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Sunday, September 1, 2013



As alluded to earlier, I chewed up a good chunk of last weekend in Toronto at Fan Expo XIX, which is nothing less than Canada’s largest comic book slash sci-fi slash anime slash horror convention.

Despite a court-enforced restraining order from Alive Enterprises preventing me from doing so, I managed to sneak into Fan Expo and surreptitiously hang out near the booth where special invited guest Alice Cooper was making a four day appearance.

When he wasn’t on the prowl staging spontaneous East vs. West dust ups with the great James Hong of Blade Runner and Big Trouble In Little China fame, Alice was dutifully taking care of business by autographing a ton of photos for his unworthy fans—that is, when he wasn’t busy dispensing his own brand of hardcore justice to at least one hack rock critic who was caught loitering with intent.

However, the previous time Alice was an invited guest of honor, back in 2006, Fan Expo XII was so precariously teetering on the brink of busting out of its block-long britches that one comely organizer confided to me how the local Fire Marshal had twice threatened to shut the show on the very first day due to some serious excess overcrowding—a sure sign of future success if there ever was one. Indeed, this year’s Fan Expo was so mammothly mega-gargantuan that even it barely fit into the two immense convention halls that attempted to house it.

Meanwhile, those in the know are still talking about the time in 2006 when Yours Truly had recklessly barged through a door that I thought led to one of the unisex washrooms—only to come face to face with none other than the aforementioned Alice Cooper and Austin Powers star Verne Troyer having a top secret tête-à-tête in the Fan Expo XII VIP Hospitality Suite. Luckily, hack rock critic that I am, my steno pad was already out, which is how I managed to jot down the following candid exchange:

[yelling angrily] The next guy who calls me Mini-Me is gonna get it! My name is Verne, not Mini-Me!

nodding sagaciously] I know. People still come up to me and call me Vince. My name’s not Vince!

[picking up a Sharpie to autograph a glossy photograph of himself as Mini-Me] Who do you want me to make this out to?

pauses] Coop. [pauses] Just make it out to Coop.

It was at this point that Verne looked up and, seeing me taking notes, threw his Sharpie at my head—which caused Alice to look over. Seeing the Boy Howdy! logo on my CREEM rock critic shirt, Alice snapped his fingers and pointed me out to a giggling enforcer in a double-breasted sharkskin suit.

“Udo?” he snarled. “Get this guy outta here.”

The sawbones in emergency had me patched up and back on the street in time to get banned from Fan Expo XIII.

Be seeing you!

Sun, September 1, 2013 | link 

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