I love comic books, enjoy science fiction, have a passion for anime and love a good scare every now and then. So where do you go where you get those things all at once? Why the 2010 FAN-EXPO, of course. Much like the San Diego Comic-Con (SDDC), FAN-EXPO showcases the best of comics, anime, horror, video games and Sci-Fi from August 27 - 29 at the Metro Convention Centre in the heart of Toronto, Ontario Canada. I've been to a few conventions and much like Zombieland, I have made up a set of rules to that may help have a great time at any convention.
- SAVE MONEY AHEAD OF TIME - if you know you're going to any convention, save up some money about a few months in advance to buy tickets, make purchases, etc.. Just a side note, save $100.00 more than you're planning on spending. For instance, if you think you're going to spend $100.00 or $ 200.00 at FAN EXPO, make sure to save $200.00 or $300.00 to take with you.
- BUY ADVANCED TICKETING - Every convention I've been have had a long ass like that seem to resemble the scene from The Ten Commandments movie when Moses parted the Red Sea and hundreds of slaves trying to get across (trust me - the line-ups ARE...THAT...LONG!) Don't wait until the day of the event to get tickets. If the convention is selling tickets ahead of time, buy them to avoid the line-up (Remember Rule #1) !
- HAVE WATER ON HAND - Walking around 500,000 square foot room filled with comic books, video games, and other memorabilia is thirsty work. It's good to have a bottle of water in hand or in your backpack as prices for food and drink at these conventions can be pretty high. I WOULD say bring your own food, but some convention frown at that notion and may kick you out. But water? Fugetaboutit!
- RECON - This particular rule is strictly for people who are planning on spending more than one day at any convention. Spend your first day checking the convention and do you your best not to buy anything. Know the layout of the place, find out what workshops will be available and what times, have friendly conversation with the merchants at the panels - know what they're selling and how much they cost. Then when you come back, you have pretty good idea where everything is, what to buy and what merchants will have it. Some merchants will remember you if you've left a good impression.
- BRING YOUR OWN BAG - If you're planning to rape, pillage and plunder (well, not rape persay) FAN-EXPO on buying comics and other great stuff (Again - refer to Rule #1), it's very useful to bring your own bag or knapsack to the convention when you're planning to spend some money. Although most events give people a complimentary bag, some of the bags aren't that strong enough to hold a lot of stuff. I recommend those recyclable grocery bags you get at the supermarket: They cheap to buy, they're extremely durable and act as great camouflage. I mean, who would suspect you carrying a recently purchased Thor's helmet in a grocery bag? NOOOOBOODY! (Those who live in Canada will understand that little reference)
- PAPER & PLASTIC - Make sure to have both cash and some debit/credit card (aka Paper and plastic) on hand for your purchases. There's lot of panels that take Interac, but some still take cash only.
- WATCH YOUR STUFF - About 90% of the people at these things are cool and considerate of others, but there are some people at these conventions (and you KNOW who you are) that may steal your stuff when your back is turned. Keep a close eye on you stuff at all times. If you do need to put something down, put it between your feet - this way, you'll know where it is.
- DON'T LOSE YOUR COOL aka CALM THE F**K DOWN! There are some people at these conventions (and again, you KNOW who you are) who seem to (as Carlyle would say) "lose their f**king monkey minds" if something doesn't go their way. I mean, was it really necessary for some jabroni to stab somebody in the eye with a pen at the 2010 SDCC? REALLY? If certain celebrities doesn't show up due to a medical issue and the flight was delayed - it happens. CALM THE F**K DOWN! There's are other things to see & do @ FAN-EXPO. Just a side note, most celebrities will sign autographs for free, but some may ask for money up front. If a celebrity you like asks you to pay $5 or $10 to sign an autograph, pay them or say "no thanks" and go on your way. And If you didn't bring any money, you should've referred to RULE #1.
- GO BEFORE YOU GO - This rule probably should've been Rule #3. Sometimes the lines to the bathroom are just as long as the line-up to buy tickets, especially for the ladies bathroom. Make sure you go to the bathroom outside of the convention before you go inside. Hey, if you miss an audience with Stan "The Man" Lee or Felicia Day from The Guild because you have bladder was about to burst, you should've follow this rule!
- TAG TEAM - OFF THE ROPE - It's good to go solo at these convention, but it's sometime better and fun to go with a friend or a group of people. You can cover more ground if you split up (REFER TO RULE #4), and you can save each other spot in line or save you a seat at a workshop ('cause sitting on the floor sucks)
- COSPLAY...IS...AWESOME! - It's more a statement than a rule. It's amazing how creative people are when they make themselves look like their favourite character from comics & anime.
Case in point:
Click on link belowwatch?v=76Ahq6dPHOk
- Iron Man & War Machine Cosplay
People who cosplay love that you recognize the character they're portraying - it also let them know you're into that genre too. If someone has an awesome costume, ask them how they made it and if you don't know what character they're playing, don't be afraid to ask them. Who knows? You might make a new friend! Although don't ask how they go the bathroom in their costumes as you may end up like a certain Spill.com host:
Click on link belowwatch?v=6IrbYHj9gYw
- The Black Wonder @ 2009 Comic-con
Well, Spill.comers - it's been a blast and I had fun writing this blog. You may have rules of your own for going to a convention. Please leave your comments and if you have a rule you use, let us know what it is and why. I'd love to hear it!
Big shout-out to my little "sister", Miranda aka The Tiny Amazon who's making her first appearance at FAN EXPO as an artist at Artist Alley. I'm so proud of you, sweetie!
To see some of her work, click the link below.
I hope one, some or all of these rules will help you enjoy FAN EXPO or any convention. So until next time remember:
Save money ahead of time, bring your bag and this really has nothing to do with anything,
but a little sunscreen never hurt anybody.
This is Spawn-taneous saying - KNOW YOUR ROLE & READ MY BLOG! Peace!