This year’s Fan Expo took place the first weekend of September, and I would be remiss if I didn’t give some seriously earned kudos to all the people who attended. The Expo organizers deserve a shout-out for doing their usual event-hosting magic, but let’s give due credit to all the devoted fans who bring their energy, enthusiasm and excitement! Please accept this as my humble offering of most sincere gratitude. This message is devoted to you. I am your biggest fan!
My first ever event/expo as a vendor was Fan Expo Toronto 2012. At the time, I had a couple self-published books to my name and I thought Fan Expo might help me find kindred souls who enjoyed macabre humour as much as me. Maybe I’d make a buck while I was at it to fund my creation factory. Four years later and five consecutive Fan Expos later, I am a believer in the Expo. And I appreciate the amazing people who share my weird, dark humour and have bought my offbeat creations.
Of course, my family gets a big chunk of my gratitude. For the past couple of years, my wife Jaime has joined me on Thursday with my son Grey. Grey had to get used to the crowds and the noise, but he always settles into the Expo groove. Since last year he has been a Minecraft fanatic, attracted to anything and everything Minecraft related. It’s because of him that I have Stampy’s voice on perma-loop in my brain. It’s been a huge education for me. This year was first time we brought Shaw, my daughter. It was amazing to see her immediately take to the Expo like it was home! She is a natural-born party girl, and the Expo is her scene. Cosplay is definitely Shaw’s jam. The look on her face when she first saw Spider-Man in person was priceless. Pointing and shouting “It’s Spider-Man, look! It’s Spider-Man!!!”. The pure joy rushing through her was palpable and contagious.
Visits from old friends are always a welcome and exciting surprise for me. It was a special treat to see the Thompson family this year. And, if you’ve visited me the last couple of Expos you’ll be familiar with my table partner Alexandria. Alex is an amazing friend and purveyor of exquisite taste. She turned me onto Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. “This One Summer” has a special place in my heart.
Fan Expo is inspiring for me. Meeting the people who actually like what I do is both an honour and humbling. It gives me the drive to keep going. For everyone who took time out of their busy Fan Expo day to visit me, thank you.