I attended quite a few panels at Fan Expo. Here are my comments on them.
He played Neelix on Star Trek: Voyager. His Q&A panel started at 4:00 PM on Thursday right when Fan Expo officially opened. He was a great opening act and his panel was well attended. Ethan Phillips is one of the more entertaining guests I have seen. He was being interviewed by Mark Askwith. First chance he got, Ethan went in a totally different direction. He is a very funny person. He went into a string of jokes that made everyone laugh. He is also loves live theatre. The latest play he wrote will be opening in London soon. He also suggests that all new actors do live theatre to learn their craft. One night on stage is worth a hundred acting classes. He also thinks the reason why so many Star Trek actors come from theatre is because that experience prepares them for the dialog in Star Trek.
Holmes Inc Panel
Holmes Incorporated is a comic series published by the Toronto Comic Workshop (TCW). The descendants of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson carry on the family business of solving mysteries across the globe as agents of Holmes Inc. This comic basically is for the students of the TCW to experience what it is like to create a monthly periodical comic. I did not think this panel was that interesting. There were way too many panelists (about 10 of them). They were all students involved in creating the two issues of Holmes Inc. It must have been their first time being a panelist because a lot of them did not seem comfortable answering questions. What probably would have been better is a format change. Instead of Ty Templeton doing a brief introduction to the project and then opening the floor for questions, he should have had everyone talk a bit about their experience working on the comic. That would have loosened them up a bit for Q&A.
She is funny and entertaining. She knows how to work the crowd. She thought the Star Trek: TNG episode The Measure of a Man was a perfect Star Trek episode. Face of the Enemy was one of her favourite Deanna Troi episodes. It was a turning point for her character since it shows that Troi can kick ass. The other thing I thought was interesting was she originally auditioned for the Tasha Yar role and Denise Crosby auditioned for the Deanna Troi role. Marina said that if she got the role of Tasha Yar, Tasha Yar would have been there for all 7 years. Unfortunately, I found it was a little hard to hear her. Hall G is great to accommodate the large crowds for celebrities like her. However, it is cavernous. She spoke with an accent and her voice bounced around the hall. However, I rather she be in Hall G than a smaller room.
This panel was pretty bad. She speaks passable english for everyday life. However, she needs a translator if you want an interview that is mildly interesting. The whole panel was a bit awkward and uncomfortable. I felt bad for Junko and the interviewer. The only good thing was that one of her fans dressed up as Chika Peach (one of the Miznotic Fantasy Dolls created by Junko).
She is a must see guest even if you are not a Star Trek fan. She is a great story-teller. In 50 minutes, she probably has time for only 3 stories because she goes into such vivid detail. She talked about how she got her role on Star Trek and how she helped NASA recruit minorities into the space program. Finally, she recounted the time she met Martin Luther King and was told how important Star Trek and her character was to the civil rights movement. She is the only guest I remember who ever received a standing ovation.
My biggest problem with this panel was that it started late and ended early. It was almost like she was only contracted to do 30 minutes of Q&A instead of the full hour. However, she did seem very appreciative of all the fans that came to listen to her talk. She confirmed that she and Joss Whedon talked about a possible Faith spin-off series. However, at the time, Joss was a little burned out at the time to do it.
This workshop was run by Ty Templeton who is Canadian artist and writer. He is also an instructor at the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop (TCW). The panel room was close to capacity. Essentially, Ty demonstrated his system to create a character that already exists. In the comic book industry, you are writing stories for characters that do not belong to you. You want to write characters different from what other writers did before you. It was a very interesting formula he created. I asked him whether I can publish it but he said he preferred I did not. Take his class at the TCW or keep an eye out for it at the next convention.
She is an interesting guest with a good sense of humour. She was asked what she thought Starbuck was. She has no idea. No one told her. However, she was told by the writers from the beginning that Starbuck and Commander Adama were not cyclons. She also recounted the circumstances surrounding the episode Maelstrom where Starbuck dies. She said Ron Moore only told her that Starbuck was going to be killed but will come back after 4 episodes. The whole crew was crying. Since a major character was being killed off, they thought the show was being cancelled. People started looking for another job. She finally told Eddie (Olmos) Starbuck was coming back and he told to everyone.
Lolita 101 and Fashion Show
This presentation was put together by the Southern Ontario Lolita Community and QC Harajuku. The first thing to know about Lolita fashion is that it cannot be sexy. There are 3 lolita styles: Gothic Lolita, Sweet Lolita and Classic Lolita. The panel and show was well attended. I think we’ll see more of this style in future Fan Expos.