FanExpo Canada has come and gone for another year, and I write this blog post the following Monday, still exhausted from the circulated air and visual overstimulation. This year’s FanExpo, despite being one additional tiring day longer, was really excellent. Despite not having the new book of Quarter-Life Crisis done in time for the show, I did have hot-off-the-press copies of The Dead Kid Detective Agency, calendars of supervillain erotica and really offensive T-shirts by Rob Ford, all of which sold amazingly well. But beyond that, I had a great time hanging out with my fellow SketchKrieg! illustrators, as well as the entire comic book community. I have to remember to be more social at these things. I like spending time with other comic bookers, but unlike at a hundred book events every year, I’m just not my usual gadabout self at comic things. I’ll work on that.
Five Things I Learned at FanExpoCanada 2011:
1) Being on panels is awesome: I was on two author panels, and it was so much fun. Even though I had to be moderator on both panels, I had a blast, and the audiences were really amazing. So many of them dropped by my table afterward and picked up some of my work. Thanks to all my fellow panelists – James Davidge, Sarah McCully, Greg Lamberson, Lesley Livingston and Alyxandra Harvey – and to the people who listened and asked questions.
2) People like Quarter-Life Crisis: Surprisingly, several people sought me out at FanExpo, eager to read the new exploits of the Yung brothers. They were disappointed to learn there were no new exploits to speak of, which really encouraged me to finish up Book 2 as soon as possible. I even agreed, in handshake form, to have it done for TCAF 2012 with one eager reader.
3) Attendees put a lot of effort into their costumes: So many of the costumes the attendees wore were beyond impressive. One guy was dressed at the Team Rocket balloon (from Pokemon, not that I even ever watched that show), which took the cake for sheer magnitude. You could see the guy from the other end of the convention. My favourite costume, however, was the woman dressed as Kelly from the hilarious British ASBO superpowered-teen TV show, Misfits.
4) The ladies love Loki: The supervillain erotica calendar was a big hit, but a few female buyers commented on the lack of Thor’s arch-nemesis. The ladies, it would seem, are really into Loki, the trickster god and are eager to seem him out of his green-and-yellow costume. Who knew?
5) There are some really talented people out there: I’ve known this for a while, but I should take this moment to point out some young comic bookers and illustrators that I think are doing some really interesting stuff. Namely, Brian Evinou, Taryn Gee, Jori Bolton and John Lang. Check out their websites, all of ‘em.
6) Nerds really love The Big Bang Theory: If the T-shirts are to be believed (you should realize that FanExpo is largely an exercise in witty, geek-reference T-shirt one-upmanship), The Big Bang Theory is bigger than ever. Which is tragic, really. Because it’s a horrible, horrible show. It’s Two and a Half Men with different characters. Prove me wrong, nerds! Prove me wrong.
On a side note, the wittiest geek-reference T-shirt I saw combined Mario and Magritte: ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe.’ High-brow nerd stuff.