Fan Expo 2017 – Rising Up from the Hellfire

For many years, I’ve wanted to go to Fan Expo, but it was always difficult due to the time of the year it was at: The Labour Day weekend. I would tell myself every year that I would go, and interact with fellow nerds, but then distractions kept popping up like trips to the cottage, school prep./work, etc.

Not this year, I finally got to go yesterday and I am so glad I went. I was super excited to cosplay as Claude Frollo again. The more I dress up as him, the more people connect me to it.

I woke up really early so I had time to wash my hair and suffered two misfortunes while getting ready: First, I got shampoo in my right eye while washing my hair and it stung like hell. Then, while I was doing my makeup; my second attempt creating a look with the sample of Urban Decay’s brand new Troublemaker mascara. I was trying to fix a lash that was hanging low until it got in my left eye and I rushed to the bathroom rapidly blinking and had to wipe it off and redo that eye!

Well, at least the stinging stopped before my ride came. I had invited Brayden and Tiffany to come with me. I knew Tiff wanted to come once I heard that Paige O’Hara; the voice of Belle was going to be there!

Lady Frollo rises again to bring justice

Prior to the con, I had re-printed Frollo’s rings to make them a little bigger and washed the robe. Once we were inside the MTCC, it didn’t take long for people to recognize me. Just like last time: the most common responses were: “Oh my God it’s Frollo! I’ve never seen anyone dress up as him before!”, “I think I know who you are, remind me?”, “Are you Jafar?” I have no idea why some people thought I was Jafar; they’re both entirely different villains. Could it be they dress similarly? Who knows?

This photo to the right, is from a photo session I signed up for. Most of these at Fan Expo require you to book in advance, but these guys were walk-in, and I signed up when the wait time was very short. I had to give the photographer ideas what Frollo was like and initiate the poses on my own until he realized what kind of person Frollo was.

Afterwards, Tiff and I looked through the photos and it was this one and another that I decided to keep. This one is my favourite though. I actually had to re-upload them as PNG files to my social media accounts once I saw they had become compressed using the original JPG files to post. The one thing I’m always paranoid about is photos possibly get less likes if you delete and re-upload them, or post them in multiple albums. (believe me, these photos deserved to be part of my cosplay album and the album containing the other pictures from the con). But then again, it doesn’t matter, I post and re-post stuff for myself. Maybe the original files from Dropbox will make it onto the photographer’s website. That’s never happened to me before, and if it does, hell I could get a little fame for being the only Frollo cosplayer in the GTA! This was definitely one of my favourite moments but anyway, onto the rest!

However, before that photo session, Tiff wanted to get in line to meet Paige before it got too long. In fact, Paige’s lineup was the first to be the longest before more people started to arrive! I decided to meet her as well and chatted with fellow Disney fans who were stoked to see a Frollo in line. Many of them claimed they had not watched the movie in ages. In fact, pretty much everyone I ran into who recognized me got crazy! There was even a couple dressed up as Buttercup and Westley from The Princess Bride, who were happy to see a Frollo there. They were so cute together.

When it was my turn to meet Paige, I was a little shaky. Although Beauty and the Beast wasn’t as big a part of my childhood as The Little Mermaid, it was still a part to me.

I look like I’m taller than her, but that’s only because my boots have heels!

When I approached her, I told her that Belle was one of my favourite Disney Princesses and the little story about how in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Belle makes a little Easter egg appearance during “Out There” when Quasimodo looks out over the city. She listened and laughed and I loved how she actually took the time to chat with all the fans. There are not many guests at these cons who do that. They may say a few things and then need everyone to hurry up to keep the line moving, but not Paige. She was so kind and sweet, it was definitely worth the wait.

I caught you gypsy girl!

Another one of the best moments of the day, was while Brayden and Tiff went meet Robby Benson the voice of the Beast (I could have gone with them, but I didn’t bring a lot of money), I stood around and let fans take my picture. Just as I turned around briefly, I glimpsed an Esmeralda cosplayer. I quickly weaved my way through the crowd and approached her getting into character like: “I found you gypsy girl! You cannot run from me!” She was caught by surprise but then we were both laughing seconds later. So, after talking about the movie for a bit, I asked her for a picture and if we could do it as the scene where Frollo grabs Esmeralda from behind and she agreed. You can tell in the picture we’re both got our character’s looks: she’s all unimpressed, and I’m all serious. (I’m pretty much scowling in all my pictures, well Frollo never smiles hahaha!)

I also saw another Esmeralda in the other building who was carrying a Djali plush around with her, as well as a few Game of Thrones cosplayers, and three other Disney villains: Ursula, Maleficent, and the evil queen. There was even someone dressed up in daedric armor from Skyrim. I didn’t get a chance to have a photo with him, but we did have a long chat about the game and he has inspired me to do a play through in the future where my character will wear heavy armor going towards daedric a.k.a the most iconic route: Iron – Daedric until you can get dragon armor.
Later in the day we went to the other building with all the escalators and that was the place I was used to the most, given that was where Comic Con took place. The 501st Legion was there again and I decided to spend the last of my cash on this…
The credit goes to my friend Tiff for taking this photo
Yep, I sat on the Emperor’s throne. Any Star Wars fan would want to do that! I can imagine if they had a Game of Thrones area next year, we’d be given the opportunity to sit on the Iron Throne! My friend Mathias got to do that, maybe I will too someday!
Anyway, they also had that speeder bike again, and there was also a where you could sit next to Jabba the Hutt too! I don’t know if I’d want to sit next to that big guy. He’s grumpy and eats too much! 
Last but not least, there was one unexpected event. When my friends and I were browsing around the second building, we walked past a table and I saw a cardboard cut-out of a character I recognized: Jude from the animated series 6teen. When I was in middle school, that show was insanely popular. I used to be irritated by that because I was more into watching Atomic Betty at that time. But, as the years went by, I started watching 6teen more when it came on every morning at 7:30; an hour before the bus came, and then the show grew on me. Jude was my favourite male character in that show, and I also enjoyed Total Drama Island too. So it’s no surprise I got excited when I recognized the voice behind the table as Christian Potenza who has done the voice of Jude in 6teen and Chris McLean in TDI. 

I stood by the table and watched him chat with other fans, and actually, he saw and said hi to me first before I could. I felt a wave of nostalgia come over me and I could barely catch my breath. I managed to tell him that I had grown up watching both the shows and that Jude was my favourite. He told me I had a great childhood, invited me behind his table and Brayden filmed a video of us where he proceeded to act out both his characters’ signature lines to refer to me, and I just stood beside him smiling and trying really hard not to laugh. 
When it was over, he asked me if I wanted any photos or autographs but I kindly thanked him and said the video was all I needed. Anything can happen at events like this!
What else can I say? I had an amazing time yesterday. I didn’t bring home any physical souvenirs, but all the photos and moments I got from there were all that I needed. Hopefully I can go again next year and Comic Con again in March.
Tomorrow I’ve got Epica’s gig and maybe if I’m lucky enough I could chat with Simone about makeup and stuff. We shall see. I’ll write about it later in the week since I got to get back into the routine with the semester starting up in three days!
Until then, it was so good to rise up like…Hellfire.

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