There was some weird stuff going down in Toronto this past weekend, and all of it was related to nerds of some kind. Now, before you jump down my throat (or chain me to Jabba; although I would like pretty hot in a gold bikini), know that I say “nerds” with love. Oh, and that I am one.
It is such a pleasure to see people simply enjoying their crafts so much that they feel inclined to really jump into the worlds that they fantasize about. In other words, Fan Expo 2009 ROCKED!
Long lines plagued the Metro Toronto Convention Centre every day, but Saturday was certainly hit hardest. 50,000 people were expected to attend over the three days, but I heard rumour of over 60K throwing down cash for a ticket. Now that’s one hell of a nerdgas… uhh, successful event!
The highlight of the show for myself was Leonard Nimoy’s appearance and absolutely packed Q&A session on Saturday. He delivered a comedic and light-hearted spiel about his time doing Star Trek and playing Spock, and took a dozen questions from the audience.
And then of course, there are things like the Anime, Horror, Comic, and Gaming portions of the Expo, each as large as the next. Read on for more!
The highlight for me was Video Gaming, and was hence where I spent most of my time. Matt Levitan of Playstation Canada made an appearance and spoke in a panel alongside other industry veterans Victor Lucas (Electric Playground), Scott Jones (Crispy Gamer), and Jesse Scoble (Ganz) where audience questions were fielded. They provided a pretty wide-ranging overview of the industry as well as their differing opinions on it. Each had something to offer; Matt praised competitive offerings with honour, Jesse knew his way around the deeper development questions, Victor made predictions about the industry and hyped it up as it deserves, and Scott brought extra insight and added a comedic flare (while mentioning Verne Troyer, no less). If this carried on to every panel as I heard it did, I understand how the show was so successful.
Others in attendance included Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Linda Hamilton (Terminator), Avery Brooks (Star Trek: DSN), Robert Duncan McNeill (Star Trek: Voyager), James Kyson Lee (Heroes), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), and Walter Koenig (Star Trek). Oh, and Steve-freakin’-Downes. Yes, Halo’s Master Chief. Awesome guy, too!
Hundreds of panels, dozens of celebrity guests, tens of thousands of attendees, and an infinite amount of money changing hands makes Fan Expo one of the greatest Toronto events of the year, and definitely something to look out for. Please be sure to check the pictures below for some great insight into the guests of the show!