We are in full COMIC CONVENTION MODE now! We’re at the beginning of the major comic convention season, and with so many conventions to choose from, it’s hard to decide where to go, what to see, and how much dinero you have to even make it to one. I have a local major convention at the end of the month that I’m attending, Albuquerque Comic Expo, and I’m very excited about it ‘cause it falls on my birthday weekend. I might even get one of my best friends to come out and hang with me at her first conventi0n. Now to get one of my friends or a family member to buy me a pass…
There are so many growing larger conventions popping up that might be competing with the major conventions that we have like SDCC and DragonCon, like Phoenix Comic Con and Denver Comic Con, with have both grown exponentially over the past few years. And for this Southwestern U.S. resident, that gives me more local options to choose from. To see homegrown cons grow into larger entities that are covered throughout all of social media is an awesome thing. New Mexico has several cons located in two of our major cities, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and we keep adding more thanks to demand. If we can get a few more high-profile guests then we’d really be a contender, but ya gotta start somewhere.
If you like to go large and want to attend a major convention, there are many to choose from. I went pretty big and selected one out of the country, and it was definitely worth it. If you want to check out a huge comic convention that has a large and diverse group of nerds and geeks from around the world, definitely check out the Fan Expo conventions up in Canada. Several major Canadian cities are hosts to the Fan Expo cons, but if you want to travel to the largest and biggest of them all, Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is your answer.
Continuing on with my visit up North last year in my ongoing recap – welcome to Part 3! – my first day attending FEC 2013 was awesome. I was a solo traveler with a walker and exploring a city I had visited just once before with family. I was a bit nervous attending by myself because I am a disabled individual (gnarly back and leg issues), so I get a bit skittish being alone without help. I was extremely fortunate to have many fans and staff members assisting me while I attended the convention all four days it was being held. Heck, I had better assistance in Canada then in New Mexico at our local cons, and that’s saying a lot. Any nervousness and fears about attending solo were quickly alleviated by the absolute kindness of strangers that I befriended on my trip.
I didn’t do much on the first day of the convention, which was a preview day for Premium and VIP badge holders. I did gain a solo achievement (Nerdy Gamer Alert): I was the second person in-line on that first day, behind a really nice local woman who had traveled a few miles to Toronto to attend the convention. We hung out and talked about a variety of topics, and I may have made it onto a broadcast from CityTV, who were covering the first FEC 2013 day. Since she was first in line, she was the chosen victim for a quick interview by the crew (I narrowly escaped that, heh heh).
I took a ton of pictures throughout the whole convention, and you can check out the kickass photos from Day 1 below. I didn’t attend any panels that first day because I was so overwhelmed by the entire experience: waiting in line to get in, traveling through the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) from the North Building to the South Building and back, checking out the vendors, panel locations, and celebrity signings. The only difficulties I ran into was my mobility issue, so I wasn’t able to haul ass from one building to the next to drop-in on the many smaller and larger panels being held in both, but I got to sit-in on the panels I wanted to check out the most.
Biggest fan moment on Day 1? Meeting and getting an autograph from the Godfather of Shock/Horror Rock, Alice Cooper himself. What a gentleman and very nice too. Most of my celebrity encounters have been amazing with really grateful personalities. My only negative experience with a celeb? When Ken Foree (popular horror film actor best known from Dawn of the Dead) ran into me on the convention floor in front of the celebrity signing lines and gave me a “WTF” look. Umm, you didn’t see me with my walker and say “Excuse me” after? Not everyone can be courteous.
NEXT TIME: Friday, or Day 2, of FEC 2013. Highlights included the Captain Canuck and Orphan Black panels featuring the insanely HOT gentlemen from both, and meeting my favorite celebrity since childhood – and a female action hero of mine.
- Premium Lounge for Premium badge holders to chill and hang out in, as well as get in some quick cosplay repairs.
- The swag that was included with being a Premium badge holder.
- The cool show exclusives, like the Walking Dead t-shirt I picked up of Merle and Daryl Dixon.
- Seeing the awesomely intricate costumes a few of the copslayers were proudly displaying.
- The many people I befriended that day that hung out and walked with me from one location to another, to make sure I made it safely.
- The staff and other convention-goers that were polite and courteous to me, letting me go to the head of a line, making sure I had a seat wherever I went, and clearing the way for me to pass.
- The drive to-and-from Buffalo, NY to Toronto and back not being as nerve-wracking as I initially thought; drivers were slightly less-crazy than New Mexican drivers.