I took my daughter and a couple of friends to the Ad Astra convention in Toronto yesterday. Sadly, only going for one day really wasn't worth the registration fee, but it looks like it would be an excellent weekend-long event, and we anticipate going back next year.
I wasn't able to go to any of the panels, because Sofia is too young to quietly sit through them, so I was stuck sitting around in the hallways. I had hoped there would be more going on outside the panels, something like what I'm used to seeing at FanExpo. That would have kept me properly amused while my friends were in the panels.
I did partly amuse myself, and my geeky toddler, by lurking around the Doctor Who Society's table. They had Doctor Who videos running on repeat and a wonderful display that included a homemade dalek and a cardboard TARDIS and 10th doctor.
If you see pictures floating around the Internet of a small girl in a dalek toque wearing a "Blink" t-shirt and posing with a cardboard version of the 10th doctor... Yeah, that's my kid. She's got a sunny disposition and was on her best behaviour, so she made us quite popular everywhere we went.
I did get to meet some really wonderful people, including Jim Butcher toward the end of the day. We went to the autograph session and Sofia won him over with her grin and general goofiness. High fives were exchanged. I was really pleased by what a genuinely nice guy Jim Butcher is.
I haven't met too many celebs, but he's the first one who has seemed genuinely nice. The others have been jerks, or just playing at being nice because they understand the consequences of being rude to fans. Jim even went up to my best friend and daughter when they were playing in the lobby to say hi again before he left. He could have pretended not to see/recognize them and could have just left, and no one would have blamed him after a full weekend of events, but he didn't. He took the few minutes to say hello.
Mr. Butcher, if you somehow come across this blog, thanks for being a good guy!
Our day ended after a quick visit to the dealer room, where I bought books I really shouldn't have, but will definitely enjoy. We met some more great authors -- the folks from Dragon Moon Press were especially awesome -- and saw some great merchandise. Leah Petersen from DMP even gave my daughter a Jayne toque (from Firefly) and that was just completely awesome. It was really nice of her and Sofia loves the hat. In fact, she's been wearing it all morning!