Tim Curry, TV premiere screenings, cosplay feature at Fan Expo Canada

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Toronto pop culture convention Fan Expo Canada has wrapped for another year. It ran from Thursday to Sunday. Major panels included Tim Curry and the cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show, Beauty and the Beast voices Robby Benson and Paige O'Hara, actors Kathleen Turner, Richard Dreyfuss, Anthony Daniels, Felicia Day, and child leads from Stranger Things. Canadian television channel Space hosted a Star Trek: Discovery panel with seven lead cast members. On the heels of sister event Toronto Comic Con's Degrassi reunion event, the lineup included a twentieth anniversary panel with the stars of another Canadian high school television series, Student Bodies.

Heading into its fourth and final season, attendees got a chance to see the season opener of Star Wars: Rebels on Saturday, followed by a panel. The event has had a continuing relationship with the series, screening other episodes previously. The second season premiere of the sci-fi series Travelers was accompanied by a panel including Eric McCormack. Canadian true-crime drama Bad Blood had its world premiere. Other debuts included broadcaster City with the Canadian premiere of Ghosted, with Craig Robinson in attendance, Teletoon with the Canadian premiere of Hotel Transylvania: The Series, and YTV with the new animated series Mysticons.

Anime fans could watch episodes of their favourite shows, including AKB0048, Otaku No Video, Hana Yamata, My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, and Penguindrum.

The book Star Wars Made Easy, targeted to non-fans to get up to speed on the fictional universe's various facts and figures, was ironically launched by DK Canada for a room of fans of the franchise. Author Christian Blauvelt answered questions from the audience on topics like his opinion on Midiclorians — he understands fan contention, but suggested that science and religion can co-exist, like in the real world — quizzed the audience on trivia, and signed copies of his book.

Some panels were quite ahead of the curve: one on Star Wars costume and prop building discussed building Porgs figures, despite the film The Last Jedi not being released to theatres yet.

Unity and United, from the York Regional Police.
Image: Nicholas Moreau.

York Regional Police were at the event with United and Unity, two brightly lit characters of their own creation. The force received funding in 2014 from the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy to create a short film featuring the character United, receiving positive recognition locally. “Our United superhero program is part of our on-going efforts to connect with our community and show police in a different light,” YRP Constable Andy Pattenden told Wikinews. He explains that the officers who developed the project have a background in film-making, and “serve as an opportunity for us to start a conversation with youth and connect with them at a non-traditional level.”

Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt, a puppet in the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, was re-created by the 501st Legion as an animatronic. The 501st is a fan group that dresses like the series villains for charitable events, particularly those raising funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The new addition to their annual display commanded long lineups throughout the day, from con-goers looking to donate in exchange for a photo-op with the massive, slug-like alien.

As with most major conventions, cosplayers were numerous, ranging from simple outfits that wouldn't raise an eyebrow if worn from day-to-day, to elaborately-created costumes and giant props. Outfits recognized by Wikinews' reporter ranged from classic characters like the 1960s version of Batgirl and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character created by Walt Disney in 1927, before Mickey, to 2010s characters from creative works like Undertale, Disney Descendants, League of Legends, and Adventure Time. Few characters are too obscure, if they appeal to a fan: the female avatar of “hivemind” character Unity, from a single episode of Rick and Morty, was spotted. One woman “biting” another woman's arm would be cause for concern most places, but at a pop culture convention, it simply means that “Lilo” is re-enacting a scene with “Mertle”, as seen in the film Lilo and Stitch.

Cheryl, right, talked with Wikinews.
Image: Nicholas Moreau.

Wikinews talked with Cheryl, the co-host of the weekly video series "Our Didnee Side", who was dressed as Gadget Hackwrench, a mouse from the 1990s television series Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers. Speaking for both of the hosts, she said their passion for Disney has “exploded” since starting the YouTube channel, and that they are both “creators. We can't seem to go a day without making something. We love doing Disney cosplay because it is like a beacon for other people in the fandom to come find us in a sea of other characters.” Conventions like Fan Expo Canada become “a great opportunity to meet like-minded Disney fans, and to possibly escape for the weekend from our 'boring human' lives.”

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, through Geektropolis website.
Image: Nicholas Moreau.

Adrianna Prosser, host of Toronto geek culture community website Geektropolis, spent part of the convention Fan Expo Canada 2017 as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. She told Wikinews that "geeking in Toronto is always such a joy, what with amazing cosplay and passionate fandoms coming together at Fan Expo!" She explained that the site tries to keep the feeling of the event going all year, featuring local creators and “geeky” fans, in an effort to bring the community closer together.

Party game Cards Against Humanity — intriguingly available under a non-commercial Creative Commons license — offered a "Free Apologies from An American" booth, where a representative offered regrets to the largely Canadian visitors. The booth's curtains came into use at least once on Friday, closing when a Trump cosplayer reached the front of the line.


Seen on the convention floor

Cosplay photo highlights


Related news

Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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