THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE LANCE, THE UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR STUDENT NEWSPAPER:
NEWS, REVIEWS AND COMMENTARY, COURTESY OF THE PAPER TRAIL

Monday, August 25, 2008

Epic!: Nerdpocalypse Survived



















One small portion of the sea as we ascended the escalator at the Metro Convention Centre.

For the first time in at least five years, Lady Trail and I entered the fray this weekend at Toronto's FanExpo. The experience left me feeling overstimulated, somewhat jaded, and with a heavier wallet than I was expecting, to be honest.

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Is there anything cuter than a toddler dressed up as Yoda? No. No there isn't.

Now granted, we didn't have as much time at the Expo as we would have liked: friends were in from out of town, and while I am a selfish lout, I don't expect everyone to cater to my every whim all the time. So despite getting everyone up for 7.30 a.m. and out of the house by 9.00, we only put in about three hours at the con, since there were other things people wanted to do. Even Lady Trail admitted when it was all said and done that three hours wasn't enough time to truly take it all in.

Besides that, I was a little disappointed in my inability to find anything I wanted in the retailer area. All I wanted to leave there with was the Ultimate box of FLCL, hopefully the Mike Mignola and/or Frank Miller Black and White Batman statues OR some reasonably priced super articulate Japanese robot figures. Well the statues weren't there, the robots were all steeper than what I wanted to pay, and
FLCL....well, I don't really want to talk about it.

Our friend Mr. Meloche fulfills a dream and gets photographed with MegaMan.

Look, I know I'm no longer the sort of fanboy who is 'with it' [a contradiction in terms if ever there was one], but you know what? I don't need retailers in ill fitting t-shirts raising their eyebrows at me and telling me my tastes are 'old-school', or scoffing that the show needs to be relicensed, like I should have already known it. Well I did know that, smart guy. God, doesn't anybody bootleg anymore?!

And for the record, that damn box set came out in 2006. Old school my ass, Cyber City Comix. And PS: Anybody who spells it 'comix' should have their asses removed. There, I said it.

Lady Trail isn't convinced the cockpit of an X-Wing is sufficiently equipped to deal with that.

Other thoughts:

--I was shocked by the number of retailers selling trade collections. Sure, I can see using the con to maybe get some tax-free savings on an Absolute Edition hardcover or something, but is anyone going to the con to buy trades you can get anywhere at any time? I thought the Expo was supposed to be a special event, to buy special items?

General Grievous works crowd control.

--Best moment: being stopped in our tracks by the bright lights of a camera crew and some burly gents in 'STAFF' shirts. When the kerfuffle passed, I turned to Lady Trail and said, 'That was Wes Craven.'

--What I found the most surprising, and I will proudly wear the old school label for this one, was the sheer abundance of....stuff, in the hall. Ten years ago, this stuff, this...product, just wasn't as readily available as it is now. My first AnimeNorth, the vendor room was in the main ballroom of the hotel. My only previous time at the FanExpo, it was in the smaller, North Building of the Metro Convention Centre. This year it was in the larger, almost Cobo-sized South Building. After walking through a few aisles, I turned to Lady Trail and told her I needed to sit down for a minute because it was all too much. Back in the day, you couldn't get this shit. I spent $1,000 at my first anime con, armed with a list of titles I had jotted down from a mail order catalogue I got from a place in Iowa [a place which is now an empire in its own right], just scooping up tapes, because I didn't know when I'd have such an opportunity again. Now all you have to do is head down to CinemaOne or HMV.

I guess I knew that the culture had expanded to such a degree, I just wasn't prepared to see it all laid out on display like that.

The Trail, Mr. Meloche and their homie The Dark Lord.

--Storm Troopers have been getting a bad rap for 30 years. They are the nicest people you will ever meet.

Lady Trail and Namor, King of Atlantis. Imperius Rex!

--Having left the con with nary a thing save some prints we bought from a gent in artist alley, I was considering heading back downtown later in the evening for the Silver Snail's Midnight Madness sale. We were dallying on our way there, because we didn't expect any mind blowing sales [having stopped by their booth at the Expo and seen the prices the same as always] and really, would it be that busy? Shouldn't the nerd patrol have gotten their fix at the con?

Famous last words. As we're walking on Queen, we continue to notice people with large bags coming from the direction of the Snail. When we walk in, the store's packed and the lineup is heading up the stairs. Then we peep the sign informing us all back issues are half off, and pretty much everything else in the wall is discounted 40%. Japanese robots here I come.

So an hour and change of waiting in line with 300 other post-Expo nerds in a space the size of my apartment, I walked out with a quartet of decidedly old school robots to battle it out on my mantle. Lady Trail left with a board game called Zombies!!!. You do the math on that one.


Lady Trail fulfills her own dream by getting photographed with Captain Hammer and Dr. Horrible. Double Cool because Captain Hammer started singing shortly after the picture was taken.

And that was about it, Windsor. We easily could have spent the whole day there, and probably only saw about a third of what was on display, but I did get to see Smallville's Lex Luthor and ST:TNG's Cmdr. Data from a distance, as well as loads other cool stuff I didn't get to photograph.

Oh, and I got the box set on eBay. So nyeah, haters.

Thanks for putting up with all this hoopla this week. We'll get back to serious business tomorrow. Well, semi-serious.

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