Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fan Expo Vancouver: Year One

Last weekend my wonderful wife and I attended the first day of the inaugural Fan Expo Vancouver in sunny Downtown Vancouver! Every word in that sentence is true, even the "sunny" bit. It was a beautiful day, not too hot for those of us in costume, but more importantly, not raining.

For a "Year One" event, the organizers did a fantastic job lining up some incredible guests. Claire was thrilled to be able to say "hello" to Marina Sirtis, the actress that played Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as voicing Matriarch Benezia in the first Mass Effect game. I got to chat to one of Star Trek's supreme beings, Q, in his form of actor John de Lancie, possibly my favourite Star Trek... erm... antagonist? Enemy or villain sounds too strong. Mostly he ended up just being hilarious and annoying. I also said "Hi" to Aaron Douglas, who, had I known in advance that I'd get to meet him, I would have asked to sign my BattleStar Galactica: The Board Game piece*! I missed out getting to meet David Hayter and Jennifer Hale (I even had my steel case copy of Mass Effect 3 in my bag) due to a hungry, hungry tummy, and I regret not saying "hello" to Michael Dorn (who you can currently catch in the latest season of Castle, folks!**) when I had the chance.

Most of the guests I was interested in meeting had a table covered in glossy, high quality images on sale that they would sign for you. This usually ranged from $20 to $30. Unfortunately, what with the whole "between work permits" thing that we're on right now, we couldn't afford to buy any, so we didn't really get any autographs. We felt a little embarrassed talking to some of the celebrities, knowing that we wouldn't be buying their merchandise, but we made sure not to take up much of their time. There's always next year.

The Fan Expo once again also gave me the opportunity to show off the amazing gift my amazing wife and amazing friends bestowed upon me, and dress up in costume as The Rocketeer! This is the second time I've had the joy of appearing as my number one all-time favourite movie hero, the first being back in August of last year at PAX Prime. I never did get around to uploading photos of that event, so I'll see about rectifying that soon.

I was delighted at how many people of all ages recognised the costume, and spent all day getting stopped for photos. Once Claire and I had decided to head out for food, it took us over 30 minutes to cross the main floor, as I couldn't move ten feet without getting stopped. Of course, I loved it, and delighted in letting people hold and even try on the helmet. It's great to be able to make someone's dream come true, and there were a lot of Rocketeer fans at the Fan Expo, but only one Rocketeer. Actually, there were two, but I'll get to that in another post.

The first Fan Expo Vancouver was, as far as this convention attendee is concerned, a roaring success. I have no doubt it will be back, bigger and better, next year, and I'll be there.

Post Script: But that's not all, dear Reader! There are two very special guests I haven't mentioned here and want to talk about, but each deserves their own post, and so they shall get it. In both cases, it was a chance to meet someone I never thought I would ever have the chance to meet. In one of those cases it was the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream, in the other, the chance to say "Thank you". Coming soon!

*- Admittedly I'd have needed to know far in advance, as it's still back in Ireland with friends. 
**- "Who", or "Whom"?!? Usually I know, but this instance has me stumped.

Some more photos from the convention floor:

Some photos were more enjoyable to pose for than others...
It's Matt Wagner's Mage! It's like he stepped off the comic page into real life!
Two of the greatest pulp heroes, together at last! This guy was hilarious and great to meet.
I got some amazing and treasured photos with incredible people, but this is probably my favourite photo of the convention. I didn't know he was doing this, as my vision is severely restricted in that helmet. Hilarious!

I asked to get a photo with these guys, as Joe Johnson directed both The Rocketeer and the recent Captain America movie. Very cool.
This was an entirely homemade costume! It was beautiful! Fantastic job. He had the mask, but it was getting too stuffy to wear, which I could sympathize with.

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