May 4, 2013

Calling All Nerds: FanExpo 2013!

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Written by: Recultured Team
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I was in “Nerd Heaven” on the weekend of April 20 – 21 while attending the incredibly popular FanExpo Vancouver! While the line-ups were enormous and the prices outrageous, the Expo was a huge success as tens of thousands of fans from all over Canada and America came to the Vancouver Convention Centre to experience pure, geeky bliss. I’m going to give you a personal account of my experience at this year’s FanExpo.

Thankfully, I arrived early so as to avoid the hour-long line-ups just to get in to the convention. Once in, I encountered a stadium jam-packed with everything fandom-related you could imagine. There were endless comic-book sales, mountainous T-shirt stands, and stacks of posters encompassing all different fandoms from Doctor Who to Star Wars to Marvel superheroes. You could buy lightsabers and sword replicas from various movies, different anime films and comics, custom drawings from various artists/companies, costumes, toys and gadgets, there are too many things to list!

But of course, the attraction that captured the fans the most were the celebrity autograph sessions. As I was one of the first inside, I made it to the celeb booths before most of the others did, but not before passing the Playstation stand, the Lego stand with its life-sized Lego Hulk, and the actual Delorean from the film “Back To the Future“. Did I mention before that the prices were outrageous? To sit in the Delorean cost each person $20, autographs ranged from $30-$50 depending on how popular the celebrity was, and celebrity photo-ops were as high as $65! The line-ups at the autograph booths formed at an incredible pace, with Stan Lee’s line extending throughout half the convention centre.


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The Delorean from “Back To the Future”

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Hundreds of T-Shirts!

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Heaps of comic-books for sale!

Yes, Stan Lee was there. The one and only Stan the Man. The creator of all the Marvel superheroes. The man of whom the geeks on the Big Bang Theory worship as their god! I’m going to pull a giddy fan-boy moment and state that I couldn’t believe I was staring at this frail-looking, 92 year-old man signing autographs for $50 a pop. I thought to myself: “those are the hands that drew Spiderman for the first time” (I’m a huge fan). I didn’t hesitate to snap a few photos. Other notable celebrities included Michael Hogan, Tia Carerre, Sean Astin, James Marsters, Nichelle Nichols, and Michael Rooker! As a side note, I did find it rather interesting that the staff decided to put a picture of each celebrity, during the time they’d reached their peak of fame, above the actual celeb signing autographs. For some, such as Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Nichols (the original Star Trek series), their heightened fame was quite a while ago, so it was quite a shock to see how much they had aged since then.

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Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead)

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Stan Lee (creator of Marvel and superheroes) signing autographs.

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Nichelle Nichols (the original Star Trek)


Now I am going to admit, I decided on a photo-op with Stan Lee. I thought this would be my only chance to meet him in person, as well as get a nice photo with him to ensure I have bragging rights for the rest of my life. Standing in line for 2-hours was horribly painful, but it was really neat see to the elaborate costumes of various fans who passed by the line-up. I must say that costumes were a huge deal at this convention. I can easily say that I’d seen every character from every fandom there is to date. There were fans dressed as hobbits, elves, villains, superheroes, characters from television shows. I saw many Doctors (Of Doctor Who), Jokers, X-men characters, Green Arrows, Iron Mans, and the list goes on.

After shaking Stan Lee’s hand (with a ridiculous “It’s such a pleasure – thank you so much!), and posing for a photo with him (sweating the shaking the entire time), I blissfully collected my photo and set off to one of the ballrooms to watch a fan Q&A session. For those of you who don’t know, Sean Astin is most notable for his character Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings. Growing up a LOTR fan I can’t explain how incredible it was to sit only feet away from him and watch him discuss his life while answering a plethora of questions from the fans.

Overall the FanExpo was a day in my life that I will not forget all to soon! As we are all fans of something, no matter how popular or unpopular it is, I’m sure you’d be able to find it at the FanExpo. For all those who did not attend this year, I encourage you all to come next year as it truly was a blast. FanExpo Vancouver is only into its 2nd year, and with the success of last weekend, there is no doubt the expo will become an annual, cornerstone event for the city of Vancouver! In fact, FanExpo will be returning April 2014 with a 3-day event! Hopefully they will better organize their line-ups and lower their prices…

That’s all for now, folks! Check out some more photos:

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Life-sized LEGO hulk!

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Yoda (Star Wars) made of LEGO!

And here are some pictures of notable costumes that were seen at the expo!

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My buddy Stan Lee.

About the Author

Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

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