So you’ve got your tickets for this week’s Fan Expo Canada and you’re ready for 4 days of glorious geekdom at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Great. Know what you’re gonna do when you get there? Well yeah, you’re gonna get some autographs from celebs, cruise artist alley looking for the next big thing and maybe even buy a bunch of stuff from the many vendors onsite. Then what? There’s a whole lot more convention for the taking if you plan ahead. There’s these things called panels where you sit and hear cool people talk about amazing shit. There’s also events that take place after the con floor closes that keeps the geeky fun going. Know about any of those? Let us help you out with that.
Now some of these events we’re showcasing are not actual Fan Expo attractions but are happening this weekend to coincide with the festivities. Whether they’re official Fan Expo events or not, they’re all still worth checking out.
STAR TREK IMPROV: HOLODECK FOLLIES BY THE DANDIES
Thursday – 8PM – RM 701A / Friday – 5:30PM – RM 701B
The Dandies were the first guests on our Geek Hard Live! show that took place in November of last year. We’ve had the pleasure of knowing them for a year and a half now and their improv skills are not to be messed with. Watch as they improvise an entire episode of Star Trek-inspired comedy. They were a hit at last year’s con and this year, they’re bringing you TWICE the awesome. There are two nights you can catch their hilarity. You can either check ’em out on Thursday night or Friday evening. Either way, they’re bound to ENGAGE you. See what I did there?
Q&A WITH STAN LEE
Thursday – 8PM – RM 105
It’s Stan the Man. The Generalissimo. The guy that had a hand in creating most of your favourite Marvel superheroes. You can hear him talk. You can ask him a question. Why wouldn’t you want to go to this? Plus, this will be your last chance to do this in Canada as this will be Stan’s last appearance up north. He’ll be there for all 4 days, so be sure to visit him at his signing area. But if you really want a show, you’re not going to want to miss this Q&A. Face front, hang loose and be sure to catch this panel. EXCELSIOR!
NORTHERN ARENA ESPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP
ALL DAYS – NA Battleground on the show floor
If you caught our interview with NA organizer Carl-Edwin Michel this past June, you already know a little bit about Northern Areana, an international eSports competition going on Friday to Sunday at Fan Expo. Watch as teams from around the world (and right here at home) compete in HearthStone, Counter Strike and Clash Royale. This event will be huge as folks will be checking it out via Twitch from all over the planet. But you get the chance to see it live. Lucky you!
CUP O’ JOE WITH JOE QUESADA
Friday – 12PM – RM 102
Joe Quesada is one of the most important men in comics of the past 25 years. In the late 90s, he took some of Marvel’s worst selling characters and made them successes. In the early 2000s, he helped Marvel make it back to the top of the mountain as Editor in Chief. These days, as CCO of Marvel, he continues to deliver. This is his first appearance at Fan Expo in awhile and he’s got two panels coming your way. One of them is his well known Cup O’ Joe panel. If you want to know what’s going down at Marvel, Cup O’ Joe will be your best bet. Joe Q’s gonna bring it like he always does.
MARK HAMILL LIVE
Friday – 5PM – RM 105
I don’t really have to explain why this is an event you should check out, DO I? Mark Hamill is both Luke Skywalker AND The Joker. One of fandom’s biggest names will be live, on stage, telling stories and having a grand ol’ time. Any Star Wars fan worth his weight in Bantha shit is gonna get tickets for this one. Yes, unlike most of the events at the convention, this one is ticketed. You can purchase yours by clicking right HERE. (But if you don’t feel like paying extra and you’re more a fan of his voice over work, there’s another event at the show you can check out…..more on that later.)
Saturday – 11AM to 6PM – Mystery Location
So technically, Fan Expo isn’t the only Convention in town this weekend. Back in 2014, Geek Hard got to attend the first ever ZDARSCON! This year, it RETURNS and it’s BIGGER than EVER! Taking place at a mystery location – the venue will be revealed on Twitter the morning of Saturday, September 3rd (check #ZDARSCON) – the lineup of this mini-con is pretty impressive. Aside from the hilarious and talented Chip Zdarsky (it’s his con, in case you haven’t figured that out yet), both Bryan Lee O’Malley (of Scott Pilgrim fame) and Ryan North (writer of Squirrel Girl for Marvel) will also be in attendance. Plus, there will be pop-ins and signing by Sam Maggs, Ray Fawkes, Chester Brown and MORE! The event promises to be walking distance from the MTCC and is running for most of the day on Saturday, so it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you need a break from the craziness that is Fan Expo. And the event is FREE! Just watch the Twitter that morning to find ZDARSCON!
MARGARET ATWOOD PRESENTS ANGEL CATBIRD
Saturday – 4PM – ROM 102
Another person who needs no introduction, author Margaret-FREAKIN’-Atwood will be at the show! She’ll be on hand to unveil her new graphic novel, Angel Catbird, with artist Johnny Christmas. This is a big deal. If you’re intrigued to find out how this Atwood-penned comic came to be, you’ll want to be there for the panel and Q&A. Atwood will also be signing copies of the book with Christmas afterwards. This will be the only place where you can get an advanced copy of Angel Catbird as the Dark Horse GN doesn’t go on sale until September 6th.
NERD NOISE NIGHT
Saturday – 8:30PM – The Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen St. W)
Us nerds, we love our noise. The nerdiest bands around will be rocking out once again at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern on Saturday night and you’re gonna want to rock out with ’em. Featuring Wordburglar, Hervana, Johnny Headband, More or Les, Villainest and The Cybertronic Spree, this will be the best way to cap off your Saturday night. The Cybertronic Spree are once again the headliners of the event. If you’re a Transformers fan and haven’t seen them perform, you’re in for a real treat as they are a band made up of actual Transformers who play the soundtrack from Transformer: The Movie. You can also meet the Spree on the Friday at Fan Expo – Booth 4623 – 6-7PM. While you’re there, pick up tickets for the show on Saturday night, or you can go to nerdnoisenight.net and buy them right now.
CAST OF DAREDEVIL Q&A
Sunday – 12:30PM – RM 105
The best superhero show on television (that’s right, you heard me) will be having a Q&A and you know it’s gonna be awesome. Not only will actors Charlie Cox, Elden Henson and Jon Bernthal all be there, but it will also be moderated by Joe Quesada. Joe Q has some history with DD, drawing Kevin Smith’s late nineties run on the character. What stories will the Man without Fear, The Punisher and Foggy Nelson have for the masses in attendance? Will there be any teases in regards to the upcoming Punisher tv series? (Probably not). Don’t miss this one as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen invades the big room at Fan Expo.
Q&A WITH KEVIN CONROY & MARK HAMILL
Sunday – 5PM – RM 105
I mentioned earlier that Mark Hamill Live wouldn’t be the only panel to catch him at. Mark will also be reuniting with his arch nemesis, Kevin Conroy, to bring you a special Batman and The Joker panel. The DC Animated adaptation of classic Batman oneshot, The Killing Joke, was released this past summer to some controversy. You’ll get to see Mark and Kevin field questions on this plus hear about Mark’s return to the role of the Clown Prince of Crime. Definitely a CAN’T MISS event for any fan of Batman: The Animated Series.
So that’s the list. Hopefully we’ve filled up the final 10% of free time you had at Fan Expo Canada. You’re welcome. Be sure to go to ALL of these events….or at least a few. And if you see us at any of ’em, be sure to come up and say hi.
Fan Expo Canada runs September 1st to 4th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!