Conventions

After Action Report: Fan Expo, Day 1

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Been quiet lately. The real world and family, and perhaps a demon or two. I’ve also been prepping a couple of things. More on those very soon, but at the moment I thought I’d put a couple of notes up about Fan Expo, the biggest con we go to and this was our fourth year in a row as a family. And since we’ve been back for a week and I’ve had a full work week since, things should be back to normal, right?

If only I knew what normal was.

Fan Expo runs Thursday to Sunday the last full weekend of August. Thursday is the most relaxing day at Fan Expo. There are lots of people, but the crowds really haven’t arrived yet. The Con opens at 2 for those who have bought weekend passes in advance, four for the single day and people buying their tickets at the door.

We tried to take it easy, just relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere of the con, and making it to the doors at about quarter after two.

The delay to get in wasn’t too bad (one thing they’ve improved this year) and we moved inside to check out the first displays—KITT and the Batmobile, the 501st and the Ghostbusters, plus a little Doctor Who. In our first divide and conquer of the weekend, my wife, son, and youngest daughter stood in line for photo op tickets we should have bought in advance, while my oldest daughter and I walked across the smaller of the two buildings to pick up tickets for the vocaloid concert on Sunday.

The first panel on the list was James Hong. Managed seats in the front row, and I think it’s the only panel the entire family attended together. When I first pointed out the panel, no one had any idea who the Mr. Hong was, at least until I started going through the acting credits my wife and children might recognize:

Mr. Ping from the Kung Fu Panda movies.

Chen, the restaurant owner, from The Big Bang Theory.

Guest star on half the TV shows they’ve ever watched.

James Hong
James Hong

He stands out for me as Hannibal Chew in Bladerunner and Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China, but Mr. Hong has an acting career that reaches back to the mid-1950s and he’s literally been in hundreds of shows and movies.

My wife and son went to see Stan Lee a little later while the girls and I got our picture taken with Mr. Hong who was pleasant and friendly though he had to be exhausted by the time the whole thing was over.

Stan Lee and his drink courtesy of Subway
Stan Lee and his drink courtesy of Subway

Right after that, we headed back to the same room we’d listened to him in so we could enjoy a panel Q&A with Cathy Weseluck and Andrea Libman, two of the principal voice actors on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. They’ve both done a lot of other work as well, but nearly all of the questions asked were about MLP, and there were a surprising number of Bronies there, asking a lot of those questions.

Cathy Weseluck (left), Andrea Libman (right)
Cathy Weseluck (left), Andrea Libman (right), two of the principal VAs for MLP: Friendship is Magic

All in all, the first day at the con was a slow paced, relaxed one. That would change in the afternoon on Friday.

Be well, everyone.

The girls and I with James Hong.
The girls and I with James Hong. I should have found a Lo Pan t-shirt to wear.
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