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Fangirl Shirts FanExpo 2016 and #ComicCants Roundup

Has it really been three weeks since FanExpo in Toronto? Apparently so. We meant to write this when it was all fresh in our minds, but instead, now you get the benefit of mellow reflection. 

FanExpo Canada is a series of comic and sci-fi conventions in Canada (and in a couple of cities in the United States). September 1-4 was Toronto FanExpo, and half of Fangirl Shirts (Sally) went up for a one-day whirlwind Saturday, September 3. The other half (Rebecca) co-hosted a #ComicCants live chat with Bonnie from @WynonnaFans.

Here’s what happened!

Sally

Why just one day at FanExpo? Well, it was Labor Day weekend and I didn’t want to be away from my family for the whole weekend. The Wynonna Earp panel and signing were both on Saturday, so it worked out that I could go up for 24 hours to attend the panel, signing and meetup, and then make it home for breakfast the next day. All I had to do was take two really early flights.

Really, really early flights. My flight to Toronto left at 6am.

After landing in Toronto and meeting at the airport, Brittany and I headed to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to get some desperately needed coffee and to get in line. The doors opened at 9am, but there was already quite a line by 8am, so we passed the time by tweeting.

This was my first time at FanExpo, and the entrance process was very orderly. First we entered the Convention Centre proper, where we waited in a line to have the staff scan our ticket confirmation printouts. Then we were given a wristband for our one-day pass, and put it on. We were directed to another line, and asked by the volunteers to cozy up to each other so the line would be as compact as possible and more people could fit. The line had to fold back in on itself a couple of times, and the lines of people were separated by curtains of orange sheer hanging fabric. It heightened the anticipation.

While waiting, Brittany and I hung out and talked. She was wearing a custom-made shirt inspired by this tweet:

Here’s Brittany’s shirt! All fixed.

Finally they let us in, and we made it into the Expo itself at 10am. We’d noticed some Earper friends Taylor and Alicia also in line, so we waited for them, and whilst waiting, we met Lauren. You might remember Taylor from her epic 2-hour Periscope of the @EarperMeetup at San Diego Comic-Con, which she started while in the upper limbs of a tree. You might also remember Taylor from her custom Funko Baby Haught, which she gave to Kat Barrell at SDCC.

But now, you’ll always remember Taylor as the creator of custom Funko Lil’ Andras:


Holy mother of unicorns!

Next, we went to find the room in which the Wynonna Earp panel would take place at 4:30pm. The Metro Toronto Convention Centre has two main buildings, the North and South Buildings. Foot traffic during the con is carefully managed and directed since there are so many people trying to get so many places at once, and con-goers often suddenly stop walking when they see cool cosplay, either to look at it or take pictures. FanExpo does a great job at managing the flow of traffic and there are many volunteers onsite to help answer your questions.

We found a set of couches and chairs near the panel room once we arrived at 10:30am.

Next, I would like to tell you that I spent the next six hours strategically attending panels, getting autographs, walking the con floor, buying merchandise and looking at cosplay, but I didn’t do any of that. Instead, I spent nearly all of that time in what we named “Earper Basecamp” talking with an ever-growing crowd of Wynonna Earp fans. And I really enjoyed it. This is a super cool fandom, you guys.

Here is a pic from Earper Basecamp. Please note the cardboard cutouts of Rebecca, Kevin and Bonnie that Melissa (aka @VisitPurgatory) brought with her. We had such fun with them! I recommend you bring cardboard cutouts of all your besties to any con. Maybe even if they’re there with you.

You might have heard about the #TeamFandras shirt that @actually_layne designed and we’ve made available to all fans of Emily Andras (much to her chagrin). While hanging at Earper Basecamp, I saw someone approaching in a Fandras shirt, so I did what anyone would do:  shouted “FANDRAS!!!!!!!” as loudly as I could at the person and sprinted up to her and asked if I could give her a hug.

It was Monica, @lesbiyinzer! Here she is in all her Fandras glory – make sure to also read her extremely excellent blog post talking about her experience at FanExpo. I got all choked up when I read it.


At any con, there is cosplay. At a con where Wynonna Earp fans attend, you’ll almost definitely see some Waverly cosplay in the iconic Shorty’s shirt. This is Kris!


One of our nefarious plans goals for FanExpo, plotted planned with Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies, was to gift a Fandras shirt to Tim Rozon, who plays Doc Holliday (and played Massimo on Lost Girl, for those of you keeping score at home). He is almost as big a fan of Emily Andras as we are! Bridget made sure he received a shirt and he wore it to the panel – while also mentioning to Bridget that he had ordered one himself on the same day we released them. Told you he was a big fan!


