A spectator’s experience at Fan Expo Vancouver
By Gurneev Panesar, Contributor
Fan Expo Vancouver 2012 was an entirely different experience for me. Not only was it new, but it was an event I never dreamt I would attend, mainly due to the fact that such an opportunity had never presented itself to me before.
First things first though, I am not at all the “nerdy” type, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into a comic con-like convention apart from what I’d generally glimpsed at on a random episode of The Big Bang Theory. Nevertheless, what initially sold me on going to this event was the chance to meet Harry Potter star, Tom Felton—a.k.a. Draco Malfoy—until of course, due to scheduling conflicts, he was unable to attend. Although my ace in the hole escaped, all was not lost—I instead got to meet and greet The Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno. It was an overwhelming moment just getting to see him in person, but then he offered to shake my hand! And gosh, was he as built as his classic character!
Another momentous takeaway was my recent introduction to the Canadian GCI-animated series, ReBoot (1994–2001). In honour of this great show, one of the biggest events of the weekend was the “ReBoot Reunion,” in which co-creator Gavin Blair and several members of the voice cast held a Q&A session. The amount of energy in the convention hall reached hexadecimal levels, so to speak, and left me in sheer awe. Not only that, but the panel actually got me laughing pretty hard, despite the fact that I didn’t know jack about the show or its history. It was amazing; the connection between the cast and crew and their fans felt like a unique family of its own.
I was mesmerized at the idea that such a diverse group of people from all over the globe came together to such events as this to celebrate art and design, anime, comics, and sci-fi regularly. And then of course, everybody was dressed up in all sorts of costumes. Not just any costumes either; some of them literally looked like they did on TV and in the movies. The time and effort put into each and every detail made them seem so lifelike—especially when it came to the anime-based “cosplayers”—it felt like I was in yet another world, and not in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
All in all, it was a day I will never forget, and I learned a great deal about subjects I otherwise would never have known about. I strongly recommend one go out to such events, if nothing else, than to see that there is an entirely different side to pop culture that a lot of us don’t fully give the chance to learn about.