Have I mentioned Fan Expo recently? (I have a suspicion that I have, in fact, mentioned the approach of Fan Expo more than once or twice.)
And here it is, the three-day event that I have been aiming at with all of the Derek upgrading.
This year the three days of Fan Expo began on a Saturday, and we had designated the first day as reconnaissance. Except for Middle Kid, who had arranged to meet some friends in Cosplay as Lucius from “Our Flag Means Death”.
Not having prepared a cosplay for myself, I threw together a Ninth Doctor outfit, but that has the disadvantage of looking like…regular clothing. I mean, not regular clothing that I would wear, but it’s tricky to spot that I’m dressed up, unless you know me. Look, here’s the real thing:
I looked just like this, except for the Christopher Ecclestone bit. No one noticed. As you might expect, the Saturday was busy, and we were glad we hadn’t brought Derek – there wasn’t room for him to move around the hall. I checked out the Droid Builders’ club.
I always forget how big R2 units are in real life. Definitely not building one of those.
Another great stand was the one for Bucketheads, a fan-made tv series about a group of Stormtroopers – Nova Squad. After visiting the stand, I was lucky enough to run into Victoria Souter, who plays Sgt Nomi Coven.
You can catch the first episode of Bucketheads on YouTube, but I would recommend checking out the Prologue and Episode Two as well. The series is made on a voluntary basis – no one is getting paid, they’re all giving their time and expertise out of love of the story. They’re film industry professionals, not surprising, given that we live in Hollywood North. They also use local 501st members, which means the armour is SPOT ON.
Day Two : Day of the Derek
I have this terrible paranoia about arriving at places like the Vancouver convention center and not being able to park. So we were supposed to leave early and rendezvouz with the rest of the family at 9.30. Of course, we left late, but we had all the pieces of Derek, and all of Mrs Dim’s costume, AND we met up in the parking lot where there WAS a space.
Five years ago, Derek threw a wheel on his way into his first ever convention. This year he rolled into the convention center under his own power, with sound effects playing at random on a track specially prepared by Middle Kid.
We had to stop over and over again, even before we got inside:
Just as people had been reassuring me all this time, no one noticed the myriad of small imperfections that were nagging at me. People flocked to see Derek, to laugh as he waved his plunger at them, to ask over and over “Is there someone in there?” Up to now, I haven’t really had a good answer to give to that one, but this I could say “Why don’t you ask Derek?” People did, and Derek said “No.”, which was perfect.
Sunday was just busy enough to have plenty of people coming through the doors, but quiet enough for us to roll down the aisle that had all the celebs signing photographs. That meant we got to see the big name visitors, like Sean Gunn, Sean Astin, Anthony Daniels, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and so on, and they got to see us (which is really why they came, after all.)
Although we’d arrived mid-morning and hadn’t expected to stay more than a couple of hours, it was past 4pm before we were ready to pack up and go.
I was done, really, because nothing was going to top the previous day’s fun. However, Youngest Kid had not had a chance to air their cosplay, and they needed someone to go with them because visibility in the headpiece was limited:
Unfortunately, the sword was made from too much baseball bat for the security check (we only used the handle, but that was too much) but once again, people didn’t care. We didn’t stay very long, having only a couple of things to pick up, but we stopped for a lot of pictures. I only got the one.
For a long time I’ve been heading towards Fan Expo, avoiding thinking about other things because I wanted to make sure I got all the stuff done on time. Now that it’s done, there’s time and headspace for all the other things – taxes, planning vacations, maybe even try writing something.
When the dust has really settled, there are a few more tweaks I’m thinking of for Derek, but maybe we don’t have a deadline closer than 17th Feb 2024 – the next Fan Expo Vancouver.