skinned control freak called Hephen Starper.

Half way through we left to stand in line for an Adventure Time special screening. For the uninitiated, Adventure time chronicles the adventures of Finn, a human boy, and his talking super-powered friend Jake (who happens to be a dog) in the post-Apocalyptic land of Ooo. Other characters include various princesses, including Bubblegum and Lumpy Space, Marceline  the Vampire Queen and the Ice King. It’s ostensibly a children’s show , but much-loved by many adults, including the 350 or so who had got in line ahead of me for the screening.

Eventually we got in, watched five creator selected episodes, saw a never before seen episode “Time Sandwich” (which airs on September 9) and won not only a Finn hat, but also the complete season 2 on DVD. Nice.

Every year at the start of Fan Expo I swear, no it’s too crazy, never again. By the end, I’m usually thinking about next year.

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