It was the second convention I’ve ever attended and the first that appealed to my particular interests. The first was IMATS where my roommate competed.
I know, it’s a shock. How have I managed to go 21 years without going to a genre based convention. Easy answer. Two reasons: 1) I spent most of my childhood living in a relatively small town with little to no interest in such things and 2) No one in my family gives two fucks about this kind of stuff so It’s not like I had anyone to take me.
It was a great experience if not a little claustrophobic. My roommate and I showed up at the Convention Centre to pick up our tickets around 9:15 and waited for the doors to open at 10. We both had a few goals in mind upon entrance. She was going to find posters for her wall, and I was going to find something to commemorate my idolization of Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel.
We made some rounds and encountered our first major delay in the form of being too afraid to say anything to artist Tony Moore.
I’ve never met anyone who’s work I was a fan of before. He was drawing and a girl next to him was selling prints. It wasn’t until someone came up next to us and asked if he’d sign his comics that we realized we were allowed to ask. We were prepared for this. Jamie whipped out a Deadpool Volume and he signed it for $5 or $10.
This brings me to one of the things that made me a little mad. How much the celebrity guests charge for autographs. These people make more money in a few weeks than I do in a year and they want $45-$50 to scribble their signature on a photo. If you bought a photo to have signed that was at least another $10. None of this includes photo ops. There’s something wrong about that and I just couldn’t justify paying $60 for a signed photo of Draco Malfoy. Throw in Crab and Goyle and we’ll talk. Hell, get that pug faced Parkinson in there too.
Not to take a shot at him personally. I’m sure he’s a perfectly lovely person and I would have been thrilled to be face to face with him but $60 to do so with only a signed photo to show for it was a little too steep for my modest bank account. Plus, Ravenclaw pride, am I right?
In the end the only autograph we got from any of the special guests was Bruce Campbell. Damn it we came to see Bruce Campbell and we weren’t leaving without him signing something! Unfortunately his line seemed to be the longest and most harshly regulated. You had to pay the $40 a head of time to get the ticket so you could get in line. The gentleman selling the tickets told us to come back at noon so we did only to wait for an hour while Bruce Campbell was doing photo ops elsewhere unannounced to us the autograph session wasn’t even scheduled to start until 1pm.
That line was terrible. It was long and guys were constantly asking people to see their tickets. We also had to have one of the regulators write our names on a post-it note ahead of time. Quotes were not allowed. Dynamite comics were not allowed. I spent over an hour standing in place before the line even began to move. But it was all worth it because I got to see Bruce Campbell and talk to him even if it was brief and he did most of the talking do to an inability for me to make my voice work.
Meeting Bruce Campbell should have been the highlight of Fan Expo but it wasn’t. My roommates favorite part of the convention was meeting voice actor Christian Potenza. Potenza’s lent his voice to a few different Teletoon series including 6teen which we both watched when we were younger. Janie’s favourite character was Jude and meeting the man behind him was pretty cool. Being unfamiliar with what he looks like made it easy to talk with him and he seemed genuinely happy to hear how much his character meant to her. She bought a dudette t-shirt and for an extra $10 he signed “any and every photo you want”. We even witnessed him record a voicemail for another fan and he happily posed for photos.
For me the best part of Fan Expo was meeting Jen and Sylvia Soska along with American Mary actress Tristan Risk. I’d first discoverd Twisted Twin Productions the summer before I started film school at 18. I don’t remember how but I’d seen a Trailer for Dead Hooker in a Trunk and pretty much decided I had to watch it. It was low budget but it was fun and I loved it. Women aren’t exactly prominent in the film industry and even less so in horror. It was inspiring for me as a young woman and a horror fan to actually see that there were other young women out there, locally, doing the things that I wanted to do.
They’ve recently broken out into the horror industry with American Mary (which I do highly recommend to the less squeamish out there) and I was quick to buy it when it was released, so hearing they were going to be at Fan Expo I packed my blu ray up in my purse hoping to meet them.
We first spotted them over by Rue Morgue’s table but I was too nervous and shy to approach them so I busied myself for a few minutes looking at magazines. As much as I wanted to meet them I also largely fear meeting people I admire. Fear of disappointment I guess. Disappointment over them not being what I expect or of being dismissed.
Their table wasn’t busy and my roommate pushed me over and I’m so glad she did. The three of them were so sweet and humble. They were all smiles, jokes and thanks. They’re fairly new to having a fan base so they were genuinely happy to meet a fan and to see that people had bought their film. They all signed my blu ray, no charge, on both disk and cover complete with personalizations and affectionate doodles. They were normal people you could talk to and apparently sing “Out for a Rip” with.
I couldn’t find anything to buy to show my devotion to my favourite superhero at a convention that predominantly featured superheroes. After hours of searching I was starting to wonder if she existed at all. Was she just a figment of my imagination? Had I made up those volumes on my bookshelf in my own head? That was until I found a Ms. Marvel cosplayer and became more excited than anyone ever should be about seeing a stranger in a costume with a concealed face.
After asking to take photos of her as proof that I wasn’t infact the only one who adores Carol Danvers I was filled with a new sense of resolve that I could and would find Ms./Captain Marvel merch!
I didn’t. I asked a few different people working at larger booths and no one could help me. When I asked one of the girls at one of the largest T-shirt vendors she told me “I don’t think so. With obscure characters you usually only find them grouped in with other characters” I didn’t know Ms./Capt. Marvel was considered obscure. She’s been around since 1977 and she’s an Avenger damn it! I couldn’t even find her on any of the cheesy superheroine group shirts.
How the fuck am I ever going to see that Ms. Marvel movie made in my life time if I can’t even find any merch at Fan Expo? I did get a She-Hulk T-shirt though, that’s pretty sweet. And this…