Fans needed super-hero stamina to brave the San Diego-esque long lines and crowds at Fan Expo in Toronto August 27-29, 2010. Ronn Sutton and I were seated in Artist's Alley, and heard story after story of how some fans waited up to four hours to get in, then lined up again to get autographs from such stars as Stan Lee, William Shatner, Summer Glau, Felicia Day, Adam West and more. One fan reported that he went outside for a cigarette, heard the click of the door behind him, and had to get in line for another two hours to get back inside!
Once inside, however, fans were more than happy to seek out treasures on the dealers' room floor and attend panels and signings. It was busy for Ronn and myself too, as we both sold original art and did a number of commissioned pieces. There were plenty of cool costumes parading by, and a cute Batgirl was kind enough to pose with a Batgirl original art piece I was working on. Once finished, that art sold along with Catwoman, Supergirl, Zatanna, Dragon Lady and numerous versions of Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was a hot topic at the show, with many fans pondering what was going on with the live-action feature. My feeling is that Wonder Woman has always been a difficult character to write, and a big-screen version should focus on her mythological roots as well as her super-heroic attributes (magic lasso of truth, boomerang tiara, invisible plane). If Hollywood's listening, I'd be happy to discuss!
One of the most exciting things for me that happened during the show was receiving an email from Arrow Publications saying that the first of my Eternal Romance supernatural love stories, TOO MUCH AT STAKE! was accepted by Apple and posted to its app store for download. In this story, lovelorn vampire Destine reveals her origin to wannabe slayer, Grayce Roy. Other stories are to follow, with a download price each of $0.99. I'm hoping Eternal Romance will reach new and returning fans, with Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and other paranormal adventures being so hot right now.
Going to Fan Expo also means connecting with friends. I was able to deliver the Barnabus Collins and Angelique Dark Shadows figures I picked up in San Diego to www.PopCultureAddict.com scribe and publisher Sam Tweedle. Later, Sam, Ronn and Marvel Comics artist Leonard Kirk enjoyed a (late) dinner and Steam Whistle brewskies on Wayne Gretsky's rooftop patio bar/restaurant, Oasis. It took us a bit of a runaround to find the stairs leading to the upstairs patio, but it was a entertaining evening of discussing gory horror movies.
While most of my time was spent behind the table at Artists' Alley, I did get a chance to walk the exhibit floor and do some shopping. I got my pic snapped at the SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND promo booth, and snagged some great merchandise: Star Trek key chain, the Spider-Man / Obama graphic novel, The Nightmare Before Christmas tote bag, Composite Superman action figure, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies graphic novel, True Blood "Fangtasia" hand tattoos and more. Lots to lug home on the train!
Fan Expo 2010 was big, noisy and fun. It seems to be following close on the heels of Comic-Con in San Diego in terms of expansion, but there's still lots of emphasis on comic books. And if by the end of the show, I look like Death warmed over, I hope it's as good as the lass dressed as Death from Neil Gaiman's Sandman.
NEXT CON: Montreal Comic-Con, September 11-12, 2010! -- Janet Hetherington