Speaking of Tim, here’s one of his tweets. Awwwyeah! It’s lit.


Bridget was at FanExpo to be the moderator of the Wynonna Earp panel. And it was also her birthday! She stopped by Earper Basecamp to say hi.

Here’s a selfie from the line.

The panel itself was GREAT and the room was packed. Bridget did an AWESOME job being the moderator – her questions were really interesting and elicited thoughtful answers from the panel. Here’s a picture taken from behind the stage by @bongotummy, aka Brendon Yorke (who, among being other things, is a writer for Wynonna Earp, Lost Girl, Degrassi, and also the husband of Emily Andras. Is it too much talent for one family???).

Curt Bennett @CurtTalksTV Periscoped the panel and you can watch the recording here:


As well, Wynonna Earp Podcast has released an audio recording of the panel on the podcast and the audio quality is excellent. There might be 5 minutes at the end from me and some other deliriously tired and thrilled fans.


After the panel, some fans who had received randomly starred tickets were able to participate in an autograph session. Those of us whose tickets did not have stars amused ourselves in other ways.

The wonderful Bridget sent a couple of pictures from the signing.

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Shamier Anderson dons his Fangirl Shirts Black Badge Division shirt over his sweater. Strong choice.
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Emily Andras cosplayed as a rainbow unicorn. Or was it actually cosplay? Maybe it was just her natural mien.

I periscoped the Earper Meetup from about 6:05pm until 6:30pm and spoke to as many fans as I could who wanted to talk to me!

While periscoping, unbeknownst to me, the awesome artist Maryne drew a stunning sketch of the periscope, including Cardboard Rebecca.

Taylor Periscoped the meetup once she arrived, from about 6:30-7:30. She was joined by Britt for most of the commentary, and they were such a hit they might produce future video offerings. Stay tuned.

Then the cast and the Andras showed up!

Monica and Emily posed for a picture.


I logged into the “Whine & Cheese” session that was hosted by Bonnie of @WynonnaFans and Rebecca of @RebeccaBarrick (the other half of @fangirlshirts). In case you’re not familiar, Bonnie and Kevin (@WynonnaFans and @WynonnaEarpPodcast) host a live video chat after every episode of Wynonna Earp, called Whiskey & Donuts. “Whine & Cheese” is a special production and wholly owned subsidiary of Whiskey & Donuts (or so I kept saying. I’m not sure if it’s caught on).

The live chat sessions are not recorded, so I don’t have the ability to post a recording for you. I’ll sum up instead:  when the cast arrived, Shamier and Tim were SO EXCITED. Shamier walked right up and said hi to all the ComicCants, and even took the phone for a while and talked to people. He recognized Bonnie and Kevin and Rebecca, as did everyone else right off the bat. Then Tim said hi, then Dominique, then Emily, then Melanie.

Artists are so talented. Layne, designer of Fandras, whipped up this graphic, which knocked my socks off.


99% of this post has been about Wynonna Earp, but we also met Nicole, who was doing some AMAZING Lexa cosplay.

And more scenes from the meetup, photo credit Bridget Liszewski.

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Dominique with dark hair. Could this be due to the black goo Waverly absorbed in the S1 finale? This question was met with a coy look during the panel.
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Shamier live and up close saying hi to the Whine & Cheesers!
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Tim Rozon is explaining something here and I’m not buying it (that’s not actually what was happening, but it looks like it).

After the meetup was over, we all said goodbye and people departed to get food, drinks, or to collapse into bed. I went to a place called the Loose Moose which served bacon-encrusted maple donuts for dessert. Did we order them? Yes, we did.

The flight back home left early and I felt pretty much like Lil’ Andras did.

After it was all over, Emily put her nose back to the grindstone. Check out this sneak peek from the script!

We are aware that this script is a joke.  (NO IT’S NOT IT’S REAL!!!!!!!)

Hugs and kisses!

PS:  When I arrived home at 9:30am on Sunday, I went into the house and my kids looked up and said “Hi, Mommy. We didn’t think you were coming home until tomorrow.” So much for getting up early! 😉

Rebecca

Why was only half (Sally) of Fangirl Shirts a ComicCan, while the other half (Rebecca) was a ComicCant? Well, Labour Day weekend meant school in Canada was starting back after summer break, my twins were starting kindergarten, and flying across the country for a one- or two-day trip would have been logistically difficult. Fortunately Sally lives a lot closer to Toronto and was able to represent Fangirl Shirts, and attend the amazing Wynonna Earp events.

