Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fan Expo Canada 2011

Another Fan Expo Canada has come and gone. I had been looking forward to it all summer so I'm glad it came but it's also a sign that summer is coming to an end and that sort of sucks. But anyways, the organization this year was so much better than last. There were a few hiccups on the first day and with the photos but what con won't have at least a few things when you're dealing with so many people, some of whom can be the cause of the problems (seriously, it's your choice to stand in line at 10:30 for something that doesn't open until 2:00, giving the organizers crap about having to wait in line until 2 just doesn't help things). But here are some of the highlights of my visit to Fan Expo Canada.

In terms of photos, I didn't really take too many, that's more my brother's thing. But there are a few I tweeted along the way and they can be found on yfrog.

We got in shortly after 2:00 and I made a beeline to Jeff Smith's table. I had originally hoped to pick up a TPB or something small to get signed but when I saw the 20th Anniversary Bone box set I couldn't resist. Then it was mainly just wandering around, picking up a mini-painting and a copy of "F**k You, Box" from Katie Cook and prints from Christopher Uminga, and getting an idea of the layout of the Expo. It definitely felt more roomy but the best part was the sizable food court areas (and the "Premium lounge" for those of us with the Premium tickets). It was actually at the food court that I got the chance to meet Alex Zalben. And of course I went to the sketching duel between Shane Davis, Mark Brooks, and Clay Moore which was great (all the sketching duels were great, though the "Women in Comics" one was my favourite).

Friday was a bit busier for me. After signing up for a commission from Jill Thompson I went to the Tony Daniel/Marko Djurdjevic sketching duel where I won a Tony Daniel sketch. Then I headed back to talk to Jill while she worked away. Then there was the Tony Moore/Billl Sienkiewicz duel where they drew a zombie-Hulk. It wasn't my suggestion but it was funny because I had told people before the Expo that I would have liked a zombie-Hulk commission from Moore. Unfortunately I didn't win because the final pieces were awesome. And then there was the "Women in Comics" sketching duel (which I like to think I helped "sponsor" by donating some bristol board to some of the artists) where I won a "Penny from Inspector Gadget" sketch from Katie. And somewhere in there I think I picked up my commission from Caanan (Hulk/Spidey) and signed up for She-Hulk drawing from Ryan Stegman.

My main mission for Saturday was Eliza Dushku. I got in line right away and she showed up shortly after the show opened. She was incredibly nice and interactive with her fans (at least what I saw/experienced). So I was able to make it to the Steve Epting/Alex Maleev duel where I won the Dr Doom drawing in my Twitter photos (though it doesn't do it justice). There's a story about how I won but I won't go into that. But I was starting to make a name for myself with the organizers of the duels as this was my third win of the Expo (neither Brent or I had won in all the duels we had attended the last two years). The Eliza photo op was a bit of a mess with the Tom Felton line going on at the same time but again, she was incredibly nice. Then another sketching duel (Dale Eaglesham, Dale Keown, and Jimmy Cheung drawing Wolverine) where I didn't win. But Brent made a friend in the Lee Majors line and in ended up being Kelly Sue DeConnick. I had hoped to meet up with a friend who was dressed as "Death" (from Neil Gaiman's "Sandman") but unfortunately it didn't happen (part of that may have been due to the fact that I couldn't get any sort of signal on my iPhone for most of the day, it was a pretty common complaint that we could see a signal but couldn't do anything).

I figured Sunday was going to be pretty quiet for me and for the most part it was, though the floor seemed pretty busy for at least the afternoon. Of course I went to yet another sketching duel. Yeah, I'm a sucker for those. I think it's too bad that other cons don't do them (yet again this year some artists didn't really know what to expect when they signed up for them) but I also realize not all artists are gung ho for fitting them into their schedule and taking time away from their paid commissions. Brent and I got to talk to Kelly Sue and Matt Fraction for a bit and I picked up a few more prints (from Tony Moore and Caanan in particular).

We had made a few friends who came up from New York and were now stranded in Toronto so we tried our best to suggest things to do or make sure they could at least make it back to their hotels (one was left stranded by their Toronto based friend at the Expo). I hope they've all made their way home safely by now.

So overall, yeah, I had a blast. I'm pretty sure I'm missing a bunch of stuff from this post. It all seems so chaotic and a blur now. Maybe I should take more pictures to help me remember everything.

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