Canada’s most attended comic con is a place for people with hobby interest in Anime, Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, or Video Games. Held in the heart of Toronto at the Metropolitan Convention Center August 25-28th2011, Hobby Stars’ Fan Expo Canada featured local and international artists, celebrity photo-ops, autograph sessions and Q&A opportunities plus multiple Game tournaments and cosplay awards. Conventions are always an adventure of inspiration and learning about whats new and good in fandom. Here’s a taste of my adventure at Fan Expo Canada 2011!
First things first: I played in Canada’s Largest 3D Gaming Tournament featured by LG playing Call Of Duty: Black Ops to promote 3D gaming and television – although I didn’t win the match, the 3D experience is certainly worth mentioning. It definitely does enhance the immersion by creating depth to the visual of the familiar maps of COD and raises the degree of intensity of watching someone run towards you with their AK in your face. But is that enough to make 3D gaming last? Later, during G4’s Panel featuring the cast of Electric Playground, Host Reviewer Jose Sanchez explained why he loves his 3D TV and games while the rest of the panel shakes their head in disagreement. He cleverly reminded Creator/Host Victor Lucas of how psyched he is when playing 3D games when Host Miri Jedeikin cleared the air reminding everyone that 3D is indeed an incredible achievement in movies and games as long as it is used to somehow enhance the narrative experience mentioning that some movies and games don’t “need” 3D using David Ellis’ Shark Night 3D as an example of where 3D works. Other video games featured at the Fan Expo were Ubisoft Montreal`s Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Just Dance 3, Rayman Origins, Rocksmith, Driver: San Francisco and Tom Clany`s Ghost Recon Future Soldier. And in case you missed the news of this badass game check out They Bleed Pixels with music by DJ Finish Him – Electric Playgrounds’ own Shaun Hatton who performed live in Toronto after the expo on Friday night.
- Rin (Voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard)
After eating ridiculously overpriced pizza (then realizing there is cheap food across the street and easy re-entry) we made our way over to another most mentionable highlight of Fan Expo Canada; Colleen Clinkenbeard (Rin, Daughters of Mnemosyne) and Caitlin Glass (Winry Rockbell, FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) sharing the panel Voice Acting 101. This Q & A style duo answered questions from the audience that focused on learning how to get into the business of Voice Acting, performance tips for English Anime- Dubbing, memorable studio moments, and favourite character experiences.
- Winry Rockbell (Voiced by Caitlin Glass)
Underlying everything they said – it all came down to experience as an actor. They encouraged ambitious voice actors to explore all areas of acting because when it comes to audition time you will need to read right off the page with emotion and character. But how do Winry and Rin really get into their characters? By recording while experiencing the emotive imagery of original work and studying the voices of the original Japanese cast. They treated the audience to the reasons why its easy for them to cry when its required by their character. Besides not having to physically have tears run down their face being a voice actor, Glass and Clinkenbeard praise the Japanese versions giving them the credit for making them have such strong connection and response to characters they voice. Glass’ co-star Vic Mignogna (Edward Elric) also made an appearance at the Fan Expo along with other American Voice Stars like the recongizable Veronica Taylor ( Ash Ketchum, Pokemon ), Chris Sabat (Piccolo and Vegeta, Dragon Ball) and John Stocker from all our favorites including The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and Adventures of Sonic the hedgehog. You can find the full list of Anime guests and their work at Fanexpocanada.com.
- More FanExpo Cosplay
Browsing hundreds of pieces of art, admiring the most amazing cosplay I’ve ever seen and making friends in lines for autographs from a few favorites like the Cast of Lost Girl, Tom Felton (Draco, Harry Potter), Tom Savini (From Dusk till Dawn), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Marina Sirtis (Matriarch Benezia,Mass Effect and Deanna Troi, Star Trek TNG) we had a chance to catch up with Matt Fraction and his panel about whats coming in the Marvel Fear Itself series.
- Portal Cosplay
I’m personally looking forward to the plans for Hulk and Banner separating once again for quite a different adventure and relationship. An audience member asked Fraction how they feel and deal with the way some people don’t consider comic books as serious fictional art. Although I think most people are well aware of the integrity of comic books and graphic novels Fraction said it best “We are not movies, we are not TV, we are not regular books. We are comics and this is our art, our medium and we should be proud of what we do.” an argument justified and familiar by the games industry and fan communities.
- <3 it!
All in all this years Fan Expo was a success offering entertainment and quality fan goods catering to all your hobby needs. Last years fan expo was a disappointment in terms of organization when they failed to book the larger part of the two building convention centre but redeemed themselves this year staying organized and efficient with both buildings booked and 4 days of expo rather than the usual 3 day duration like previous years. I can’t wait to see what they bring to the table at next years Fan Expo especially since the 501st Star Wars Legion – a professional cosplay charity group drawing the biggest Star Wars crowds – will not be attending next year due to a conflicting Star Wars Celebration in Florida. I’m dying to know what genre is going to land the big attraction in their sci-fi absence. Will horror fans steal the show? Or will Ubisoft take the opportunity to expand the gaming expo? I vote for some console release information. Hopefully I’ll see you there!