Monday, August 31, 2009

Toronto Fan Expo '09

Welcome fellow nerds, to the 2009 Toronto Fan Expo, held every year downtown at the humongous Toronto Convention Centre. This was actually my first visit to this annual event, so I wasn't sure of what to expect. I was there on Saturday, likely the busiest day of the three, and found myself at the end of a huge, long lineup of fans that snaked around haphazardly all over the ground floor lobby. For about the first hour it wasn't even moving, and I was debating whether or not to stick around. Finally, they opened up the floodgates and after a total of about 90 minutes I was finally in the main room. I'm glad I didn't leave after all, as it turned out to be a lot of fun.

My main reason for going to Fan Expo was due to the scheduled appearance of a couple of the many guest celebrities who would be signing autographs (albeit for a fee.) I'd drawn up a couple caricatures beforehand, in order to get them signed.

Here's the guy I most wanted to meet: veteran actor, Beau Bridges. I've always liked both Beau and his brother, Jeff, but I think Beau has been largely underrated throughout most of his career. However, in recent years I think he's matured from the younger leading man into a very likable character actor, lately appearing in my favourite current TV series, My Name is Earl, as Earl's long-suffering dad, Carl Hickey. I'd inked up two original drawings and presented him with one framed and had him sign the other one for my personal collection of celebrity autographed caricatures.

Likewise, I had British 60s/70s horror film icon, Barbara Steele sign an additional copy of the caricature that I'd presented to her. Barbara had a very unusual sort of beauty with her huge eyes and prominent forehead, somewhat similar to today's Christina Ricci or Helena Bonham-Carter. She's mostly known for her films, Black Sunday and The Pit and the Pendulum, the latter co-starring with Vincent Price.

Illustrators were in great abundance at Fan Expo. Here's my friend, Paul Rivoche with his daughter Charlotte. Paul is a much sought after animation background designer, as well as a longtime comics artist.

This is local Toronto sculptor, Claudio Setti, whose specialty is creating figures based on sci-fi, fantasy and gaming characters. Be sure to visit Claudio's blog to see more of his wonderful work.

Veteran Playboy cartoonist, Doug Sneyd was there promoting a couple of books that show the process of developing his beautiful cartoons.

Looks like Doug has found some new inspiration for future cartoons!

It was a real pleasure to finally meet Jason Seiler, a fellow caricaturist whom I've crossed paths with online at the ISCA forums, and who also teaches through Bobby Chiu's very successful Schoolism online program.

Likewise, it was great to meet Stephen Silver, who has been a major character designer for animation, most notably for Kim Possible and Clerks, as well as also teaching through Schoolism.

Sheridan College Animation was well represented at the event. Here's my friend and teaching colleague, Dave Quesnelle, attending with his family.

Here's a group of my students from this past year, several hamming it up in costume.

Who ya' gonna call? Sheridan students, Nick Hendriks and Megan Kearney of course! (Be careful not to cross those streams, guys!)

X-Men's Wolverine (Derek Spencer) poses dramatically with Rogue (Vanessa Stefaniuk).

And then there are all of the folks who just love to dress up and pose for their adoring public. Here's a cute group of gals who were only too happy to keep those cameras clicking away.

A close-up on lovely Poison Ivy, who makes a very strong case for "Going Green".

This was one of the only photos that I didn't have to correct for "Red Eye"!

Needless to say, this painted lady had many a shutterbug gathered around her. The way I figure it, what she spent on body paint was more than offset by what she saved on spending for clothes.

Some cute Trekkie Chikkies...

...and still more Enterprising young ladies! Live long and prosper!

See you all again at Fan Expo 2010!


Belle Dee said...

I'm so jealous! That photo & caricature of Barbara Steele is just the coolest!! I love it! And she's still looking fab!!

Bitter Animator said...

Trek geek girls make me hot.

I wasn't sure I could or should admit to that but, now that it's out in the open, I feel much better. Like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Or elsewhere.

This has been a very therapeutic and arousing post, Mr.E.

Pete Emslie said...

Belle - I was just looking at your art over on your blog. You've got an exquisite sense of design and I share your tastes in 60s movies! In regard to caricature, I always sketch from video footage rather than from still photos, as I get a better feel for the facial design and inner personality of my subject.

Bitter - Glad I was able to help with that visual therapy! Eddie Fitzgerald once wrote a post in high praise of what he called "Nerd Girls". I tend to agree with his thoughts, as these girls are quite funny as well as being cute. With my own interest in pin-up girl art, Fan Expo was a mighty inspiring place to snap pictures!

Derek said...

Where was *I* when you took that group photo with Apollo, Dee, Vanessa, Nicole, Nick and Megan? Cause I saw another pic from that on another site! I must have been snapping photos of the 501st legion, that's the only time I can think of that I strayed from the group.

Oh well. Awesome caricatures, of course. I wish you had caricatured Bruce Campbell though. With a chin like that? You know he's just askin' for it, Pete!

Mug It Up!/Jim H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
quietsnooze said...

@Derek: You were in line for getting your book signed, <3.

Sounds like you had a great time, Emslie! I love Fan Expo myself, have gone the last three years, :D.

Belle Dee said...

Thanks Pete for stopping by my blog!
When I'm working on a drawing of a person, I usually have several different photos to look at. I'm working my way up to being able to work from a video or DVD. If I'm drawing someone from a particular movie, I usually have that movie running while I'm drawing anyway.
Still hoping that maybe sometime soon we'll see an Emslie Cushing/Lee Hammer Horror piece. :)

Enzo Avolio said...

Peter I met Daniel and his wife this weekend. Looks like the convention was fun.

Looking forward to the new year.

Check out my film.

locuriatoons said...

very good cartoons.saludos!!!!!!!!