Well, another year has come on gone for all of fandom in the GTA. The Toronto Metro Convention Centre played host to the 2012 Toronto Fan Expo, a convention in 5 parts. As many who attend know the con has been built on 5 different areas of interest over the years. The areas are Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime and Gaming but the cynics will say there is a sixth… Money.
While finance is a major part of the show, no doubt, it still is intended for those of us who enjoy hanging out, meeting celebrities, buying that hard to find collectible or dressing up as their favourite character. While I may have issues with certain elements of the show each year, the one thing I don’t have an issue with is the heart of the show. Letting our collective geek flags fly high and walk and talk with friends about what we are seeing or trying to get that hard to find “thing”, is what the show is to me.
Even though the last few years it has been made harder by the fact that I am there covering it for this site and the show, I go to have fun. If you saw us on the floor any of the 4 days we were there, it always looks like one of 3 things. One, the constant running (it never ends) from interview to interview, hustling to get what we need to help capture the con. Two, standing around either waiting to interview or doing one. Lastly, sitting for a brief moment when we can, with a look of complete wariness on our faces.
And yet we love doing it.
I’m not going to sit here and say it’s just because of the fans of the show – that helps. However we actually like doing this every single year.
We never get everything we want to get because there is only so much that can be done in the time given. Luckily, we had a fourth member of the official team to help with getting stuff done so it helped lessen the burden on each of us. By the way… thanks for the help this year Brent. You did a great job as did the regulars, Ken Baumgartner and of course Andrew. I know it’s shocking for me to give a compliment to Andrew around here but after the weekend we had it’s hard not to.
For me there was a little disappointment that I was unable to work out something with some of the folks that I had intended to talk with but that’s the con for you. If you were there to see John Barrowman or Alan Tudyk, you know what I mean. The lines never seemed to end. Hell, Stan Lee’s was the worst by far that I have ever seen. There were just so many people that wanted to meet the guests who were there it’s hard for them to get some free time. I know what you are thinking but you are wrong. Just because you are famous does not mean you can do whatever you want. Sure, some can be dicks (Eddie Furlong, I’m looking at you), which is always a disappointment. But most try to give something to every fan who wants to meet them.
“We are tribe.”
——————–Lance Hennrikson, Fan Expo 2011
Over the years I have seen many guests stay well past signing times to accommodate fans because they get it. Lance Hennrikson, the Cast of Being Human, Colin Ferguson and Doug Bradley to name a few I have watched stay to sign autographs and talk with the fans. This year, Jon Bernthal did the same thing when he could have been packing it up and leaving. He made time for a few fans at the end that wanted to meet him. These guys get it. They understand that even as crazy as some fans are, they are the reason why they make money and have careers. So please remember that they are human beings too. Show some courtesy and respect… it goes a long way.
I got to see some old friends and meet some new friends over the weekend and that is always a good part of going to the show. Adam Gorham was kind enough to do a Doc Ock sketch which I think is great, and I bought a copy of his latest book from Big Sexy Comics, Teuton Vol 2, written by Fred Kennedy. I bought some more cool stuff off Lisa Bell of Nerdbisket. Got to see some other friends like the Nerd Mafia folks (John & Sally), Jen Sparkle, Nug & Cymek, The Doctor Who Society of Canada, Andrew Hogan, J. Torres, Kris & the Dick, Sunny, Krissy & Ken and many, many more, I’m sure I missed a few and I’m sorry if I did. If I missed you at the show, sorry. There’s always next time. I also got to meet a really nice gentleman by the name of Tim, who was there to speak with Teddy Wilson of Space. We had a nice conversation while we waited together at the Space booth. He told me about him having Asperger’s and how much he liked and respected Teddy for treating him well every time he met him. See – Teddy gets it. You’ll notice that’s a theme for me.
Let’s see some other things that happened at the show.
Got a tour of the awesome Disney’s Frankenweenie Exhibit. It was something to see for sure. Too bad most won’t get a chance as this was it’s only stop in Toronto on the lead up to the movie’s release in October. The exhibit is on a 8 city tour around the world to promote the latest from Tim Burton. Although to be fair, as many Burton fan’s already know, this is a remake of his student film of the same name.
Saw some amazing effort by the folks who cos-play. Every year they are my bane and excitement as I walk on the floor of the con. They add some much needed additional eye candy for attendees. However, they do clutter up the aisles with their crazy costumes. Most stay out in the hall preparing for the masquerade but some do try to walk the convention floor. Regardless, the one thing that I always marvel at is the attention to detail that some have. I keep thinking that some of these people should be working in the costuming industry if they aren’t already. Once again I got some photos but no where near enough, to show all that attended.
Got to watch Andrew take a “Love” tap from former TNA Wrestling star Angelina Love at the Dark Rising booth. While I appreciate her infliction of pain on Andrew, I really didn’t want to see him taking any of his clothes off. This is starting to become a tradition for him at the show. Last year he dropped trou with Robin Dunne. Next year please keep the clothes on.
The Doctor Who Society of Canada had an awesome display that included some Daleks again. This time however they added a big surprise for the fans. The Emperor made an appearance this year. In speaking with the fine folks, I found out there will be more at the next show. They keep adding and adding each time and it’s quite impressive. You have to remember this group only started last year from humble beginnings to now, a big time part of the Toronto fan convention scene.
The rivalry between me and Bryly of the Ontario Ghostbusters was rekindled again at the show. One day you will know pain.
Well that’s all I got. Well almost all… big thanks to Steve Quinnell of CBA, Leah Visser, Natalie Cole and Andrea Anders you were all a big help this weekend.
I’m still tired from the weekend and plan on hibernating for a week or two.
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!