adventure #22 – FANeXPO 2007

faxEXpo 2007
the lineup at the entrance
the teeming hoardes
millions and millions of comics
thousands and thousands of things
number one
my favourite rue morgue denizens

if i sub-titled these adventure blogs, i would sub-title this one "death of a fanboy". i went to the toronto fan expo 2007, canada's largest convention for comic/sci-fi/anime/game/horror fans, and it was at this event that i discovered that i have no patience whatsoever for a bunch of new things i didn't previously realize for which i had no patience. therefore, i have to begrudgingly proclaim this the worst adventure this year.

as a relatively new torontonian, i've come to accept that things worth doing here are worth doing for a large – very large – number of other torontonians. accordingly, they all come with large queues of people all waiting to take in the great spectacle of … whatever. this event was no exception. once again, i grossly underestimated the appeal of this event, or at least, the vast number of people who might find it interesting given that there are 50x as many people living within driving distance as in edmonton and underestimated the effort required JUST TO GET INTO THE EVENT. there were literally a thousand people waiting to BUY TICKETS to this thing – which compelled me for the first time in my life to buy tickets from a kid scalping his day pass. i guess that saved me about half an hour of irreplaceable life for the lowly additional cost of five bucks – all around an equitable arrangement.

i have fond recollections of the last comic convention i went to. i was twelve years old and with $20, i was able to fill in some gaps in my New Teen Titans collection that had been giving me some problems. this convention was like an acid flashback to that afternoon at the renford inn on whyte. there were fucking millions of comics at this thing – in fact, SO many fucking millions of comics that i was utterly discouraged from looking for a SINGLE one. i suppose that part of the blame rests with me for having left my comic collection at home (it weighs about 300lbs, which, when you are moving back and forth across the country, gets rather unwiedy) and not coming with a list of "need-its". but come on! if i need it that badly, i'll get the damn thing on ebay, right? so the comics were a bust for me.

they had other shit at this con too. there were collectibles for anime (re: perverse japanimation of schoolgirls with the skirts blown up so that you can see their white panties – who are invariably shooting at giant robots, while fending off the sexual attacks of demon-hoardes), sci-fi (for overweight guys who would have a heart attack if they had to run to catch the bus), horror (just about the only cool lot in the bunch, but altogether too leery for my tastes), and gaming (spindly-armed adolescent boys who must spend literally thousands of hours smacking down grumps like myself in online multiplayer environments). yes – you can see from the stream of bile issuing forth that i was rather surprisingly NOT in my element.

there were celebrities though – like number one, jonathan frakes here. poor jonathan frakes. he's tried so hard to rise above the star trek stereotype, and done better than most. however, here, people still want him to sign autographs of him as will riker and talk about the TNG days. hayden christensen couldn't be bothered to show up for the darth vader reunion, even though he lives in goddamn toronto. and i missed natasha eloi's autograph signing by scant minutes.

the one thing that did make me happy was seeing my favourite horror-lovin' friends and one of my very favourite couples in toronto, nicole and gary at the festival of fear booth for rue morgue. i also discovered that i can't get excited about comic illustrators anymore, being a pretty fair illustrator myself. but gary's really really good, and he's made a commitment to being an artist that i could never follow through on, so i bought one of his prints. it's actually really fantastic.

so, now i have a year to strategize whether i should plan properly, get a deluxe pass and show up to the con dressed as superman or the master chief or something, or whether i should put this whole fan-boy crap behind me. can you guess from this posting's tone which it will be?

– g


adventure cost:
scalped admission ticket: $30.00
"superman returns" logo t-shirt i've been craving for over a year: $29.00
macabre but fabulously-cool print by gary pullin: $20.00
doing what i really wanted to do – see Harry Potter V in 3D IMAX!!: $14.95
a large popcorn and bottle of water for HPV: $9.50
large chicken burrito at burrito boyz (plus tip): $9.00
renting 2 xbox360 games because i want to play too: $20.50