FaneXpo 2009: Day One Recap

“What, do I moderate myself?” – James Kyson Lee

Oh, the amusement I get from watching grown adults dress up like characters from their favorite anime/movie/game/etc. Surprisingly, I thought there would be more cosplaying, (I learned a new term), but thankfully I wasn’t alone in my lack of imaginative wardrobe. I did however pimp my Thor tee, so give me some credit.

What was first a somewhat subdued looking scene—a scattering of people waiting outside lecture rooms for whatever person/screening was about to start—soon became mayhem once entering the actual convention space. People everywhere, artwork from left to right, and makeup/prosthetics galore. I wish I had some money, because, I’ll admit, I’d have been buying up some original art and graphic novels no problem. As it was, I couldn’t pass up the playing card size prints of “horror-like” drawings of famous characters by RAK Graphics. RAK himself was manning the booth and passing out business cards—consisting of the artwork for sale, but devoid of his small signature. I absolutely needed the A Clockwork Orange piece with Malcolm McDowell’s Alex. Suffice it to say, I will be back at his booth for some more tomorrow, because, for a buck, they make great little gifts.

The autograph booths were fully occupied and my sister and I spied a glimpse of Lou Ferrigno, Linda Hamilton, Avery Brooks, Udo Kier, the Soup Nazi, James “Frank” Duval, and Chekov himself, Walter Koenig. The costs for those 8x10s were not cheap, however, so I decided on getting one of President Roslin, Mary McDonnell, and call it a day. She was very kind and personable, even going as far as to see my sister, (all dressed up as Aigis—you got me), and wonder who she was. Upon our exit, she even looked at me with a faux seriousness and said “keep an eye on your sister now”. Direct orders from the President must be followed.

As for our one foray into the lecture rooms, not counting a brief stint watching Evangelion: 1.0 You are (Not) Alone which ended up being a remake of an older version my sister already saw, we caught a Q&A with “Heroes’” Ando, James Kyson Lee. The guy was great, walking to the microphone and wondering if he’d get a moderator or not. While not divulging in too many spoilers for the new fourth season, he did let a couple tidbits loose. The season begins Sept 21st and will have, amongst others, guest stars including Robert Knepper, (from “Prison Break” James, not “24”; right channel, wrong time), Ray Park, and Ernie Hudson. Also relayed was that he’d be getting a love interest, “[Ando] does love women”, would hone his skills with his Crimson Arc power, and share a scene with a furry animal. As for the show itself, the new season will have a different format with each week focusing on just 4-5 characters rather than all 525 in 42 minutes. There will also be a carnival theme with a family of circus freaks that don’t just do the impossible for show, but actually have powers themselves. Some fun facts about himself were divulged as well: he studied Communications and dreamed of working for ESPN before doing some improv with friends and catching the acting bug; slept in his car the first night in LA after flying out with a one way ticket; plays basketball and ultimate Frisbee; and made up his Baby Matt quieting face from season 3 himself, calling it a “half Yoda, half Krusty the Clown” look.

So, all in all, it was a banner day in downtown TO. Tomorrow looks to be more chaotic with many more visitors being the weekend. I’ll be looking for more costumes, more laughs, and more Q&A’s that would interest me, (if not my sister).

[1] The convention booths
[2] Tron Legacy bike
[3] James Kyson Lee
[4] Thomas Dekker & Sarah Mobarak


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