Fandom Fun at Fan Expo 2015

written by Mackensie Baker (@MackensieBaker)

I think it's official, gang—Vancouver has its own comic-con. While Fan Expo has been here for the past couple years, I'm not sure it's ever been as big (or as crowded) as it was this year. Held over Easter weekend, this year's line-up had a few very current, and not-so-current guest stars. In the past two years, Fan Expo Vancouver has had such big names as Adam West, Lou Forrigno, Billy Boyd, and Tom Felton. This year had a larger number of comic book artists and writers, though, as well as a few panels dedicated to the illustrating and writing for the comic book industry. And a few more big names hit us, including Doctor Who celebrities John Barrowman and Karen Gillan (although Karen, unfortunately, had to cancel due to health reasons), and Stephen Amell who returned for a second appearance. Many of these stars actually live in or around Vancouver because their show shoots around here, as is the case with Arrow and Once Upon a Time. I even heard (but don't quote me on this) that Ryan Reynolds hung out for a while with a Deadpool cosplayer, because of course the new Deadpool movie is also being shot in town right now and he was in the area. And with a turnout as big as the one Fan Expo has been getting on the West Coast, I don't think they're going anywhere anytime soon.

The first day was cold and miserably wet outside, but the convention centre was warm, dry, and filled to the brim with cosplayers. At a lot of comic cons, there are usually a great number of people who are dressed in their civies, but it seems like everyone in BC waits for a convention to come around to don their masterpieces and parade their costumes around for the world to see. I don't think I saw a single pair of jeans on anyone on Friday. Not that I'm complaining. There were quite a few stunning cosplays which I saw even before I got inside the doors, most notably a full-sized Baymax from Big Hero 6 (aka the cutest superhero movie EVER), and a spot-on Wesley from The Princess Bride. After a perusal of the vendor's hall, we attended the celebrity Q&A's of Jennifer Morrison, who plays Emma Swan from Once Upon a Time, and Jeremy Shada, the voice of Finn from Adventure Time. Jeremy even revealed that there will be a series of upcoming episodes about Marceline, the Vampire Queen, which I for one am stoked for. We were also privy to a number of voice-acting feats, including an impressive rendition of everyone's favourite Adventure Time songs: "Makin' Bacon Pancakes" and "Buff Baby." Priceless.

The second day held a great deal of excitement for me and many other fans, as there were more Q&A's scheduled, including Carrie Fisher, Stephen Amell,  and William Shatner. The team (Brydan and Jibran) and I also got a few interviews with some of the other guests—Tom Cook (He-Man), Nathan Fairbairn (Multiversity), Matthew Clark (Legends of the Dark Knight), and the Desu Dolls cosplay group, who were all very cute. As a fun final question for them all, we asked what they thought their Patronus (or spirit animal for all the non-Harry Potter fans) would be. This got a surprising amount of thoughtful answers, ranging from Tom Cook's answer of "lion" (they are both "graceful" and "scary") to Nathan Fairbairn's "pangolin" (an endangered type of scaly mammal, similar to an anteater). Needless to say, Saturday was pretty awesome.

Sunday was nicer outside, but just as fun inside the con as it had been the first two days. The highlight of the Q&A panels was, undoubtedly, John Barrowman. Currently playing Malcolm Merlyn on Arrow, he is perhaps best known as Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood fame. He was insanely funny, and very nice to his fans. If you haven't seen it yet, I beg of you, please hit up his official Facebook page and find his video of the alpaca dance. Words cannot express.

In short, Fan Expo Vancouver has not yet ceased to amaze, and if anything is getting better with age. It's really great to have that comic con experience right on our doorstep for West Coast Canadians, and I'll be coming back year after year. I suggest you check it out as well if you're out here next time. For now, peace out, g33ks.