Five Ways to Geek Out at FanExpo Canada
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Five Ways to Geek Out at FanExpo Canada

Tips for navigating (and surviving) the massive four-day convergence of superfans.

A family of cosplayers at FanExpo 2011  Photo by Jackson Chiu, from the Torontoist Flickr Pool

A family of cosplayers at FanExpo 2011. Photo by Jackson Chiu, from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Now in its 21st year, FanExpo’s four-day celebration of sci-fi, horror, comic book, anime and gaming attractions is booming as mainstream interest in what used to be called geek culture continues to expand. The booths and attractions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre can look endless, so here are five highlight events to look out for. To get the full FanExpo dose, you’re going to have to brave the crowd and navigate through the fans that make this event the overwhelming experience it is. We have faith in you.


Dedicated autograph and photo hunters hit the FanExpo to capture an image or scrawl from favourite celebrities and pillars of genre cinema, and this year’s haul could be rich, as long as you have the wallet to pay for your digitally captured moments. For 50 bucks, you can get a signed photo of Mads Mikkelsen, TV’s Hannibal. For $65, you can get a photo with him. These prices can be higher or lower, depending on the star—$80 is the cost of your snap with Gillian Anderson of The X-Files and The Fall.

Other guests include Jeri Ryan, Norman Reedus, Neve Campbell, Jason Momoa, and the great, grizzled Danny Trejo. Luminaries from the comic book world such as Neal Adams and Jeff Lemire will also be signing.

Check out the full list here.

Hogwarts Reunited

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson won’t be making it, but Harry’s best friend and nastiest schoolyard enemy will be onstage for this evening of onstage storytelling, which will likely feature audience participation on some level, even if it’s just a simple Q & A. Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) will be joined by the Phelps twins, who played Fred and George Weasley in the films. Lovely British accents and stories of silly behind-the-scenes japes are guaranteed.

Back to the Future Script Live-read

In what’s sure to be a stranger and more vocally acrobatic spin on the usually celeb-heavy live readings that Jason Reitman has popularized in recent years, some of today’s top cartoon-voicing talent will be delivering a new take on the 1985 time-travel classic. Troy Baker, whose voice is found throughout the Marvel universe of cartoons, will read alongside Phil Lamarr, whose voice you’ve heard on Family Guy and Ninja Turtles, and who got his head shot off in the back of the car in Pulp Fiction. Jess Harnell (Rick & Morty, Up) and Nolan North (Transformers Prime) will complete the four-man team that will take on every line in the Back to the Future script.

Adventure Time With Jeremy Shada and Tom Kenny
Two stars of the Cartoon Network smash will be sitting down for a screening of the show and answering fan questions. Tom Kenny is also the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants and did a stint on Mr. Show with Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, and will hopefully entertain questions about the rest of his career.

FanExpo Speed Dating

If you’re over 19 and looking for someone with your specific tastes in horror, sci-fi, comics, anime, or games, the convention centre will be flooded with compatible matches this weekend. This fun, multi-session speed dating event aims to narrow the field. A big hit at last year’s FanExpo, and it’s back this year for people who want to invest a little time in meeting a lot of people.

FanExpo runs from today, September 3, to Sunday, September 6. More details can be found at the event’s official site, right here.