Getting Ready for FanExpo

So while the kids get to be lazy slugs and lie around the house all day after our overnight trip to Ottawa and the Calypso Water Park, I have a lot to do to get ready for the pilgrimage to Geektopia that is FanExpo.

I’m not going to bother with tips for convention etiquette (like being polite and regular bathing) or good practices for going to a con (like comfortable shoes and sports bottles of water). Those are all covered very well elsewhere. A lot of elsewheres, really.

I’m also not going to go into all the things I’m packing to take the offspring to the con. For my own wardrobe, I’ll tweet a picture of which geeky t-shirt I’m wearing early in the morning to help people who want to find me on that particular day and I know at least a handful of other people are planning to do the same.

No, just for fun, I’m going to run through what I hope to manage at FanExpo this year. There were some tough choices due to scheduling and I have to take into account things the kids want to do with or without me, but it’s going to be a pretty packed weekend any way you look at it. I’m not listing specific booths I want to visit or artists I want to see or autographs I’m looking for this trip. Those are all on a checklist. There may be better times during the con to see some people, but I’ll have to manage the best I can.

So, subject to change, here we go.

Thursday

3 out of 3 offspring agree that we need to hit the Halo 4 Multiplayer tryout early in our visit. And not just early in our visit, but every day any of them plans to attend the con. Multiple times. So be it. I’m a Halo fan, so why should I go against the majority on this one?

Having purchased the full Expo pass tickets, we theoretically get entrance into the con 2 hours early, depending on how many other people have bought the same tickets, we’ll have the opportunity to do a lingering first tour around the floor to check out all of the neat stuff and maybe do a little shopping and geek wardrobe improvement, plus check out some of the exciting booths and displays.

Current plans are for a very late lunch or very early dinner as David Prowse, who, among many other accomplishments, is Darth Vader, will be doing a Q&A session on Thursday at 7 and we’ll need to line up for that, I think, as it’s not in the giant room That’s where Stan Lee is going to be if anyone’s going—a tough decision, but the Dark Lord of the Sith has more of a universal appeal to the family.

After that, though, I’ll be abandoning the rest of the family to the convention floor as I run a few doors down to the Indie Genre Fiction panel, which promises an eclectic group of authors from different genres. I still hope to record this one for posterity, depending, but only have my iPhone to work with at this point having failed to get a portable digital recorder in time for the con. The iPhone does okay, if I can get a seat near the front and do a little work on the audio after the fact to make it listenable. We’ll see how it goes.

Friday

Friday has some tough choices and may involve a lot of standing in line. We’ll have a leisurely start to the day, though, as the first item on our must see agenda isn’t until 1, the live action anime film and demo. Looks absolutely hilarious.

After that, it’s a fairly relaxed afternoon until it’s time to line up to see Levar Burton in Hall G at 4. From everything I’ve seen in the past, he’s an entertaining speaker so this should be a good hour.

I thought I’d go to the Crowd Funding panel, which looks really interesting, at 5 to join my wife in line for John Rhys Davies, who’s speaking at 5:30. From there, it’s joining my son in line for the advanced screening of the pilot of the new JJ Abrams TV series Revolution. The concept looks really interesting and Gamer Boy is definitely an Abrams fan, so it should be good for both of us.

Saturday

Saturday, the lady folk are talking off, and it’s a fairly relaxed day for specific events, which means it’s a day for seeing what there is to find and maybe a little time standing in line for autographs, depending.

In the morning, Gamer Boy and I are starting with a panel: So You’re a Gamer and No One Understands You. Sounds entertaining and I’m very curious what tack it’s going to take. From there, we probably move on to the Kate Mulgrew Q&A. The question there is will I be able to get anyone to come with me?

Sunday

Sunday starts just as early but will be packed with stuff. I’m going to be run off my feet on Sunday, with different family members after different things.

First, at 11, a panel on The History of Video Games. Should be an interesting retrospective for me, and Gamer Boy might get something out of it, too. He’s actually the one who suggested we go, having long since fallen into the school of thought that game play is far more important than pretty sounds and graphics (although he admits those are nice, too).

My girls want a photo with and/or an autograph from Rose McGowan. Ms. McGowan has done a lot of work over the past couple of decades, but my girls know her for five seasons of Charmed and they spent half the summer watching the series from beginning to end. Photo Op is very likely and she’s also doing a Q&A today that will talk about a lot more than just Charmed, I think, and probably won’t thrill my daughters all that much.

At noon, there’s a Q&A and demonstration by an actual swordsmith built around Fantasy Armour and Weapons and that runs right up against the Steam Punk Author Panel (or the Brental Floss spotlight for Gamer Boy). This, in turn, runs right up against the Christopher Lloyd Q&A which we’ve all decided needs attending.

Which puts me in a tough spot to make the Billy West Q&A at 4. He’s signing autographs at some point every day during the con, for free, no less, so I’m going to get to see him for a few seconds at some point, but how can I pass up the opportunity to hear the man who voices Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan?

Which will make the convention over except for the long walk back to the street. Dinner, a couple of energy drinks, and the drive home. I work a night shift on Monday.

Now that’s going to be tough.

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