This past weekend, I volunteered at Toronto ComiCon. Some of you may remember that in September last year, I volunteered at Fan Expo Canada. Toronto ComiCon is similar to that, but on a smaller scale.
The con, which ran from Friday March 17th-Sunday March 19th, was held downtown Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the south building. With celebrity guests, artist alley, merchandise booths, Q&A panels, and a whole range of fandom activities, Toronto ComiCon is a great place to explore.
My role for this con was the same as Fan Expo—to work the autograph lines. As I explained in my post about Fan Expo, the autograph line crew is responsible for keeping the autograph area neat, organized, and running smoothly. If you’re at the front of the line, you work with the celebrity’s handler/agent to find out how they want their line run. You’re also in charge of keeping the front area clean and directing fans when to approach the celebrity. If you’re at the back, you make sure you can answer any questions that fans will ask, as well as keeping the line neat and organized. I had the opportunity to work with some really neat celebrities this weekend.
After a volunteer’s shift, we’re allowed to walk the con like regular fans. As long as you’re not wearing your volunteer t-shirt, you can enjoy the con too. We’re allowed to wait in line to meet celebrities, shop for merchandise, attend panels, etc.
This year, I had the opportunity to meet the man behind my all-time favourite Star Wars baddie—and one of my favourite Star Wars characters in general—Ray Park, who played Darth Maul. He was so incredibly cool. Throughout the day, he kept coming out from behind the table to show off his lightsaber skills to the enjoyment of the fans. Park was just incredibly fun and really kind to all his fans.
Meeting Ray Park was an amazing experience for me. I have loved Darth Maul from the very first time I saw him in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It’s kind of ironic how much I love him, seeing as he kills Qui-Gon Jinn, one of my other favourite characters. What’s even more ironic is that he is then killed by my third favourite character, Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, for reasons unknown even to me, I just really love Darth Maul, and I always have.
I also had the opportunity to meet T.J. Thyne this weekend, who plays Jack Hodgins on the television show Bones. Let me just start by saying, T.J. Thyne is literally the nicest person on the planet. He was so incredibly kind to not only the fans, but the volunteers as well—because lets be real, not all celebrities are like that. Thyne, however, was just really nice to everyone. He even made up these little gift-bags that he gave to every single person who came up to say hi to him. They each had a photograph from set, a business card for Hodgins, and a little bug figure with a magnifying glass. The fact that he brought something to give to the fans really made me smile. It was something so simple, but it really does mean so much to the fans.
I also made sure to check out the other experiences this weekend. I attended the Bones panel, checked out artist alley—where I picked up some really neat artwork—and just enjoyed walking the floor.
If you’re a fan of pretty much anything, you’d probably enjoy comic con. There’s just so much to see and do. If you missed Toronto ComiCon, there’s always Fan Expo Canada!!