‘It goes hand in hand’: Pop culture devotees go wild at Fan Expo

Fan Expo Canada is back in Toronto after last year’s limited edition. Not only has it filled to capacity, it’s made some notable additions to its roster of things to see, buy, and do.

Along with buying comics, t-shirts and a variety of other merchandise this year, fans can immortalize their pop culture passions with permanent ink at the expo’s “Tattoo Alley.”

The tattoo has been available at other city expos for years, but it’s the first in the Toronto edition of the convention, made possible thanks to a decade of collaboration with the Ink Fusion Empire.

Tattoo artist Mark Draven founded the Traveling Tattoo Artist Collective in 2007, with stores at fan conventions around the world, bringing the worlds of tattoos and pop culture together. The empire now has over 200 tattoo artists from around the world, including Italy, Australia and Laos.

“By nature, I’m a nerd. But I’m the busiest. [tattooing] Opening hours are weekends… It started with the fact that I wanted to be both places at once.I wanted to get a tattoo and make money, and then I wanted to go to Comic Con. [on the weekends] to spend that money,” he says.

The concept went viral and caught the attention of heavy hitters in the comics and film industry.

“With the one and only Stan Lee, we were able to establish the godfather of comics in our stable,” says Draven. “In 2014, Stan and I started working on a project. He came in and drew a little Spider-Man graffiti and won a raffle and whoever wins gets a free tattoo, and Stan and I It was about taking pictures.”

He is also the first tattoo artist to be licensed by Lucasfilm, the original production company of the fan-favorite Star Wars.

Tattoo artist Alison Zou works on her tattoo at Fan Expo 2022 in Toronto. CITYNEWS/Dilshad Berman


Draven says it’s hard to pick a favorite character or subject for a tattoo because he’s a big fan of all things Maniac himself. , was not associated with any kind of fandom.

“It was on the back of an elderly man’s butt and he wanted ants to crawl across his butt to the other side.” It’s been a few years, so I don’t know if I would do that now.”

When I spoke with him on Saturday, Draven was preparing to combine his love of mixed-race families with his love of comics to get a tattoo of Batman and his father, including the names of his children. is usually said to be collaborative.

“He came with a very rough sketch and then we tweaked it … and between the two of us came up with the final idea,” he explains.

With 10 artists working at Fun Expo’s Tattoo Alley, the partnership was not easy, said Andrew Moyes, vice president of Fun Expo.

“These shows are driven by passion, which means we’re talking serious fans here. They want to celebrate the actors who created the characters they know and love.” But we also want to celebrate those characters themselves.

Tattoo artist Tony Skrepic
Tattoo artist Tony Sklepic works on a tattoo for comic artist Mark Brooks at Fan Expo 2022 in Toronto. CITYNEWS/Dilshad Berman

Many people signed up ahead of time to get their ink on the convention floor, but Moyes says having the artists there provides an opportunity for those who might be feeling spontaneous.

“Some people actually decide to get a tattoo on set,” he says. “I’ve even seen people go to Tattoo Street to get their favorite celebrity’s autograph on their arm and get a tattoo.”

Attendees agreed that having a tattoo artist on the convention floor was a valuable addition to the expo.

“It works well with Fan Expo’s geek fandom, and I think it’s a great idea to merge both arts,” says Jay, an attendee interested in Draven’s work.

Lisa, who recently got her first tattoo, said:

“It’s super convenient. As a fan, I’ve seen people have to have a tattoo artist wait in the back of the booth after getting their body parts signed. If possible, I would like to get a tattoo at the expo.

Draven is booked for the rest of the weekend, but some artists are accepting walk-ups of smaller works, which Moyes feels would be a fitting commemoration of this year’s event.

“It’s really memorable to say ‘This was the first big show’ that I got at ‘Fan Expo 2022’. [after pandemic restrictions]’ he says.

‘It goes hand in hand’: Pop culture devotees go wild at Fan Expo

Source link ‘It goes hand in hand’: Pop culture devotees go wild at Fan Expo

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