Part of the preparation for FANeXpo involves seeing which celebrities will be appearing at the event for the weekend. It helps prepare you on who you get to see and want to see when at the event.
Now let me get this clear. Toronto's FANeXpo's celebrity guest line up doesn't even come close to what San Diego's Comi-Con gets, not even half. Most of them tend to be minor characters in current genre series, or were characters that have been off the air (and out of most minds) for several years or so.
So the chance to "see" said actors are often a relative rip-off for the casual fan. Most have a $20 price tag - at least - attached to them if you want an autograph, and despite the fact that most of them are not really anything special, the lines still can take take hours to get all the way through anyhow.
In all my years of attending FANeXpo (back to before it was even called FANeXpo!) I have only once put money down for an autograph. $40 dollars to be precise.
It was for some guy named Tom Felton.
Yeah, I got a picture and an autograph from Mr. Draco Malfoy himself.
Nothing this year really interests me enough to put good money on, but alas, I am still drawn by curiosity to seek out those that will be there and possibly sit in on those whose panels still remain free (unlike that of Stan Lee and Patrick Stewart) and so to plan around them in order to maybe attend them.
So here's my "Who Is" and "WHO?" list for this year's FANX.
I don't really know how he does in a panel, but I imagine he'd have a sense of humour and a bit of I'd be great to be able to sit in on a panel of his and listen to him talk about his experience working on Doctor Who and Torchwood.
And I love Doctor Who.
But would I put down money to get his signature? Especially to the amount of $40 dollars? That's a different story.
JOHN RHYS-DAVIES - I wasn't terribly crazy about Gimli in either the movie or the books. And it's not as if I'm prejudiced against Dwarfs or anything but they simply never quite appealed to me. I mean, I like facial hair but not that much.
But I still have to give a nod to my love of The Lord of the Rings by putting him on this list.
His story working on the Lord of the Rings (mostly his misadventures with the make-up applications) is fascinating and from what I understand, he is a character in his own sense.
I would firmly believe that he would have fascinating stories to share in any of his panels and provide an intelligent insight to the industry as an intelligent man.
STAN LEE - I can understand that for some people, the reaction to his name is "IT'S STAN LEE" and honestly, I understand why the reaction is there.
But I'm not a major comic book fan for starters and that kind of plays into my general lack of excitement, but really that's not the reason why my feelings are purely 'meh' to him coming.
Rather, there's 110 other reasons why I feel "meh" about his attendance. That is $50 dollars for an autograph and a whopping $60 dollars to get a picture taken with him.
And don't think you'll see him walking around the floor either for one of those impromptu "fan" moments (and honestly one of the best parts of conventions). I've seen and been the security for this event at the celebrity tables - the guy has more lackeys and security men than the freaking Pope at FANX.
But I just can't get all that excited about him nonetheless. I wouldn't precisely go out of my way to sit in on his panel, though I have heard great things about his humour and his stories, but it would be a been there done that experience for me.
Just about everyone else on the list for me. No offence to the likes of Kate Mulgrew, Gillian Anderson, Norman Reedus, etc. But most of them are either too obscure, wasn't a fan of said series or simply is a bit of a been there, done that experience for me (Sorry James Marsters)
As you can tell, the whole list leaves me underwhelmed overall. But at least it means that I won't be filling up my day(s) standing in lines for panels, spending money for autographs and what have you.