The last time I went to any sort of Fan focussed event I was a child, probably about 10. My older brothers took me along with them – probably because they didn’t have a choice. I remember standing in long lines to get comic artists to sign a small book I had brought along with me. Now I sorely wish Child!Leah was more careful with special items like that book, as sadly I have no idea where it ended up. Walking through the isles at the Vancouver Fan Expo this year brought back so many memories, maybe that was why I had avoided it for so long.
Honestly, I had no plans to go. That said I’m thankful I did. After much cajoling from friends I choose to spend my day off amidst the crazy that was the Fan Expo and boy do I have some fun stories to tell you.
They say leave the best for last, so that’s what I plan to do. Let’s start then with the worst.
It should be no surprise I’m a bit of a foodie, and for me the worst part of Fan Expo was the food, or rather the extreme lack of food. I guess I kind of expected there to be more geek themed foods for sale – I wanted to see all the crazy candy, and i was left wondering why there were no cupcakes with mini chainsaws on top. Instead the only source of food inside the venue was the small concession stand with mildly overpriced hotdogs and sandwiches. Perhaps there were rules that guideline what could be sold, and maybe food was not one of those items, but I feel the lack of food made the event less fun – being pushed through a huge crowd while hungry can make anyone a little cranky and if I’m going to pay $4 for a hotdog you could at least add some geeky twist to it. I would have loved to see more independent owners with small stands selling geek themed foods; I would buy the hell outta chocolates shaped like superheroes, or cupcakes with horror movie themes.
On the topic of horror movies, I think I should move along to my favorite part of the day, and the sole reason I was so easily persuaded to attend fan expo: Bruce Campbell. I kid you not I bee lined it straight for the picture signup booth and would not let the ticket out of my clutches as soon as I had it. Standing in line I joked with the people behind me – one of whom made the cut for the unconventional Q&A –
we had a blast trying to decide how we should pose and discussing our (read: my) nerves. The funny thing is I’ve met celebrities before, usually by accident since I work downtown, but this was the first one to faze me. I was more nervous than I have ever been in my life. I grew up idolizing Bruce Campbell, I’ve watched Army of Darkness more times than I can count, and Autolycus was always my favorite Xena/Hercules character. That said Mr. Campbell was obviously well versed in how to handle newbs like me, and made me feel relaxed and at ease.
And that’s not even the best part yet!
He also did a Fan Q&A later on in the evening and honestly I was expecting the same old boring questions followed by the same old answers but it ended up being my favorite part of the evening. He decided to question the fans, and make a panel out of the fans instead of answering question himself. It ended up being hilarious and was a great showcase of his on the spot humor and improv abilities. He even preformed and impromptu wedding ceremony.
Overall I had an amazing experience, but most of that was due to the people I knew there (Ultraterrestrial) and the cool little things I was able to buy, (Ningen Headwear) and largely due to Bruce Campbell. Though I’m glad I got to experience it, I hope for the next year they bring in more diversity for the venders and maybe some more foodie related geekiness.
I hope everyone out there about to hit up a comic con has at least as much fun as I did.