Best Things To See at FAN EXPO Toronto 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas. Not even Halloween. FAN EXPO Canada is once again visiting Toronto.

It’s the time of the year that brings geeks, nerds, and fans of all kinds together for a weekend of comics, cosplay, games and celebrities. It’s the largest pop culture convention in North America and returns bigger and better than ever.

Marking its 25th anniversary, this year’s FAN EXPO Canada is sure to delight and inspire fans of all ages and offers a chance to track down that rare collectible or check out a new book release. 

FAN EXPO Canada 2019 in Toronto

This year’s FAN EXPO Canada is looking to go retro with a focus on favourites from the 80s and 90s. Celebrating its major milestone this year, the event moves up a week from its usual time to August 22-25th. We’ve attended FAN EXPO Canada for many years. Check out our favourite moments from FAN EXPO 2016 and 2017.

As in previous years, FAN EXPO Canada will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre but this time, it will be bigger and better than it has been before. With guest appearances from the casts of Corner Gas Animated!, Kim’s Convenience, Blade Runner, The Goonies, and Saved by the Bell, there’s also popular comic artists like Jim Lee and Todd McFarlane, Harry Potter and Doctor Who-themed escape rooms, speed dating, the Rocket League North American Championship, and over 400,000 sq. ft. of shopping.

New this year is the 10,000 sq. ft. Family Zone with its own dedicated programming including, a Hogwarts Sorting Hat Ceremony, Quidditch Matches, Medieval Sword Fighting, basketball playing robots, fun with LEGO, character meet and greets, dance parties and more.  

Some of the big names in attendance this year available for meet and greets include Rainn Wilson (The Office), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park), Zachary Levi (Shazam!), and Pamela Anderson of Baywatch fame just to name a few.

Tickets for FAN EXPO Canada 2019 in Toronto can be bought via website or at the onsite box office. They start at $25 for a single day adult pass.  

Marvel's Stan Lee spoke at FAN EXPO Canada 2016 in Toronto.
Marvel’s Stan Lee spoke at FAN EXPO Canada 2016 in Toronto.

5 Must-Buy Books at FAN EXPO Toronto 2019

One of our favourite regulars to check out at FAN EXPO Toronto is DK Publishing, who return again this year with their newest releases.

Known for their gorgeous hardcover books, DK Publishing has a wide range of titles available on a variety of topics but often uses FAN EXPO Canada as an opportunity to shine a spotlight some of their newest pop culture reference titles.

DK Publishing’s coffee table-style books make a great gift for the fans in your life but you might want to consider picking up two copies as you’ll surely want one for yourself. 

DK Publishing will be selling books at FAN EXPO Canada for fans of Marvel, Star Wars and DC Comics.
DK Publishing will be selling books at FAN EXPO Canada for fans of Marvel, Star Wars and DC Comics.

Star Wars How Not To Get Eaten By Ewoks And Other Galactic Survival Skills

The biggest news at this year’s FAN EXPO Canada will be the worldwide premiere of Christian Blauvelt’s latest Star Wars themed title! Christian’s day job is acting as managing editor of Indiewire. He has been an entertainment and culture journalist for a decade, specializing in coverage of film, television, pop and classical music, and the visual arts. He is the author of Star Wars™ Made Easy (also published by DK), a primer to George Lucas’ saga for those who’ve never seen the films, but want to know what all the fuss is about and is highly sought after guest speaker at Star Wars events. 

Captured by stormtroopers? Trapped on an exploding Death Star? Frozen in carbonite? Star Wars How Not To Get Eaten By Ewoks, will help you navigate all the dangers you might encounter in a voyage through the stars. Whether you’ve joined the rebel alliance or signed onto a role in the Empire, if you ever find yourself lost in a galaxy far, far away, you’ll want to make sure to have this book on hand.

In the section on the basics of etiquette, I found some very valuable advice for dealing with idiots that I could easily apply to my every day life: try to be patient with them – one day they could save your life. More importantly, “keep the awkward members of your party happy by giving them tasks to perform. The less important the better.”

Also, when dealing with droids, they can be hard workers and friends – but they’re not to be trifled with. Treat them well and not only will they be working at optimal efficiency but it’s less likely they’ll decide to kill you. These are just some of the invaluable things I learned reading through this new Star Wars guide. It’s a must-have for any spaceship pilots and interstellar explorers in your life.

TIP: Christian will be launching How Not To Get Eaten by Ewoks with a special presentation at Fan Expo on Friday, August 23rd in room #417 in the south building at the Metro Convention Centre at 4 pm. He will be doing an in-booth signing at 11 am and 3 pm in the DK booth (booth #838) at Fan Expo as well on Saturday August 24th! 

Author Christian Blauvelt will be on hand to sign copies of the latest Star Wars themed title.
Author Christian Blauvelt will be on hand to sign copies of the latest Star Wars themed title.

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia (New Edition)

The world of Star Wars has grown to be a vast one over the last few decades. With over 10 movies and multiple television shows, trying to keep track of who’s who can prove to be a difficult task.

That’s where the new edition of the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, which will be available for the first time anywhere in the world at DK’s Fan Expo booth, comes in. With over 200 characters covered, this book offers character profiles for many of your favourites, and even some you didn’t even know.

