Ahhh … the only way to have capped off the weekend would have been to languish in a hot, bubbly tub for a few hours. But ours is a wee bit too small for that, so a hot shower had to suffice. Still, it was a long, great day that left me happily exhausted when we returned.
We had hoped to travel down that Friday night, grab a room somewhere, Todd, Lee and I, and then start the Con (Toronto’s SciFi/Anime/Horror/Comic Expo at the MTCC) bright and early in the morning. But Lee and his wife were hosting her step-father’s birthday party, so instead I stayed home, enjoying the day off. That night, we couldn’t get in to see any houses, so we went to Silver City, using the $25 gift certificate Todd won in the office golf tournament (along with a nifty new backpack, which I took for my own usage), and went to see Hero. Beautiful movie, but it didn’t grab me as deeply as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Still a good time, tho’.
Saturday we headed out from Lee’s place in Lively at 5:30 am. We made excellent time, getting into Toronto around 9:30, found ourselves some parking near the Silver Snail (one of the landmark comic stores in T.O.), and took in the shop for nearly an hour before heading to the Convention Centre to get into the Con. Turns out that was something of a mistake – the line ups for registration were HUGE. Todd and I were there a couple of years back, and it was busy, but this time it was insane. We waited an hour to register in a line up that snaked the entire right circut of the North Building. On top of that, after we had our tickets to get in, it wasn’t clear which way the dealer’s room was – a room that was normally immediately above the registration area was actually moved over, and when we found that (after visiting the South Building), there was another line-up just to get up the escalator.
I spent way too much money (some $210). I saw Julie Benz (Darla), Robia Lamorte (Jenny Calender), and had Mercedes McNab (Harmony) walk past not two feet from me as she left one of the Intimate and Interactive sessions (all actresses on Buffy and Angel). Kinda cool. I tried hunting down my internet buddy Ed Northcott, but my several passes of the area he was scheduled to be in turned up no Ed. Oh well. Ships passing in the night and all, eh?
I have pictures, but need to get Todd to stick them on the server. Again, I hardly took any. I clam up when I have a camera in my hand – always have, even in journalism. I can picture what a good shot would be, and can appreciate it when I see it, but stick a camera in my hand and I can’t do it. If I could take the picture directly from my eye … or perhaps make it come out in the editing. There were a lot of folks in costume, 90% of which were anime or video game based. Inu-Yasha, Oh My Goddess, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Ranma, and FFX2 were by far the most popular. There were two guys in huge, almost cushy, rubber foam demon costumes (I did get one of those … he was behind me on the escalator!). Easily a 50/50 split of girls to boys, better than it was just a few years ago. Todd spent most of his afternoon in line for a sketch by and autograph from George Perez, who was a huge hero to me as a kid. I read Teen Titans and the revamped Wonder Woman religiously, and I got all sniffly when I was able to speak to him. Jovial and easy-going, and absolutely fluid with his markers. (I even had a letter published in Teen Titans when I was 13, which spawned a whole series of international mail from people … including vaguely inapppropriate ones from 20 year olds seeking girlfriends overseas, but they didn’t know I was 13.)
Lee meanwhile made the rounds of autograph sessions for comic artists and writers. I think he was a little overwhelmed with the size and scope of the Con, as were Todd and I. The press of people this time around was almost unbearable – you couldn’t move freely. It always felt like you were traveling against the flow of people, and the air was stale and hot. I want to go back next year (it will be adding a whole gaming track!), taking the entire weekend, and staying at a Con hotel. Don’t know if it will be possible (depending on if I am still at the Idylwylde, or if Mark tries to put his vacation in 6 months in advance for the same date} but I want to go and experience an entire Con! The last time I did that, it was me and Cor … Feb 2000, I think.
After the Con, we headed up Spadina into China Town, and returned to the Japanese Dumpling House Todd and I supped at the last time we were in T.O. Lee thought we ordered too much, but we didn’t and it was lovely and I gorged so much that I nuzzled into the back seat of the van and slept for the first two hours of the ride home. Followed that up with hideous service at a dead McDonalds in Parry Sound, and then got home sometime around midnight.
All in all, glorious! I returned with five manga volumes that, for whatever reason, Brad (FLCS) has been unable to get locally, the Inu-Yasha movie on DVD (newly released), and the first Utena boxed set. I almost bought the second two, which would have completed the set, but I could not justify the additional $200 it would cost. Damn. 🙂 Oh, and that spiffy new backpack which held all our goodies for the trip? Yeah, a bottle of hair gloss popped open and soaked the entire thing … but thankfully everything we had was in bags except for one off-the-stands-that-week comic book (Avengers). WHEW!
Work will be brisk for the next two weeks. Mark is on holidays, for two and a half weeks, leaving three full-timers to cover the kitchen seven days a week. With all the overtime I’ll be raking in, I *could* have bought those DVDs. Oh well … life will resume sometime in the next three weeks.
Spouse? Cats? Whassat?
At least I had Saturday. 🙂
(And tonight … more dumplings!!)