JoBlo at Fan Expo!

I've somehow managed to avoid fan conventions my whole life. Movies, comics, sports, porn ... haven't been to one. So as I watched my JoBlo cohorts fly to San Diego for another Comic Con in July, my wistful heart knew it was time to pop the cherry. I would no longer be on the outside looking in. I was going to Toronto for Fan Expo Canada, baby!

Okay, it’s not as prestigious as Comic Con. It didn’t have ‘Avatar’ footage. No Robert Downey, Jr. or Megan Fox (on the other hand, no ‘Twilight’ to ruin everything, either) Not as star-studded, but still packed with cool shit for three days. And with Bruce Campbell as one of the Guests of Honor, there were guaranteed laughs.  Alas, I could only attend one day – Saturday – but I was going to make it count. Seven jam-packed hours among the geek elite.

Camera? Check. Deodorant? Yep. Contempt for nerds in costume? Of course. With that, the girlfriend and I hopped on a train for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to mingle with the unwashed masses ...

Thank God I bypassed this line or I would have turned back around.

11:30 a.m. - We arrive, but while my JoBlo press credentials get me in right away, my girlfriend must wait in line to buy a ticket. Then wait in line again to get in the convention hall. I'm worried that's the last I'll see of her all day. Either that, or she'll come to her senses and go shopping.

11:45 a.m. - I overhear the first complaint of the day: "$60 for a Leonard Nimoy autograph? Right." Clearly a Kirk fan.

Spock gotta eat!

11:55 a.m. - Most of the stars are out signing: Billy Dee Williams, Lou Ferrigno, Beau Bridges, Linda Hamilton and - yes! - Larry 'The Soup Nazi' Thomas. Of course, the only star who got pissed off at me is the only one I wanted to meet: Mary McDonnell. Her assistant whines to security as soon as I try snapping a picture. No pictures? What the hell are you here for, then? I leave, but inspired by Linda Hamilton, mutter 'I'll be back.'

Someone get that man a Colt 45!

"You're right, Terminator sucks without me. $30, please."

Barbara Steele: Before ... and after.

Beau Bridges with the day's most precious item: Hand sanitizer.

"Stop calling me Hulk!"

12:40 p.m. - Somehow, my girlfriend has gotten back in ... and  she brought me a hotdog! Scoring food at a convention is like finding gas in 'The Road Warrior.'

1:30 p.m. - We stop for a coffee. Two slave Leias walk by, one Pyramid Head, and one chick in purple hair and white leather that has us both stumped. Maybe it wasn't a costume.

1:40 p.m. - I try Mary McDonnell again. Now, she has someone standing in front of her scolding photographers. "No more photos ... she's had enough," she says, clearly not impressed with my JoBlo media credentials. Well ... well ... frak you, Mary McDonnell! I'm not done with her yet.

2:15 p.m. - The following exchange takes place at the Playstation 3 booth:

Me: "Woah, they're playing God of War III. It's not even out yet."

Girlfriend: " ... "

2:25 p.m. - My brother was assaulted by the bad B.O. at Comic Con, and I'm now feeling his pain. If I inadvertantly touch one more sweaty fat guy, I'm going to lose it.

Why is no one selling Right Guard here? WHY??

"Do you want the mask on?," this guy asked. Um, no. Then you wouldn't look cool.

2:35 p.m. - One of the awesome things about a convention is you never know what's around the next corner. Like the Iron Shiek and the Honky Tonk Man! I felt a bit sorry for them, though, as no one was buying their stuff. The guy in the left of this pic was laying it on thick: "Come on man, don't take a photo ... buy one!"

How much for the jacket, Honky?

3:15 p.m. - Time for the day's main event. I only had time for one Q&A session, and the choice was obvious: Bruce Campbell. Off to Hall G ...

3:25 p.m. - ... where we are met with a line-up of about 1,000 people, and a security guy not letting the media in. "Fans first, then press." Are you kidding? I saw 'The Evil Dead' on opening night in Detroit, pal. I've got an autographed copy of 'If Chins Could Kill.' I'm not a fan? Um ... no, I didn't pay to get in here, why do you ask?

3:40 p.m. - Either feeling sorry for us, or sick of looking at us, security lets us through. Overheard behind me: "You're at a Bruce Campbell conference and you don't know who Bruce Campbell is? That's awesome!"

4 p.m. - Bruce hits the stage, and an hour of hilarity follows. Assorted highlights ...

- a fan has come all the way from Australia. Bruce offers her a Canadian two-nie for gas money home: "It's this quarter with something weird shoved in it."

- Q: Have you had a sit down with Sam Raimi lately? "What, we sit around and have talks? Like it's a summit?"

- Q: If you could recommend one book, what would it be? "Anyone here have any book that I wrote?"

- Q: Could you sing 'Hungry Like the Wolf'? "I could ... if I was your little monkey."

- "You're from Calgary? I'll speak more slowly."

- "Have I played a drinking game to my own movies? My job is to get jerks like you to do that."

- "Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash ... they tried to make that into a movie. It was a very short conversation."

- Bruce's favourite movie is 'Bridge on the River Kwai.' He explains it doesn't star Shia LeBeouf.

- Why won't there be another Evil Dead movie? "Because everyone will hate it."

- "I grew up in Detroit. They don't make movies in Detroit. They don't even make cars in Detroit any more."

- Q: Would you sign my shirt? "Shut the fuck up! What do you think I've been doing for three hours!"

- Q: Do you occassionally ad lib on 'Burn Notice'? "Yes, and they occasionally cut it out."

- Q: Can I kiss you? "What a minute ... (takes out phone) ... that's my wife. Sorry, I can't"

- Q: Any celebrities you hate? "I love all celebrities. Even Tom Arnold."

- Bruce won't do a 'Bubba Ho-Tep II' because he didn't like the script ... therefore proving, yes, he does turn some things down.

He Gave 'em some sugar, baby.

5:10 p.m. - That Q&A ruled the weekend. I wish Bruce was my uncle.

5:20 p.m. - Back to the main floor for the final two hours of mayhem ...

Yep, he was a hit

With random hottie Dannie Riel. I'm clearly overdressed.

Happy birthday, Mom!


With Jovanka Vuckovic, editor-in-chief of the awesome Rue Morgue.

For $60, I want Nimoy to do my taxes too.

I hope that's make-up.

Hottie correspondent from the Naked News ... not so naked.

6:05 p.m. - Starving again. Time to get gouged one last time.

$7.50 for this? Fuck you!

6:20 p.m. - My last shot at Mary McDonnell. It's even worse - she now has two people blocking the way, one of them carrying a sign saying 'No Photos Please.' So I do the next best thing ... take a photo of the person telling me not to take photos.

6:45 p.m. - I realize I've been working so hard (heh, heh), I haven't had time to buy any shit - which is why I wanted to come in the first place. I make a mad scramble to the artists' section, where the great Darwyn Cooke (DC's 'The New Frontier') is in the house ... but I stupidly don't have anything for him to sign. I'm such a convention newbie. As a consolation prize, I get the equally cool Michael Cho to sign an Iron Man print.

Also grabbed this ...

So powerful they blew it up twice!

7 p.m. - Show's over, geeks! Go home!

Let's go, ladies. This ain't your mom's basement.

I hear ya, kid.

Bottom line? Fun but exhausting. If you don't mind wading through 50 people to walk ten feet ... getting ripped off for autographs ... spending half the day in line ... close contact with  people of questionable hygiene ... and battling hordes of fans to find the good stuff, then it's totally worth it.

Unless Mary McDonnell has me banned, I'll be back next year!

Damn, why didn't I buy these?

Source: JoBlo.com



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