Cannot believe summer ended already, it sure went by so fast. I tried to make the best of my last weekend of summer. What could be the best way to end summer in Toronto, you ask?
How about going to CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) to try some of the deep fried food, play some games to win or catch the biggest Pokemon and shop ’til you drop in the Arts and Crafts building? I always enjoy going to CNE, because they have different kinds of food to try and they have different types of artists selling their amazing work. The artists/designers that I enjoy visiting when I have the chance to go to the Ex is Crywolf. That is actually where I first met them and where I bought my very first Crywolf piece. Then I ordered online; they have come a long way since then. They participate yearly at CNE but now they also have their own clothing store down at Ossington, they now also have a clothing line for your pets and jewelry to accessories with your Crywolf outfit. I decided to buy the Blue Jays tank, because it is often sold out whenever I tried to buy it. I also got a pug sticker 🙂 This was also when I finally formally introduced myself to Rose, Stephanie was not around sadly. She surprisingly still remembered me, they recognized me when I first visited their store when they newly opened. They asked if I was the girl from Instagram. When I saw Rose, she remembered my username! You guys should really check them out, they have some really trendy clothing line and the cutest stickers, patches, pins and more! I also found this cool shawl, I sadly forgot the name of the store. I do not recall whether she had a sign and the designer did not leave a card when I purchased, but she had the stylish patterns for these shawls. There was also this designer who sold wooden postcards, coasters and wall art; re-surfaced. There was also this artist who designed wooden bow tie that were one of a kind; The Two Guys Bow Tie. I sadly did not win any games this year, but my siblings did :p We even got to see the Air Show across the Ontario Center! Altogether, it was a fun Saturday with the family and I ended up buying some unique clothes. Even a present for my brother from Hazel Black!
My CNE Haul:
Another great way to spend your last weekend of summer would be by attending the FanExpo! Now, normally I would recommend going on a Saturday, because that is usually when all the best cosplay-ers show up and when the expo is at its peak but this year I could only make it for Sunday. It ends earlier on Sundays, but they do have better sales because it is the last day of the event. My brother and I were the only ones that went this year, I met up with my friend Lore and Bri joined us when the day ended. My goal was to attend two panels and the rest of my time would be to tour around the artists alley. The thing is, it was a bit chaotic this year. They lacked volunteers, so the walk from the North to the South building had traffic, crazy I know. I took a lot longer getting to one side and the other whenever I needed to go line up for a panel or see some artists. There were no numbers for the booths this year either, so I spent half my time running around looking for one of my favorite artists.
I already got there late, so I did not have much time to find certain artists but there was one that I needed to get to; Nolen. Nolen is the artist for Punching Pandas, some of you might have seen me retweet his art pieces on my twitter handle. If you do not know who this artist is, you should check him out. He makes the cutest and amazing art pieces and recently he added a sculpture of the pandas! I was lucky enough to grab one when I went, because they sold quickly! The cool part? I got #7 out of 25 and 7 is one of my favorite numbers 🙂 Coincidence? I think not. I also finally got a chance to buy his booklet, volume one. I got two pieces of artwork from him, one of the panda troopers and the other was of Hanzo as a Pandawatch! The best part was catching up with him and his wife Olwen, this was their second expo in Canada. I first discovered his pieces through Sketch Dailies and I followed his artwork from then on. We did not officially meet until last year’s FanExpo which was also his very first! It is always a pleasure to meet new artists and to have a chat with them. Sadly I did not get to visit Amanda Martin’s booth this year, I had trouble finding it, but you guys should check her out! I did get to see Randy who is the artist well known as itsbirdy. His pieces are so amazing, I bought one of Pikachu as L last year. There were other great ones that I saw but I did not have time to fully check them out this year, because my panels were too close to one another. But I am hoping to try and go for two days next year!
Here were my artist panel haul:
From top left to bottom right:
FanExpo Wristband, Central City Running Club Tee from Chop Shops Goods with their business card and bag, Punching Panda Sculpture, Punching PandaWatch of Hanzo, Punching Panda Troopers, Punching Panda Volume 1 Sketchbook, and Walking Dead Tote.
Ben McKenzie’s panel started at 2PM and the line up starts about an hour or so beforehand. Thankfully Lore lined up to save spots for my brother and I. It was really cool to meet him, it was his very first Fanexpo! Everyone in there were either an OC fan or a Gotham fan, I was both :p Some fans asked the weirdest questions which made things a tad awkward for a few minutes, but he handles those quite well ha. You can probably find his Q&A panel online but for now you can just watch the video I took of his entrance in gif form and a very bad quality photo below 😮
The second panel, which was also the best way to end the Expo was by attending the Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill panel! The line was from outside the panel room, up the stairs all the way down the building almost bordering the place from inside. It was insane! I was talking to my fellow fandom and we did not think we would make it, but we freaking did! I was seated all the way at the right side of the room, but I made it in and got to see two of the legends that changed my childhood. They were both so awesome, sadly not a lot of people near me knew who Kevin Conroy was. THE Kevin Conroy, can you imagine?! I was also disappointed that they did not show any clips of Kevin’s work but they did for Mark during the introduction 😦 Their relationship is so cute though, they’re my brotp for DC 😀 I sadly missed the dip that Kevin did with Mark at the end after they hugged, but I have no doubt my fellow expo-goers will have the video up soon enough. I only got a video of the entrance, I apologize for the terrible quality. Clearly my phone could not handle two legends in one room. (Credits to my brother for making these gifs for me)
Hope you enjoyed your last weekend of the summer, leave a comment below if you were at either places and about your experiences. I would love to hear which panels you participated in. The artists you met, celebrities you took photo ops or get autographs from even your CNE experiences!