Bonnie and Kevin, who Sally and I spent four amazing days with at San Diego Comic Con this summer, had approached me about co-hosting the Whiskey & Doughnuts: “Whine & Cheese” Firetalk event with Bonnie, while Kevin attended DragonCon in Atlanta. I’d watched all of the post-episode Blab hangouts and participated in the text chats during this past season of Wynonna Earp, but had never done anything like co-hosting a video hangout before. I was a bit nervous about it, but also really excited to have the opportunity to hang out with Bonnie and chat with all of the other ComicCants.

Having been a ComicCant for nearly my entire life, I’m always incredibly grateful for all of the great content that con attendees provide on social media. If you can’t be there in person, the next best thing is to know that there are members of your fandom there, who love the show just as much as you do, and to have the chance to live vicariously through them.

One of the beautiful things about the #Earper fandom is that instead of focusing on envy and feeling too sorry for ourselves for not being there, the ComicCants have overwhelmingly expressed love, support and gratitude towards the fandom family who are fortunate enough to be able to attend these events and share their experiences with all of us. The amount of positivity and kindness within the Wynonna Earp fandom is really something special. I am so grateful for our little tribe of weirdos.

The Whine & Cheese hangout was so much fun. Kevin joined in from DragonCon and gave a recap of the activities there that weekend. It was the first time that they’d used the new Firetalk platform, since Blab closed down just after season one ended. The platform itself seems very stable and the video and audio quality is fantastic. If you weren’t able to attend the Whine & Cheese hangout to see for yourself, I would definitely recommend joining in on the post-episode Whiskey & Doughnuts hangouts that will be happening throughout season 2.

Bonnie and Kevin make it appear effortless, but it’s not as easy as it looks to host the video hangouts! Just trying to keep up with the chat with everything else that’s going on is tricky – it moves so fast! Sally was able to connect several times from the Earper Meetup in Toronto and all of the ComicCants got a great look at the fun that ensues when you gather a bunch of Earpers together.

Of course, the wonderful cast and showrunner once again blew us away with their love for the fans by showing up at the Earper Meetup to hang out with everyone, and popped onto the Firetalk to give a shoutout to all of the ComicCants. The wonderful and hilarious Melissa had made cardboard cutouts of Bonnie, Kevin and I to take to FanExpo, and we got to see our cutouts having a pretty great time at the Meetup, being passed around amongst the cast. Tim and Shamier, Emily, Dominique and Melanie all spent some time on the Whine & Cheese chat and on Taylor’s Periscope interacting with the ComicCants and made everyone’s day.

Saying that it’s a surreal experience to talk to Emily Andras via video chat, while she’s hanging on to a cardboard cutout of yourself would be a major understatement.

Rumour has it the cardboard cutout of Bonnie and Kevin went to dinner with Emily and the cast, I’m sure they must have had a wonderful time. Not sure they’ve been seen since, though. If anyone finds them, please send a note!

One of the best things about the Wynonna Earp season one post-episode Blab hangouts was having the chance to interact in real time with Earpers from all over the world, and the post-con Firetalk Whine&Cheese definitely followed suit. We were excited to have quite a few ComicCants join in to speak on the video chat from all over – Alice, Anna Quick, Deb & Lauren, Catherine, and Hannah. Over 300 people viewed the session in total!

When you’re a huge fan of an awesome show like Wynonna Earp, and they make con appearances, it’s only natural to wish you could attend all of those events. Unfortunately real life is constantly getting in the way of fangirling, so this is what makes the #ComicCants so special. Created by Emily Andras when she was unable to attend San Diego ComicCon with the entire cast this summer, the ComicCants gives everyone who can’t attend a con a chance to connect with others in the same boat and also share in all of the amazing experiences that are occurring at Con.

When Sally and I attended SDCC, it was our first experience at a major con and it was incredible. We knew how lucky we were and we wanted to bring as much of that experience as possible to those watching from home. With Twitter, Facebook, Firetalk, and Periscope, we are all able to share in these amazing events, whether we’re a Can or a Can’t. Chances are, if you’re in a fandom long enough you will eventually have the opportunity to attend a convention and possibly meet your faves in person. When you do, the ComicCants will be right there with you, rooting for you to have the best time of your life and living vicariously through you. Like we do.

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