FAN EXPO Canada – Canada’s largest comic book, Sci-fi, Anime, Horror, and Sports convention – begins this week. It runs from August 22nd to 25th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. With over 100,000 fans expected, you can be sure to run into some seriously eclectic personalities. Here are 8 people you will meet at Fan Expo…
Found at the numerous comic sellers at Fan Expo, this guy knows the ins and outs of every issue of every title ever made. He has the CGC on speed-dial, and can tell you the grade of a comic book just by smelling it. Need to know when the first appearance of Baron Zemo was? He’s your guy. (Note: It was in Avengers vol. 1 #6, unless you count Zemo’s brief flashback appearance in #4).
Artist’s Alley is my favourite part of the Expo. You’ve got professional comic illustrators, plus a rogue’s gallery of freelance artisans hawking their wares. As mind-blowing as their paintings, prints, jewelry, and clothing may be, the artists are also some of the most interesting people to talk to at the convention.
The Significant Other
Not everyone at the Expo is a fan. Some people get dragged there entirely against their will. At the beginning of the day they can be heard saying things like “I can’t believe you made me come here,” and “Why isn’t that Klingon wearing any pants?” By the end of the day they’ve got about 20 pounds of souvenirs in their bag, speak fluent Cardassian, and are planning a road trip to Dragoncon.
The Epic Cosplay
He’s dressed as Optimus Prime, Iron Man, or Master Chief. She’s decked out as Samus, Khaleesi, or Harley Quinn. One thing’s for sure, they are either professional costume designers, or have spent dozens of hours with sewing machines, prop-foam, glue guns, and rust-oleum to pull off some of the most epic cosplay ever seen. They can be seen roaming the aisles with a trail of people waiting to take pictures with them.
Rarely seen in the wild, this manga fan has left his house for the first time in months to come to Fan Expo. His eyes have not yet adjusted to natural light after his long hibernation, but he must emerge to forage for pizza and restock on Japanese toys. If he approaches you, don’t make any sudden movements so as not to scare him off. Joking aside, anime fanboys can be weird at times but they are certainly some of the most fun and knowledgeable people you will meet at the con.
The Anime Chick
I honestly have no idea what this girl’s costume is. Maybe Sailor Moon? Anime’s not really my thing, but her and her friends have great costumes and seem to love the many anime and manga related booths. Maybe she’ll hit it off with our Otaku friend at Fan Expo speed dating.
Gentlemen rejoice! You will inevitably see at least 4 or 5 girls dressed as slave Leia, at various levels of pulling it off. For those who don’t know, Slave Leia is the costume Carrie Fisher wore on Jabba’s Barge in the Return of the Jedi. It’s like a bikini but… less. One has to admire the guts it takes to basically show up naked to a room with tens of thousands of sexually frustrated nerds. Kudos, ladies, kudos.
Just Plain Normal Folk
Yep. Just normal guys and girls. Wearing shirts and pants and stuff. Some of them are wearing hats. Most of them don’t have vast comic collections. And I guarantee you that none of them have ever watched all 6 Star Wars and then all 3 Lord of the Rings films back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back (I knew a guy who did this once… never heard from him again). They are there because Fan Expo is just such a good time. So head down there – August 22nd to the 25th at the MTCC.