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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Fan Expo

I was one of the judges at the Fan Expo Masquerade last weekend, first time I've ever done something like that, and it was a lot of fun.

kaijugal asked me about two months back if I was interested, and after I determined that she wasn't joking, I thought I'd give it a try. I've never paid to go to the Fan Expo (not an autograph hunter, which seems to be the primary reason to go) so I hadn't been there for several years.

Got there mid-Saturday afternoon, and fortunately, Dawn was able to come out and walk me into the building, as the Fire Marshall had closed the doors earlier due to overcrowding, and I might have had to wait in line to get in otherwise, as I only was given a standard weekend wristband. I did wander around for about an hour, but like I said, it's not really my kind of show. Hanging out in the Masquerade Green Room with everyone was a lot more fun. I never get to do this or watch the Masquerade at Anime North because I'm too keyed up and stressed to enjoy it. Although a few snacks back there (AN springs for sandwiches!) would not have gone amiss.

Anyway, the Masquerade started about 20 minutes late (pretty standard) and all us judges had to write up a short bio for the MC (Gord Rose) to read. The other judges were Chris Warrilow, Sabrina Vocaturo (who also helps out at AN) and a guy named Kent who I didn't know but who is a big costumer. When my introduction came around, the first mention of my name got some audience reaction (which was nice), but the mention that I was the founder of AN got quite the cheer (which was also nice). I was of course wearing my AN t-shirt.

Anyway, there were 67 entries, with 5 no-shows out of them. For once I got a really good look at everyone. There were a lot of good novices, but only a handful of Artisans and Journeymen for some reason. The really standout ones included this Bayonetta, which had Sabrina grinding her teeth as it's an outfit she wants to try, and is was pulled off so well by a guy, and this Guy Gardner, who's audio failed, but who then stepped right up and pulled it off (Part 1, and Part 2). There were a lot of audio problems right at the start of the masquerade, and apparently gurudata had to jump in with his MacBook to save the day.

Deliberations afterwards went on longer then I expected, as I couldn't contribute to the workmanship discussion, and there were a bunch of little issues I had never considered before, like if one person in a little troupe really does everything, should you give the whole group an award? But it all got finally settled and I was able to go and get something to eat.

So thanks Dawn for asking me, and keep me in mind for the future!

Oh yeah, there were a pair of Jesus trucks parked across the street from the Expo, wonder if they did much business.