Ready or not, Canada, here comes MTV Geek! We're hitting up FanExpo Canada again this year for coverage of all things comics, TV, toys, cosplay, and, you know, other geeky stuff. Poutine is geeky, right? Because it's going to be 95% poutine coverage. Or we're going to be 95% covered in poutine, one of the two.
In any case, as one of the largest cross-genre conventions in the world - last year's Con drew a massive 80,000 attendees over four days - there's a lot to do. Complicating matters? FanExpo is split into several "different" Cons: Comics; Sci-Fi; Horror; Anime; Gaming; and Poutine. There's a large amount of actual overlap between the conventions, including the highly trafficked lobby outside the Con Floor, which is the best place to get insane cosplay photo ops...
But the schedule itself keeps things mostly separate. If you want the comics track, you're set all weekend. Horror, same. So here's a few highlights that anyone from any interest set might want to check out, listed by day:
6PM - JULIE BENZ Q&A: We’ve actually chatted with the genre friendly actress before, and not only is she down to Earth, she’s also very funny. Benz is one of the many former ‘Buffy’ stars hitting FanExpo this weekend, so if you’re a fan of the show, this is the expo for you. Sigh.
7PM - STAN LEE Q&A: He’s the man. Come on.
7PM - EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CREATING COMICS WITH JIMMY PALMIOTTI: Or, you could go see another guy who lives up to Stan’s legacy, modern raconteur Jimmy Palmiotti. Given the guy has worked nearly every job in the industry, and knows how to sell both mainstream and indie comics, this is a chat worth checking out.
8PM - SKETCH DUEL - ESAD RIBIC VS. TONY MOORE: One of the best aspects of FanExpo are the non-stop sketch duels. You get to see two masters create works of art before your very eyes, and then lucky audience members get to go home with said works of art, free. Last year, just hanging out in the Sketch Duel rooms were some of the best hours we spent at the Expo, so be sure to make time.
10AM - LEARN TO PLAY POKEMON or MAGIC: THE GATHERING: While you’re killing some time in the morning, why not take up trading card games? Seriously, though, gaming is a big aspect of FanExpo, and these two classic games make a nice intro to the genre. I’m not sure genre is the right word. Please don’t hit me, trading card game enthusiasts.
12PM - COMIC SPEED DATING: Another big aspect of FanExpo? Genre specific speed dating. It kicks off with comic book fans only, then continues throughout the weekend with the rest of the Expo focus areas. I’m sure the Poutine Speed Dating is on this schedule somewhere, I just can’t seem to find it...
12PM - AN INTRODUCTION TO LARP: On the off-chance you’re not single, maybe head over to Room 707, and get immersed in the big wide world of Live Action Role Playing! After that, you’ll be single, so head over to one of the speed dating sessions.
1PM - DC ENTERTAINMENT - ALL ACCESS FRIDAY! or MARVEL: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN: FanExpo doesn’t f**k around. Not only do they make you choose your favorite type of nerdery, once you’ve chosen comics, you immediately have to decide whether you’re a Marvel or DC on the first day. And we thought Canadians were supposed to be polite...
1PM - A FAN EXPO CANADA WEDDING: LIVE! ...But what we’re actually going to choose is love, as two nerds get married at FanExpo, in front of a crowd of thousands, in a superhero themed wedding. See? We don’t have to fight, guys.
2PM - ANIME NAME THAT TUNE: Just keep answering “Avatar The Last Airbender!” They’ll love that, trust me.
3PM - MARVEL: PINT OF CB: The slightly more boozy take on Joe Quesada’s Cup O’ Joe is always a lot of fun, with some news, and a fair amount of riffing.
4PM - CREATE A CHARACTER 101 WITH DAN SLOTT & TY TEMPLETON: Watching the writer of Amazing Spider-Man work with the writer of Ultimate Spider-Man to create a new character? Sounds like fun, as long as it doesn’t devolve into, “Uh, he’s bit by a spider... And... I dunknow...”
4PM - DOCTOR WHO SOCIETY OF CANADA - DALEK BUILDING 101: “EH-XTERMINATE! EH-XTERIMATE THE DOCTOR, IF THAT’S OKAY WITH HIM, EH?” Note: we are going to get kicked out of Canada.
