My Wizard World diary, day One

I wrote down most of these notes on Friday night, after getting back to the hotel after my first evening at Wizard World Toronto Comic Con, but they’ve been somewhat edited for clarity:

I’m starting to get the hang of planning my time for this convention stuff – remembering to anticipate plenty of time for getting from place to place and waiting in lines and so on is key.

I left from work around 2 in the afternoon, pulling my suitcase behind me down Fairview street to the GO train station. Got some editing done on the train, using the Aspire netbook, and when I got off the train, I headed over to the Via rail concourse, planning to grab a double burger at the Harvey’s.

Whoops. The Harvey’s location on the Via rail concourse has apparently closed forever. There was a little sign letting me know that their nearest location was only minutes away, but I didn’t bother looking for it – headed back to the GO concourse to grab a Big Mac, then headed off onto the CN Tower skywalk, and from there south to Queen’s Quay and checked into my hotel.

After taking a few minutes to unpack a few things from my gray laptop bag, (including the netbook,) it was off via streetcar to the Direct Energy center. Paid for the upgrade from an ordinary weekend ticket to Buffyfest VIP pass, got my fancy lithograph VIP souvenir, and out onto the convention floor.

I didn’t do that much wandering of the floor, though I did take a few pictures, and get signatures fron Nicholas Brendon, Mercedes McNab, and Clare Kramer. I also ran into several friends from the fan clubs, and dropped by the ‘Can’t Stop the Serenity’ booth. But to a certain extent, the lithograph was so big and unwieldy, I couldn’t fit it in my laptop bag without folding it or letting it stick out by several inches, so I didn’t want to be that mobile, and sat in on three panels. Two of them were upstairs, and the middle one was downstairs off the convention floor, so that kept me moving back and forth.

Panel 1 was gaming, which I’m not that manic about, but I thought it would be interesting. It was – the guy was apparently an experienced game developer was well as a LARP organizer. Some of what he said about the ‘virtualization’ of the game industry (with downloadable game content squeezing out actual print or board games,) struck me as overly alarmist, but he did make some good points. If I ever spend serious money on downloaded games, I’m going to check to see what recourse I have in case I lose the digital content.

Panel 2 was the greatest so far – it was a Q&A with Aaron Douglas, from Battlestar Galactica and The Bridge. I wasn’t a big fan of his before, but he was just so funny and charming in person, full of interesting stories and chatting on and on with the moderator, a friend that he brought up to the front of the room, and the various fans. He talked about a mountain climbing movie that he shot that is yet to air, and a new show from Ronald Moore with several of the stars of Galactica – a police procedural in a modern world that has no technology as we know it, everything running by elemental magic, which sounds very interesting to me.

The third panel of the night was the 501st legion talking about making costumes, and stormtrooper costumes particularly. Again, it was very fun to listen, though I think that my own efforts at putting together costumes will never get that far. I took several pictures from the legion members that were there.

When I left the Direct Energy center around eight, there seemed to be a lot of people all drifting away from the Con at the same time and gathering at the streetcar stop, and it was a while before a Union Station car came, which was the one that I knew would go past my hotel. While waiting, I noticed the changing light patterns on the CN tower, and tried to take video of it on my camera, but the lights were too faint to register well at that distance. Finally I got onto the crowded streetcar, and managed to catch the announcement for Spadina, which I knew was the stop before the stop outside my hotel, and got my luggage and the VIP lithograph safely up into my hotel room.

Then I went back outside for a few minutes to take video of the tower – which really does look impressive from the sidewalk just outside the hotel – the tower is just two blocks away or so from here. Also took a picture of the moon, and a few others, and scouted out restaurant possibilities for lunch tomorrow, but it doesn’t look like anything is open very early.

I want to be back in Exhibit Hall D for noon or earlier, to catch all of the Julie Benz Q&A. (I even want to ask her a question, probably about what it was like when she first heard about ‘Buffy.’) It looks like I’ll be eating a lot of pizza at the concession stand. But that shouldn’t be too bad. I do like pepperoni pizza a lot.

2 Responses to My Wizard World diary, day One

  1. Donna Hole says:

    What a thrilling day. Sounds like you’re enjoying yourself at least.

    Having a plotted itenerary is the key to getting the most out of your convention experience. And having business cards.

    I’m not involved in LARP, but my oldest son is, and I find his adventures fascinating.

    I’ll have to look up some of the people you mentioned – autors and others. I’m looking to broading my reading venues.

    Have fun Chris.



  2. Sounds like lots of fun. Particularly enjoyed the pictures.

    ❤ Gina Blechman


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