Although the end of Summer often triggers a chorus of sighs, it also means that FAN EXPO CANADA‘s back in Toronto. The annual convention now in its 22nd year, bringing together the greatest figures in Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime and Gaming with their Fans in a true celebration of “geeking-out”, takes place at Metro Toronto Convention Centre between Thursday, September 1 through Sunday, September 4, 2016.
127k Fans were expected to attend this year with star-power unparalleled. Appearing this year are the likes of Jack Gleeson, John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Frank Miller, Gillian Anderson, George Takei, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Adam West, Burt Ward, Christopher Lloyd, Anne Heche, Linda Blair, Hayley Atwell, Ben McKenzie, Morena Baccarin, Charlie Cox and the headliner, Mark Hamill. This also marks the final time that Marvel icon Stan Lee will be appearing in Canada.
Riding the high of international sensation POKÉMON GO, Fan Expo Canada introduced for the first time a Pokémon Go Lure Party giving attendees a chance to advance levels on the game and collect rarePokémon.
Several series premiered episodes at Fan Expo Canada including the likes of Travelers, The Killjoys, Son of Zorn and YouTube series Carmilla.
Netflix Canada getting into the spirit also presented a retro 90s-theme Dance Party for attendees to mingle. The Canadian League of Gamers eSports Tournament debuts at Fan Expo Canada also this year. More info on that here.
We had the chance to sit-on some panels and even chat with some of talent appearing this year. Here are some highlights and memorable quotes:
JACK GLEESON, GAME OF THRONES
“People just love to hate me”, says Gleeson on his role as King Joffrey Baratheon on the record-breaking HBO series. The 24-year-old Irish actor adds “I just give ’em a hug and we are alright”, when people transfer their dislike of him on the show to him in real life. On whom he’d like to see take the throne on Game of Thrones, he chooses Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). “We need a woman to knock some sense into people.”.
JOE QUESADA, Chief Creative Officer, MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT
The Comic Book Writer, Artist and Editor from New York grew-up loving the likes of Black Panther, Daredevil, Punisher and The Inhumans. When he was brought-on to Marvel in the late ’90s, he admits he wanted most to work on these books. He tells us, “They were paying artists $14 per hour back in 1990!”. After being appointed CCO in 2010, he has helped transform Marvel Entertainment into the powerhouse it has become once again. He admits, “I am the luckiest son of a bitch in Comics right now.”.
STAN LEE, FORMER PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF MARVELCOMICS
The Marvel legendary is making his final Canadian appearance at Fan Expo 2016 and was a great sport appearing from start to finish. He spoke at his hotly-buzzed panel, reflecting back on his career. On the many iconic characters he has developed, he says “I really don’t have a favourite character. I love them all. I love Silver Surfer, I love Doctor Strange, I love Spiderman. I love them all. But every time I get asked the question I always say Spider-Man and the audience goes ‘yay’.”.
Of all the talented actors to bring his character to life on-screen, he reveals “My favourite actor is Robert Downey Jr. I asked him if anyone ever has called him Bob? He said sure you can call me Bob, Bobo. So now I call him Bobo.”.
ADAM WEST & BURT WARD, BATMAN
We all grew-up at some point watching the Batman live-action series of the ’60s. How amazing is it that Batman and Robin both were at Fan Expo Canada together this year in spirited fashion?
Ward, known best for his role as Robin gives his Co-Star West the highest praise. “There were a lot of fine actors who played Batman, but there’s only one Batman and that’s Adam West!“. West jokingly replied, “I deserve that!”. On some of the highly-physical work he did on the series, he kids “They took out a $3 million life-insurance policy on me and I’m convinced by the end of the show they were trying to claim it!”.
West, reflecting on Catwoman remembers, “She gave me a curious stirrings in my utility belt!”.
GILLIAN ANDERSON, THE X-FILES
Work has brought the TheX-Files star back to the City to film, including upcoming series AMERICAN GODS. At her panel, she shed some light on her Agent Scully character saying, “She is quite square and I’m not, but I like her.”.
JOHN CUSACK, HIGH FIDELITY
The well-known Actor appeared in a package offer with his equally-brilliant sister Joan. While he is quite political on Social Media, he made an interesting analogy at his panel, “I see Twitter as curation and graffiti.”.
JOHN BARROWMAN, DOCTOR WHO/ARROW
The spirited Scottish-American Actor appeared at a hot ticket panel to thunderous applause. He tells his Fans, “If you don’t follow me you’re missing out on my fabulous life!”.
On his theatrical pursuits, he does say that his dream role on-stage would be Mac in Mac and Mabel.
MARK HAMILL, STAR WARS
The iconic Star Wars Actor made a rare appearance at Fan Expo this year and offered a VIP Experience to Fans and spoke at multiple panels. He tells his Fans, “This isn’t a show it’s an intimate conversation between thousands of my new best friends and me”.
On the upcoming continuation of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, he says “Gareth Edwards said five words to me that’s the biggest spoiler.”.
CHARLIE COX + ELDEN HENSON, DAREDEVIL
The two stars originally were to be joined by Marvel‘s Daredevil Co-star Jon Bernthal, although he was unable to make Fan Expo 2016 in the end. The duo spoke at a panel today and when asked which Marvel character they’d like to appear as a cameo on their series, Cox chose Black Widow. Henson however is a fan of Chris Pratt and would like to see his Star-Lord appear on the series.
A fun fact revealed is that the portrait on the wall at the 15th Precinct in the series is actual one of Stan Lee!
MAT FRASER + NAOMI GROSSMAN, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAKSHOW
Speaking to our Justin Waldman and Siobhán Rich, the two stars of the popular FX Series reveal some personal details about their experience.
Fraser tells us about filming a bed scene with Jessica Lange, “Of course, she’s hugely attractive but when you’re acting you’re acting. […] She pulled me in close. She made it really intimate. She nailed the scene: she nailed the intimacy between two actors to make the scene believable. Because she is a star in every sense of the word.”.
Grossman talks to the series’ shorter seasons, stating “As an actor it’s amazing. Because with the exception of me everyone’s gotten a chance to play another role. So I hope to have that opportunity.”.
CHARLES MARTINET, MARIO
We enjoyed most our chat with charismatic Charles Martinet, who voices Video Game icon Mario.