The Barbie doll was introduced on this date, back in 1959. That chick is 57 years old and, suffice it to say, she looks great. She looks even better now that Mattel has decided to make Barbies in different skin tones and body types. I can’t be the only one to see those wasp-waisted blonde Barbies and think, “Damn. Eat a toy sandwich or something.”
Another year of FanExpo Canada has come and gone. As usual, the four-day event was jam-packed with people and panels, photo ops and paraphernalia. With so many things happening and so many attendees, there are bound to be a multiplicity of experiences. Here are mine.
The doors opened at 2:00 p.m. and as usual, there was already a line-up. I don’t like to brag, but I enjoy being able to go through the Media entrance and not wait in the lines outside. Although, never fear, non-media folks: I still have to wait in a line to get onto the exhibition floor like the rest of you. (I do think it would be nice if media got to go in about an hour before the show opens, just to prepare for photos and video shoots.)
This year, due to the addition of the Sports segment and the expected increase in attendance, FanExpo took up multiple floors in both the South and North buildings. This meant a bit more walking across the bridge between buildings, but it also made for less cramped conditions (at least on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday; I didn’t attend Saturday).
New this week on Popshifter: Cait has the scoop on the newest Marshall Crenshaw single and subscription service, reviews the reissue of 1985’s Romance from David Cassidy, and is delighted by The Edie Adams Christmas Album; I have good things to say about School of Seven Bells’s new EP Put Your Sad Down as well as The Barrens on Blu-Ray; and Elizabeth outlines your options if you’re thinking of ditching your cable TV subscription.
Reissues: Roy Harper, Songs of Love and Loss
Listened to a lot: Kurt Vile, Smoke Ring For My Halo
Concert: Josh T. Pearson at Union Chapel in London on May 11
Movies: Benda Bilili! (watched on the tour bus), Michael Powell’s The Edge of the World (1937), and The Monk with Vincent Cassel
DVD: Brimstone and Treacle (the BBC TV version, not the Sting film!)
Film festivals: Screening of Ken Russell’s The Boy Friend at the BFI on December 9
Books: Oliver Twist, started reading Michael Horovitz
Art: Grayson Perry, “The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman” at The British Museum
Comic books: Anything by Alan Moore
Favorite cities: Dresden, Berlin, and started to enjoy London
Coolest thing found at a vintage or thrift store: A WWI officer’s compass
Best restaurant: The Golden Dragon in London’s Chinatown
Erland and The Carnival‘s latest album, Nightingale, was released on March 29. The band will be playing in Vienna at The Maifield Derby Festival on May 19 and again at The Orange Blossom Festival on May 26. For more on the band, please check out their website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Every August, Rue Morgue hosts its annual horror convention Festival Of Fear as part of FanExpo Canada (which also includes Gaming, Comics, Sci-Fi, and Anime). Every year, I await their list of guests and schedule of events. This year they presented a Near Dark screening with Lance Henriksen (read more here), a Q&A with Tom Savini (read more here), a 30th Anniversary cast and crew reunion for My Bloody Valentine (read more here), and much more, like events and panels with Malcolm McDowell, Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Elvira, and John Waters. There are literally too many things for one person to do. If ever there were a compelling reason to clone myself, it would be for Festival of Fear.
By Christian Lipski
And then there was the last day. We eventually got up and packed our bags for checkout, and made our way to the convention floor for our last visit. Since it’s the last day and exhibitors want to ship as little as possible back home, there are rampant sales and many attendees only buy Sunday tickets.
Mile High Comics put their entire stock on sale for 50% off, for example. Independent publishers were willing to make deals, for the most part.The show closes at 5 p.m. as well, so the action in the convention center was tinged with both sadness and anxiety.
By Christian Lipski
After going to bed sometime after 1 a.,m. the night before (late dinner), Saturday morning was pretty much a wash. I had a press conference for Futurama at 11:30 a.m., so I took off for the convention center. The room was about two-thirds full, and we all shifted about until the event began.
Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, Billy West, Maurice LeMarche, and Lauren Tom filed in to have their pictures taken before ascending the dais. They apologized for the absence of the voice of Bender, John Dimaggio, but it was explained that “Dimaggio” was Italian for “running late.” He did show up presently, and the conference began.
By Christian Lipski
Day One’s Diary
By the second day I feel much less pressure; I’ve already made a day’s worth of forays into the wilds, and though I haven’t seen nearly all of what there is, I have a good sense of the floor’s layout and content. I also know that it’s nearly useless to try to get into large sessions, since the amount of time you need to devote to the line-waiting is better spent wandering the floor below.
By Christian Lipski
Wednesday night was a long night of travel, so we didn’t get to sleep until 1 a.m. Upon rising at seven, I cursed the medium of the sequential image as we struggled to get ready.
We go to the parking garage at 10:30, and walked the mile to the Convention Center. You know you’re getting close when you see the TRON banner start to appear on lampposts, and even a replica of Flynn’s arcade from the movie. The amount of people in costume increased, and so did the amount of people handing out flyers and laminated cards and magazines. These last items tended to create a kind of carpet on the sidewalks that led to the doors of San Diego Comic-Con.