Thursday, 28 August 2008

sf, horror, vegan food, and rock'n'roll

And now a belated post on this summer's fan expo...

This year marked my third time attending Toronto's Fan Expo, and my first time really getting involved. The comic book, anime and gaming sections aren't really my thing but the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear and SFX Science Fiction Expo offered enough to keep me entertained.

For me the weekend started off with a screening of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, perhaps most notable for what we were told was the first on-screen depiction of a woman killing a man with her bare hands. Actress Tura Satana was on hand, buxom and black-haired (wigged?) at 70. (I also recognized a couple of White Zombie samples from Satana's dialogue.)

Saturday, after a vegan brunch at Fressen, involved a full day of expo activities (including a little time standing in line). We got to see & hear a dramatically entertaining Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager and voiced the character of Titania on Gargoyles.

The Rue Morgue interview and Q & A with Wes Craven provided less to mull over, though Craven's assertion (if I'm remembering correctly) that horror provides a social outlet was interesting, if not novel.

The exhibition area, besides offering things to spend your money on, housed a few neat little corners. The Circus of Fiendish Curiosities was amazingly spooky considering the surrounding environment, all tented in and dimly lit with stuff chimeric animals, letters written by a serial killer, jars filled with pickled deformed pigs, and even a mummy. My ethics feel a little uneasy with the history and content of the freak show but I was fascinated with the display and the idea of it. Jon and I also made our way into the death photography exhibit - I was familiar with the historical practice of posing and photographing the dead, but it was neat to see some enlarged examples. The pre-death immortalization of Sarah Bernhardt in particular stuck out for its demonstration of human vanity. Aside from more eating at a couple of locations and occasions, the rest of our night entailed witnessing Sid Haig co-hosting the Rue Morgue costume c target=" "ontest and an on-fire performance by The Creepshow.

As for Sunday - more eating and not as much of the expo as I would've liked since I had to head back home early. Brent Spiner (Data) was a bit of a smart-ass disappointment, though I was glad someone mentioned his role on Gargoyles (playing Puck). Edward James Olmos (with Aaron Taylor) was more rousing and inspiring, and despite the Battlestar Galactica spoilers I was impressed by their dedication to the show and its engagement with contemporary issues. For me the weekend ended with a bit of Sean Astin, who seemed like a pretty nice guy.

I'm already wondering who they'll get to show up next year...

p.s. I forgot to mention how much I liked the Play Dead Cult artwork. I only bought a shirt, but I'd like one of those paintings...

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