5PM - IT CAME FROM THE GREAT WHITE NORTH: CANADA’S AWARD-WINNING GRAPHIC NOVELS: Darwyn Cooke, Ramon Perez, Scott Chantler, and Ray Fawkes have a discussion about the Canadian comic book scene. We have no jokes, this sounds pretty informative.
7PM - REVOLUTION SCREENING: Of the five pilots shown off at San Diego Comic-Con, Revolution was easily the best (two of two MTV Geek bloggers agree!), and now Canada gets their chance to see the - reportedly - reworked pilot. As a bonus, cast members Billy Burke, Tracy Spiradakos, and Giancarlo Esposito have a Q&A afterwards. We’re hoping someone accidentally calls Esposito either “Gus Fring” or “Magic Mirror.”
8PM - JAY & SILENT BOB GET OLD: Hey, it’s a live podcast with those two guys from Chasing Amy!
11PM - SO YOU’RE A GAMER AND NO ONE UNDERSTANDS YOU: It will take every ounce of will-power we have not to go into this panel discussion for hardcore gamers, and just loudly, repeatedly, say, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.”
12PM - MUNCHKIN NOONER: “The last time I had a Munchkin Nooner, I woke up with a lollipop in my hair, and some witch’s shoes under my bed, badda boom, badda zing!” But seriously, this is some sort of table gaming thing.
12PM - THE CAST OF LOST GIRL: Catch up with the surprisingly fun Fairy action/comedy/drama ‘Lost Girl,’ though I think we’re about a season behind in the US? So we’ll go, but we’re going to be earmuffing the whole time.
1PM - DC ENTERTAINMENT - ALL ACCESS SATURDAY! or MARVEL: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: Seriously, FanExpo, you’re killing me here.
2PM - ALAN TUDYK: We love Tudyk so much, we’ll let this panel description slide: “A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard Conservatory, Alan Tudyk is beloved worldwide for his many roles on stage, screen, and television. Fans will know him best for his portrayal of the sardonic Hoban “Wash” Washbourne on Firefly.” Oh, you mean this panel won’t be packed with fans of his character from Transformers 3?
3PM - MARVEL NOW! Enjoy one of the rare times DC isn’t having a panel at the exact same time as a Marvel panel, and get the scoop on the next big initiative from the Publisher!
5:30PM - MEDIEVAL FANTASY ARMOUR PHOTO WALL: Okay, so we didn’t mention it before now, but throughout the Expo there’s specific “Photo Walls,” times when people in a type of costume can gather to get their picture taken. This will be the most awkward. Or at least the most clangy.
6PM - MASQUERADE SET-UP: Anyone know how long the lines are for this? I want to make sure to get in.
8PM - MASQUERADE: But seriously folks, this is always a good time, and like we said: the cosplay at FanExpo is really, really good.
12PM - JOHN BARROWMAN: “A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard Conservatory, John Barrowman is beloved worldwide for his many roles on stage, screen, and television. Fans will know him best for his portrayal of the sardonic Hoban “Wash” Washbourne on Firefly.” Just kidding, they have a totally legit bio for Barrowman. The man is also known as a single-minded entertainment machine, so this should be a blast.
1PM - DC ENTERTAINMENT - ALL ACCESS SUNDAY! or MARVEL: X-MEN: ...And we’re back.
1:30PM - GILLIAN ANDERSON: Any guesses what 100% of the questions for Anderson will be about? If you guessed “X-Files,” you guessed wrong.
2PM - SKETCH DUEL: DARWYN COOKE VS. AMANDA CONNER: This is also moderated by Jimmy Palmiotti, and is probably our most anticipated event of the weekend, no joke.
4PM - BILLY WEST: The incredible voice actor takes the stage solo for an hour, which would just be enough time for him to run through half the voices he can do.
And that’s it! There’s plenty of other events around the Con, including “The Art of Frankenweenie,” a Delorean, and tons of celebrity signings, so we’ll see you there! And we promise to cut down the poutine jokes, okay? Okay.