I went to ComicCon last year here in Ottawa with regular tickets, and upgraded this past year to VIP seats (much much better experience). But I hadn’t tried out PopExpo yet…it isn’t quite big enough yet to really draw big stars, and although there were several stars that were coming who were on shows that I watched, including Allison Mack from Smallville (she cancelled) and Nicole de Boer (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Dead Zone), I was planning to skip it. Instead, my wife surprised me with VIP tickets, and off I went.
First up, you need to know what I mean by “not that big yet”. While ComicCon has grown to cover 2.5 days in Ottawa, PopExpo is really more like 1.5 days. It is slow to get going on Day 1 (Saturday) and ends a bit early on Day 2 (Sunday). On the positive side, they have it set up so people can line up for events inside — no freezing outside!
The crowds are way smaller too. While the big hall packs in 3500 or so during ComicCon, PopExpo has it shrunk to half its length, and not heavily packed with chairs. So it is a slightly more intimate setting, which is nice, and also nice not to have to fight huge crowds. It also probably negates the need for VIP seats as pretty much any seat is good.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised throughout. I was surprised by the seemingly small crowds (I frequently heard people express surprise that they could get through signing and photo lineups so quickly and the stars were so accessible). You’ll see through the sessions, most were awesome panels.
Oh, and while I am not into the geekdom that leads to CosPlay, I do like seeing some of the costumes, even if I have no idea what show most are from (okay, I recognize Olaf)…on to reviewing Robert Picardo’s session!