Convention celebrates fourth year of all things nerdy
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Now in its fourth year, the Vancouver Fan Expo celebrated nerdy media with over 20,000 attendees at the Vancouver Convention Centre on April 3–5. The annual convention included celebrity panels, rare collectibles, artists’ original work, and cosplay of all kinds geared towards fans of science fiction, horror, fantasy, artists, and especially comics.
Fan Expo featured celebrity guests for every generation, such as Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon a Time), Stephen Amell (Arrow), William Shatner (Star Trek), and Carrie Fisher (Star Wars). The celebrities participated in Q-and-A sessions as well as photo and autograph sessions for an additional fee.
One of the best aspects of the celebrity panels is the opportunity for celebrities to really showcase their personality. Shatner’s panel was by far the most crowded one, but had very few questions answered due to the actor’s style of telling long stories and going off on tangents in his responses. Fisher brought her pet bulldog to her Q-and-A, and answered many questions that weren’t related to her role as Princess Leia.
There were also smaller panels that took place during Fan Expo, as well as comic sketch duels, voice acting workshops, improv shows, and web series presentations. Comic artists, actors, authors, fans, and musicians could all be found presenting their unique spotlights throughout the convention.
Outside of the panel highlights, there was plenty to see and do at Fan Expo, such as perusing the hundreds of booths throughout the hallway. One of the most crowded booths had a tented-off archery area where patrons could practice bow-and-arrow target shooting.
Many of the booths sold comics, video games, props, and DVDs while others sold 3-D-printed materials, swords, and tattoos. Posters of every kind, both original art and standard designs, could be found, with some of the extra large and rare ones going for hundreds of dollars.
One of the most unique booths there was the Skull Store, which sold a wide variety of bones and furs, everything from lamb bones for $5 to genuine human skulls for $1,000. Several booths sold sword and weapon replicas for hundreds of dollars. It seemed that wares of every type could be purchased at the convention, from jewellery and T-shirts to weapons and raccoon scalps.
In the Artists Alley, where amateur and professional creators sell their original work, an assortment of prints, jewellery, and clothing could be purchased directly from the creators, featuring items that are often difficult to find outside of a convention like this one.
Cosplaying is a major feature of any convention, and Fan Expo’s attendees exhibited high-quality costumes of every kind from all types of TV shows, comics, and movies. Some of the most memorable cosplays were the giant ones, such as Baymax (Big Hero 6), Totoro (My Neighbour Totoro), and a tauntaun (Star Wars). In addition, there were many superheroes and super villains, with plenty of Batmans, Jokers, Captain Americas, Doctors, and Harley Quinns to be found. Even the cosplay characters that people weren’t familiar with were fun to see.
Other attractions at this year’s Fan Expo included a beta video game testing booth, and the original DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future.
Whether it’s to find that rare issue of X-Men #1, to shake the hand of Captain Kirk himself, or to check out the Transformer cosplays, the annual Vancouver Fan Expo has something for everyone.