Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Toronto Fan Expo 2014

Tips for doing a Comic Convention

First thing's first, I know that Comic Conventions are still kinda taboo, in the sense that people go "That's too dorky" or "Isn't that just for geeks?" and I suppose, yes, that's true... but even if you don't wear a costume, I still really recommend you check one out sometime, even just because it's like being another world. You see Stormtroopers ride the escalator and wizards strolling along like they live in the Lord of the Rings world. It's super weird in a kind of good way. The costumes you see are really amazing, and for the most part, the people you meet are super friendly. People don't go to a Comic Convention when they're in a hurry, and everyone is there to have fun. It's a pretty congenial crowd. Also, they trust you. If you say, "I'm saving seats" or "Please let me line jump to get to my friends with this coffee for them"... they will actually let you past them into the crowd/line, whatever. When does that EVER happen without snide comments?

Tips for a Comic Convention
 1. Don't go Saturday if you can at all help it. There are so, so many people who can barely even get to the exhibitors. Plus, if you're claustrophobic, it will be your worst nightmare. If you're not, you will be by the end of the day.

2. Bring food. Even just one meal. Or snacks to eat throughout the day. I paid $3.00 for a can of coke. You can basically buy a case for that price anywhere else.

3. Go to a Panel. I saw Bruce Campbell and William Shatner. (I'm not fans of either but they were funny, and it was a chance to sit down). There is usually a panel scheduled for after the event closes. Go to that one even.

4. Watch the autograph lines closely. If you see the actor's agent, get in line. I went as soon as we got there to check it out, and ended up fourth in line to Michael Rooker (Merle from Walking Dead).

5. It is actually a good idea to get there early. We arrived in Toronto at around 7:40. Doors didn't open until 10:00, but we were the head of the line - half asleep, so not doing anything anyway, other than drinking coffee, and we managed to walk right in at 9:30 (which I don't understand but can't complain) and then the line-ups for the early celebrities were basically non-existent. Again though, your best option is NOT Saturday. We went Saturday, but I'm hoping to never, ever do that again.

6. Try things we wouldn't do normally. I saw Bruce Campbell. The boys tried the newest video games (not on the market yet).

7. Talk to people in line. I actually hate small talk, but when you wait in line for an hour with someone, you may as well talk. We met this really sweet kid who was the biggest Bruce Campbell fan ever. He was dressed as Ash and was soooo pleased someone wanted to take his photo. I met another family who had a strategy for the line-ups that was really quite genius. They place hold for each other, and get all the autographs they want in a very short time.

8. Definitely ask people if you can take their photos. THEY LOVE IT! They went to all that work to hand sew or invent costume pieces. It's a compliment if you ask to photograph them. I learned this year to just call out the character name, ("Logan!" if he's dressed as Wolverine) and they will respond, crazy right?

9. Do NOT dress as a Disney Princess. You will spend THE WHOLE DAY posing with small children and creepy teenage boys (I just made that part up but I can imagine). I didn't go as a Disney Princess, but I heard a girl say to her friend who was dressed as Belle, "Let's go somewhere so you can get a little break". We bumped into them a few times, and they were always posing for photos.

10. Sit for a bit and just see the crazy costumed people that walk past.

11. Check out the Artist Gallery. Many artists give away free post cards/pins/stickers to promote their businesses. And you will definitely find some original Art that you LOVE! It's worth the hoard of people that accidentally hip check you or stop directly in front of you.


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