I hope you’re enjoying the last few days of the Summer so far! We’re back in heat wave territory again, but yesterday we did have Thunderstorms in Toronto. It got so dark in the morning/early afternoon that I even had to turn on the lights in our house. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, but things have been a bit busy lately. Anyways this past weekend I got to go the Toronto Fan Expo and I sure did have a blast!
This was my second time going to Fan Expo. The last time I went was in 2007 when I volunteered,along with my brother. We were both disappointed that we didn’t go in 2006 because Jim Lee- who happens to be one of our favourite comic book artists was there , but we had to attend a wedding that day and my brother was in the wedding party, so it was a no-win situation. I hadn’t planned on going this year, but I think it was my brother who convinced me to go and he also was nice enough to buy me a ticket to go. So last Saturday along with my brother and three other friends I went to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to check out every possible comic book thing I could, along with a few other things. I’ll just talk about some of my own thoughts in terms of the convention.
General Thoughts on the Expo/What could be done to improve it
- The convention has grown so much since 2007. They’ve included so many new things and this year they had to use both the North and South buildings of the Convention Centre. There were so many people-including families with small babies. I hope their sleep wasn’t disturbed too much. According to the Fan Expo site this is the 3rd Largest Pop-Culture Convention in North America and this year according to the Fan Expo site this year they had more than 100,000 Fans! Well done Fan Expo!
- That being said there are some problems that I do hope will get sorted out next year-like announcing rescheduling photo-ops in advance. The one thing that we learned from Fan Expo is that you really have to do at least two days of it. Take one day to do Photo-Ops and the other to shop around and appreciate some awesome cosplayers. Photo-ops take a lot of time. You stand in line for a while and then you have people who are butting in telling you they have VIP access. This could get frustrating at times and I understand that they get access, but people have been standing in line for hours at times and a part of me feels like it’s not fair to those people. Also because photo-ops take so long, it can mess with the rest of your day. My brother missed an autograph session with Ivan Reis (Blackest Night, Aquaman, Green Lantern artist), since we were in line for Stephen Amell’s photo-op which was rescheduled for the afternoon. So one of our friends had to go and stand in with my brother’s Aquaman graphic novels. Then they had to dash to get a picture with Stan Lee after Amell’s photograph.
- Volunteers should be given as much information as possible: One of the things that I noticed was that some volunteers really didn’t know anything about some of the things that were asked of them. I feel like because the convention is getting bigger and since they’re using so much space at the Convention Centre there needs to be more than one info booth and volunteers should be given information about the entire floor as opposed to just the section they’re stationed at.
- Fan Expo should have their own app: This is actually a friend’s suggestion. She said that in regards to the re-scheduling that went on.If the Expo had an app it would be easier for everyone to make changes to their plans at the Expo.
Personal thoughts on the Experience
- Being a visitor is very different from being a volunteer: Being a Volunteer at Fan Expo in 2007 was a great experience: I made a friend there and I still keep in touch with him. However you also have to put up with frustrated people. I guess that’s all part of the process. But it was really nice to be a visitor. It made me feel like I was part of something bigger.
- Have some food before you go: I had two pieces of toast before I headed out to my friend’s house around 7.45 in the morning since she drove us. But two pieces of toast won’t really sustain you till 7.00 in the evening. Luckily I took granola bars with me and water of course. I did have dinner in the end, but it’s good to take some sort of snack.
- Wear comfortable shoes!- This was already mentioned by another Fan-Expo goer, but you truly understand the meaning of comfortable after you have to stand for so long. My legs were gone by the time we got on the bus to go home in the night. Also it was a really good thing my friend parked his car at the Bus Station. I had initially said that we could walk back home since it’s like a ten minute walk to my house from the Station, but there was absolutely no way my legs would function to walk back home. I’m so glad he suggested parking at the Bus Station in the first place!
- This is probably the highlight of Fan Expo for me- I MET STEPHEN AMELL!!!!!!! If you don’t know who he is, he’s the guy who plays Oliver Queen in the CW series Arrow. I highly recommend it because it’s one of the better shows and oh also he’s Canadian which makes me incredibly proud! I also realized that I’m a pretty calm person around celebrities. Sure my heart was hammering like there wasn’t going to be a tomorrow, but I managed to form a proper sentence and shake his hand and say “I love your show.” He was really nice as well! Incredibly soft-spoken and down to earth. I can’t wait for Season 2 to start.
- I got to meet Drake Tsui : Drake Tsui is an artist from Alberta and he had a booth at Fan Expo. My brother got me a Toph poster (from Avatar: The Last Airbender) he did last year and we were searching for him but we couldn’t find him this year. As I was wondering, the Toph poster caught my eye and I just had to up to the booth. At first I wasn’t sure if it was him and I asked the person if he did the Toph poster and he said he did. I kind of went on a tangent and explained that I loved his work. I ended up buying three posters off him. One of them is for my brother, the other for a friend and the last one for me.
- The amount of talent: One of my favourite things about Fan Expo was the amount of indie artists presence. The artwork was simply AMAZING!! I was so impressed with the people who were there showing off their artwork. There was one artist who is an Engineer and he had drawn a wicked Deadpool sketch along with a Harlequin one.
- We saw Nathan Fillion and Zachary Quinto: I don’t watch Castle anymore, but I think Nathan Fillion is a fantastic actor. He seemed so nice as well! My friend and I admired Zachary Quinto from afar. We didn’t get any autographs, but my friend took a picture of him as we were going to the South Building of the Convention Centre.
- Cosplayers: There were some really awesome Cosplayers at the Convention. There was a guy who was dressed as Bane and he even had the height to look terrorizing. We also saw a legit Thorin Oakenshield! This guy could seriously pass as one of the dwarves who are on the quest to the Lonely Mountain! He looked that realistic, it was amazing!
- It was fun: I had a blast at Fan Expo. For two friends it was their first time and I’m so glad they enjoyed themselves. Also it was a great group who went so I’m really glad that we all came home tired, but happy. Thank god we didn’t go on Sunday because it took my legs two days to recuperate from all of that walking. You would have thought that I had done the Terry Fox run early on in the year or something!
My brother took some amazing pictures, so I thought I’d share them with you all :).
Were you at Fan Expo 2013 in Toronto? If You were what did you think of it? Have you been to any of the Comic-Con conventions? What are your own experiences? Let me know!