Farewell to Summer Pt. 2 – Fan Expo

Expo North BuildingAs previously mentioned in my last blog post, Fall is quickly approaching, but that doesn’t mean Summer can’t have one last hurrah! Toronto was definitely the place to be this past weekend — and I have the dark circles under my eyes to prove it! Between BuskerFest, Fan Expo, a friend’s wedding (don’t worry, I won’t be blogging about that) and The CNE, I was barely home this weekend and definitely need another weekend to recuperate (and hey, what do you know? It’s a long weekend tomorrow! Yippee!).

Now you may be thinking, Fan Expo, isn’t that the convention where people who are really into comics, gaming and science fiction get all dressed up as random characters you have never heard of and geek out over video games, movies and comic books? Well yes, you would be correct. However, Fan Expo is really more than that. What started out as a Comic Book Expo about 19 years ago has now turned into a pop culture phenomenon attracting over 90,000 fans over a 4-day period. It is also the 3rd largest pop culture event in North America (I am going to guess the other two are Comic Con San Diego and Comic Con New York, but don’t quote me on that!).

What I love about Fan Expo, and pop-culture events in general, is that there is something for everyone. You don’t have to be a die-hard fan of Star Wars or Steampunk to have a great time at the event (and don’t worry if you don’t know what Steampunk is, I just learned about it a couple of months ago). If you are into any sort of television series, toys, gaming (digital and traditional – like board gaming), art, fashion (more in the costume sense, but hey – it is still fashion) – I’m sure there is something there for you.

A lot of organizations have really jumped on board over the years to promote their products or properties at the event, and since I’m a sucker for green screens, I just had to take my picture at all of the corporate booths. I mean, who doesn’t want to be in a picture with Henry Cavill? Or, sitting with Hobbit Lego creations? It’s a nice little free souvenir from the event, because most likely you will end up spending all of the money you came in with because there is SO much awesome stuff to buy.

Speaking of cool stuff to buy, the Cyanide & Happiness booth definitely got my attention, although, I didn’t actually buy anything as I wasn’t patient enough to wait in the line. At this booth, you could buy one-of-a-kind plush toys, comics, posters – you name it – which were all really cool, but it was the bonus original art you received from purchasing their products that made it so special. From what I could tell (it was hard to get close because there were so many people in line), there were 3 artists sitting at the booth that would create original designs for customers. Each customer would pick random words or phrases out of a box, and the artists would then draw something reflective of the words that were selected. Some of the art seemed pretty wild and out there which made it so much more amusing and definitely unique.

Even though there was so much to see and do at the event, the big draw for me is viewing all of the costumes people create. A lot of the costumes are hand-made and just incredible to see (especially so many all at once). I’m a huge fan of dress-up, and I regret not having a costume for this event. Maybe next year I will give myself ample time to put something together because, seriously, this event is like Halloween on steroids! Honesty though, I didn’t really know what half the people were dressed up as, but it kind of made it more fun, or at least, more of a mystery.

If you are skeptical about attending Fan Expo in the future because you don’t quite think it’s your scene…think again! As I stated earlier, there is definitely something there for everyone.

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