Monday, August 26, 2013

Fan Expo 2013: Post mortum

The set up of the table I shared with Leigh
So, FanExpo 2013 has now ended. It was a pretty good year. As usual I shared a table with the magnificent Leigh Young. We were extremely fortunate to be bookended by two other fantastic artists. Matt Ryan, on our left (if you were looking at our table):

One of the few times Matt wasn't at his booth
I ended up picking up his print of a bunch of cool movie werewolves (Chaney Jrs. Wolfman, the American Werewolf in London and Teenwolf) eating the one from Twilight, trying to figure out an appropriate place to hang that. To our right was Sabrina Parolin:
You do not take pictures of ladies at their table unless they are in cosplay, creeps.
She had a bunch of fantastic horror art. I ended up grabbing a full set of the monster stickers she brought, they're pretty boss. I really want to see some of her horror embroidery in person. Cons are always more fun if you've got fun neighbours, this is the first year we were bracketed by the fun, entertaining people who did art we enjoyed looking at. Usually you're lucky if you have one neighbour who you enjoy sitting next to for four days (or even 2 days as so many cons seem to be.) Even more amazing it was the first con either of them attended and they seemed to know all the proper con-etiquette! (They didn't sit in front of their table, they didn't sit on the floor in the middle of the area between the two rows working whatever it was they were selling, never had more than three people in their booth space, didn't let their friends block their neighbour's tables while talking to them, didn't try to scam power from people who paid for it, never looked bored or desperate when there wasn't a crowd in the row.) I hope if I'm ever at another con they're at I'll be in the same set up as this.

The atmosphere of the con was a little weird year this year since they had utilized the entire Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and made the bizarre decision to house all the celebs in their own little autograph area in the north building and put the entirety of the rest of the convention in the South Building. For the most part this eased up the congestion normally encountered on the convention floor. But it meant the there was no way for anybody to  know how busy the autograph lines were nor which celebrities were actually available for autographs. Especially since FanExpo made the great decision to only have announcements telling us that the show floor was going to open in 2 hours, the show floor was about to close in 15 minutes, or that the show was closed and everyone should finish their purchases and leave.
I did manage to catch Phantasm director Don Coscarelli at the Rue Morgue booth. I got him to sign one of my Tall Man prints.
We discussed the merits of releasing a full cut of Phantasm 1 ("Only the Phans would be into seeing that. It wouldn't be a very good movie. There's a reason editing exists.") At which point Little Miss Risk (who was in American Mary, I think, I haven't seen it yet) commented on how funny it was that Coscarelli was so candid about his film making.  Whether or not the whole thing was a dream ("We shot four endings, two are in Phantasm, one is in Oblivion and one hasn't been seen.") He was very evasive about the existance of any footage for Phantasm 5 ("We have to do one.") There weren't many people around when I got his autograph so I got to have a pretty decent chat with him.
He ended up asking for a copy of the Tall Man to give to Angus Scrimm so of course I gave him an extra one.
Don Coscarelli with my Tall Man
I also managed to catch Lloyd Kaufman (director of Toxic Avenger) on the last day of the con as he was about to leave (never knew when or where he was thanks to the lack of announcements.) He signed one of my Toxic Avenger prints: 
LLoyd Kaufman, as classy as you'd expect!
He seemed to like what I drew, told me to tweet a picture of it and he'd make me famous. 
Lloyd with two ladies who come to my table every
convention I've been to where Troma has a presence
I don't think I've ever gotten their names but they are
hilarious and awesome.
Chatted with Mike Mignola  for a short while on Saturday, he didn't seem that keen on doing big conventions anymore. Said there were too many people which makes it hard to control everybody. I over heard a terrible story about him having a problem getting to a panel he was supposed to give. You'd think the Con would take care of their guests, especially their guests of honour, make sure they can get where they need to get to when they need to get there. Sadly this wasn't the first time I've heard a story involving a guest being miss handled (another one involved a person who was supposed to have a panel not being allowed into the con and just going home.)

As for cosplayers, there was the usual mix of characters from cartoons I've never heard of, characters from video games I've never seen, out of shape super heroes, people wearing less clothes that they probably should be wearing, little kid Indiana Joneses and male princess Leias. Didn't take many pictures of them 'cus the booth directly across from me was for something called Gay Nerds so every picture looks like I'm labelling the cosplayer a Gay Nerd. I did take this one of the most awesome Joker costume I've ever seen.
She could actually peel her face off!
She had all the hooks and strings and stuff like in the comic but she left them off while she was wandering the con because it made peeling the face off difficult and it was more fun to creep people out by doing that. There's a Doctor Strange I've seen a few years in a row now that I think is the most amazing Doctor Stranges, I'd take a picture of him but I think in most peoples view I'm digging his get up ironically. In all seriousness he is exactly how I like to imagine the real Doctor Strange would look. I'm sure if you've been to Fan Expo you've seen him. He is AWESOME.
Got to catch up with a few people I see every con, which is always fun. DM from swung by and we discussed how Elysium is a remake of Johnny Mnemonic with dust, a theory I came up with while discussing the movie with another of my con pals earlier in the day. I demanded that she watch the Laid To Rest movies. We discussed movie making with a friend of hers from the accountants perspective, which was more hilarious than it sounds. Never could find my pals Sara Deck or Dan Soelberg. (My sister did, bought one of his books) The craziest thing is, Alan Graves, the guy who put together the Zombook, which I have a piece in, dropped by the table, he's from England (and has a very strong french accent) just to say "hi", make sure I got my copy of the Zombook and to buy one of my art books. It was nice to put a face and voice to the name. If you don't have a copy of the book you should get it, its full of awesome zombie art from an awesome list of artists including me.
 It seems no matter what's on the map there are times where people and their tables are just invisible. I found Mike Rooth before the show started, went looking for him once the people were let in and I never could find him again. I had already found him once that day! WEIRD!

Overall the show seemed to go well for almost everyone in my gang. I look forward to seeing if there's any changes to the organization of the thing next year. I'll probably (86% sure) do it again.  I'm also planning on hitting another con or two in the coming months in Toronto so you might have a chance to catch me at one of them if you are hoping to pick up one of my art books (if I've got any left by then or any of the Monstar prints.

OK enough of this. Gotta do some art to put up here for all the people who have just discovered this blog after picking up a card at the con!

And if you missed it  the New art book is now available through Etsy: HERE!

Monday, August 19, 2013

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