Three of my favourites that can be found within the pages of the new Star Wars Character Encyclopedia include characters like Boba Fett – The best bounty hunter in the galaxy. Boba is actually a clone of Jango Fett (also a bounty hunter) but was raised as Jango’s son. Boba Fett is paid to track down and, often, kill individuals but he lives by his own sense of justice and only accepts jobs that fit into that.

Another favourite of mine is R2-D2. He’s the bravest droid in the galaxy and also the sassiest. In our hearts since the beginning, this astromech droid has a long history of adventures and is both stubborn and inventive. While only speaking in beeps and whistles, he still manages to get his point across.

The third, and my most favourite, is the badass 19 year old scavenger who plays a vital role in the fate of the galaxy, Rey. She struggles to find her place in the galaxy and constantly tries to find her way while being pulled by both the light and dark sides of the force.

Visit the DK Publishing booth to stock up on the best books at FAN EXPO Canada.
Visit the DK and Book City booth to stock up on the best books at FAN EXPO Canada.

DC Ultimate Character Guide (New Edition)

Another comic universe with many movies and tv shows and equally large cast of characters is DC Comics.

To help navigate the complicated history of its characters, DK Publishing recently released an updated version of DC Ultimate Character Guide, complete with 200+ character profiles featuring many of the personalities you’ve seen onscreen and in your favourite comics.

Both superheroes and super-villains are covered here. As someone who reads DC comics weekly, I still managed to learn a few things from this book.

Some of my favourites are in there like Wonder Woman, Booster Gold, Clay Face, Legion of Superheroes, and Doom Patrol. I also learned that when Saturn Girl of the Legion of Superheroes first came to the 21st century (from the 31st), the police didn’t believe her story of where she’d come from and was placed in Arkham Asylum where she helped Rorschach (of the Watchmen) escape.

I also learned that, in order to avoid confusion with a certain female hero from the Marvel universe with the same name, the Captain Marvel of the DC universe is now going by Shazam. Also, did you know that there’s a super-villain telepathic alien starfish who can fly that goes by the name of Starro?

Marvel – Absolutely Everything You Need To Know

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Marvel comics with a passion so I was excited to find out that there was a new paperback edition of DK’s wonderful primer on all thing Marvel at this year’s FAN EXPO Canada. Marvel – Absolutely Everything You Need To Know doesn’t disappoint. It’s chock full of super interesting tidbits and facts about the Marvel comics universe. I’ve been reading Marvel comics since I was a kid but I’m still learning things every time I pick up this book.

Did you know there have been 52 iterations of Iron Man suits of armour so far? Or that Thanos has killed over 100 million people? I learned that Wolverine is over 100 years old and that there’s a whole team of Avengers made up of animals known as the Pet Avengers. These creature crusaders include two dogs, a cat, a sabertooth tiger, a falcon, a dragon, and a frog version of Thor. There’s just so much good stuff in here to read!

Black Panther fans will love Marvel Encyclopedia by DK Publishing.
Black Panther fans will love Marvel Encyclopedia by DK Publishing.

Marvel Encyclopedia (New Edition)

Marvel Encyclopedia’s new edition features over 400 pages of beautiful illustrations, characters, and events that make up the Marvel comics universe. It’s a great way to learn more about your favourite heroes and villains from the big screen. With an introduction written by Stan Lee himself, you’ll find more than a thousand characters complete with bios, stats, and some of their major storylines. The Marvel Encyclopedia continues to expand and this fully updated 4th edition is a great way to get a hint of what’s to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Some of the characters you’ll find inside include the X-Statix. Formerly known as X-Force when they purchased the rights to the name for a reality show that features some of Marvel’s more eccentric mutants like Henrietta Hunter, Vivisector, El Guapo, Dead Girl, Venus Dee Milo, Doop, Anarchist, Mister Sensitive, and Phat. This super team existed back in the early 2000’s though it has recently been brought back with a giant-sized annual last month that will spawn a new series soon.

There are four full pages devoted to Wolverine and the story of his life and death and, spoiler alert, resurrection. You’ll also learn more about The Eternals before their movie hits theatres next year, the various iterations of the Avengers teams, and many of the major Marvel events like Civil War (both 1 and 2) and Secret Invasion.

Be More Yoda and Be More Vader

Whether you’re in need of more mindfulness or struggle to be assertive, Be More Yoda and Be More Vader are a great read. Also written be How Not to Get Eaten By Ewoks author Christian Blauvelt, both bestselling books take a different approach to self-improvement using familiar characters and creative delivery to help you be the best Jedi you can be. Choose your path carefully (or get both and balance out the force).

Be More Yoda uses inspiring words from Master Yoda and others to help you onto a more mindful and fulfilling path in life. This book covers topics like seeking mindfulness, overcoming obstacles, finding mindful moments, awakening your potential, and unleashing your mastery. Its small size makes it perfect for the commute to work to get you ready to take on the day.

Be More Vader is more for those who find they never seem to get ahead in work or life. This self-help guide teaches you how to get recognized and how to take control of your life. It covers topics like starting out, getting established, seeking promotions, working with colleagues, and becoming a leader. It may borrow lessons from the dark side but it is sure to get you on the right side of life.

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