• Conventions

    Fan Expo

    by I wrote a big long post last year about how fan Expo and I were breaking up. I extended the relationship metaphor into the whole “it’s not you, it’s me cliché”, coming down the side of no, wait, it’s you. (And it is, Fan Expo, make no mistake.) However, in the same post, I admitted that the likelihood of us getting back together for a weekend fling this year was high. This is Fan Expo number 20, and I know you’ll be pulling out all of the stops to get my money. And this is in spite of the fact that you’ve chosen to take place on Labor Day…

  • Conventions

    Ottawa Comic Con Wrap Up

    by   So, my after action report for Ottawa Comic Con is very overdue. It’s been over for more than a week, but most of the events are still fresh in my head. Three days’ worth of convention, this was also the third year of the con, and it seems like it’s growing very rapidly. For a con in its third year, the guest list was quite impressive, but then Ottawa is a fairly large city, and does have a pretty significant geek crowd, especially when you consider the Ottawa–Hull region is more than one million people. Ottawa absolutely needed a major convention, and now it has one. That said,…

  • Conventions

    Quinte Mini Con Report

    by Okay, so I’m a little late getting this posted, seeing as how the con ended 8 days ago, but Quinte Mini Con Was great. Especially for a first year con. I’ll admit that I don’t have a basis for comparison. This is the first time I’ve been to a first year con, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows next year. I’ll also admit it’s the smallest con I’ve ever been to. But it’s local-ish to me, and the geek tribe always needs room to grow and express itself. Belleville’s not a big town, but the con drew out some vendors and artists, some local and some…

  • Conventions,  Life,  Parenting

    Fall Conventions

    by We’ve been planning to go to Quinte Mini Con in Belleville since we first heard about it very early in the year. It’s the first Con in the area, and will become the closest without going to Toronto. A small con, and a first time foray, it looks like the con organizers are going to every effort to put together something people will want to go. I don’t expect Fan Expo, and one of those is enough, really, but I expect to be impressed. Guests, events, panels, and a vendor’s room. Should be fun. My daughters, particularly Oldest Daughter, made some friends in Vocaloid cosplay at Fan Expo (and…

  • Conventions

    The Future of Cosplay (For Me)

    by We did a family Steampunk cosplay for Ad Astra in April, and a group Soul Eater cosplay for the day we spent at Anime North in May. The girls wanted to do their own things for Fan Expo, and I had a hard time finding time to put anything together, worried (or even stressed) about too many other things, and making sure the kids’ summer worked well. And I kinda hated the wig I needed to play Professor Stein. Not to mention that I’ve really only watched about half a season of the show. The kids have all enjoyed Soul Eater, and I’ll admit it’s fun, but there are…

  • Conventions

    It’s Not You, It’s Me

    by No, really. I’m sorry, Fan Expo, but I’ve given this a lot of thought. I can’t handle the incompetent line management anymore. Or the inconsistent room management, or the constantly changing procedures, or the total lack of traffic flow planning or understanding. I feel like you’ve studied at the Ikea school of customer flow—one way in and one way out—but dropped out after the first day before you learned why and how it actually is made to work. And the escalators… ai-ya. Oh, and some consistent communication to your staff and security crew would be good, so they can deliver a consistent message when people have questions. Or even…

  • Conventions

    After Action Report: Fan Expo, Day 4

    by Sunday, crowd-wise, is a lot like Friday at Fan Expo. Crowded, but you can still move around. It’s also the last day of four at the con, so the overall speed of the crowd is often a little faster since time is now very limited. But some things aren’t faster. My son and I got in line at the top of the escalator to go to the bottom of the North Building and The Walking Dead panel. The line did not move. At first, this seemed to be because the escalator was malfunctioning. Again. After a few minutes, staff made it clear that the panel had no seating left.…

  • Conventions

    After Action Report: Fan Expo, Day 3

    by A little delayed, but lots of time for the first paragraph to contain useful advice. If you’re only going to Fan Expo one day next year, don’t make it Saturday. Really. It’s the most crowded day and suffers from the most line and traffic mismanagement by staff, not to mention the escalator breakdowns that happen every year. Saturday is the reason Fan Expo and I are on the rocks. Well, the ticket price is getting a little steep, too. My wife and daughters getting trapped outside the building because apparently they were over capacity, and then suddenly they weren’t. My son got trapped in a line up to get…

  • Conventions

    After Action Report: Fan Expo, Day 2

    by Friday is the first big day of Fan Expo. The crowds have come and it gets worse the later in the day it is. The con floor is pretty huge at Fan Expo. If you spent two minutes at every booth, you might be able to see them all in one day, but not after you add travel time in and only if you ignore Artists’ Alley, which is absolutely impossible to do. And there’s a little more in the hallway just outside the giant area enclosing the con floor. Which is where we found half the cast of Sailor Moon signing autographs. Sailors Moon, Mars, and Jupiter, plus…

  • Conventions

    After Action Report: Fan Expo, Day 1

    by 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…