Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2010

Day 1: Saturday, April 24, 2010

My first Comic & Entertainment Expo. The only reason I went at all was to see and hear Leonard Nimoy, who was as charming and witty as I had hoped. If he were ever to chance a look at this I would like to thank him. Mr. Nimoy may not be Spock, but Spock lives because of him. After listening to Mr. Nimoy speak at his discussion panel, I believe both Mr. Nimoy and Mr. Spock are good life mentors.

While standing in line to get in on Sunday, I discovered that with Mr. Spock there are no age boundaries. I asked the preteen standing in front of me if she were there to see the actors from the movie Twilight: New Moon.

Her mother pretending mock surprise turned to her daughter and said, "How did she know?"

"Well," I continued. "I think most people are here to see either the Twilight group or Leonard Nimoy, and you know, Mr. Nimoy is kind of old."

"Oh, but he's Spock!" the preteen exclaimed. "And Spock is cool."

We then plotted the best strategy for her to get autographs and photos of the Twilight actors.

Most of my weekend was spent in line ups. At a couple panel discussions the announcers bragged that over 15,000 people would be attending the Expo this weekend, making this the largest comic expo in the west. Now, that many people might be impressive to some and might be considered a good thing to others. It's not a good thing if you are one of the crowd trying to figure out where the end of your line is and there are four lines merging. Crowd management for Saturday was horrible, although I was told by someone who attended last year that this year's was more organized. (Gads!) I bought an advanced weekend pass, which was supposed to allow me to get in quicker than people buying tickets at the gates. Didn't happen. When I arrived around 10:00 am there were no line ups at the gates, and a one mile long line (I do not exaggerate) of advance ticket holders. Having an advanced ticket gave me no special favors except that I can go back and feel like a spawning salmon again on Sunday.

The costume aspect was fun. Many people dressed up; quite a few didn't even enter the costume competition. I'm not an avid comic book reader, so I did not recognize some of the costumed characters. Liana K. (of the television talk show Ed & Red) and Mark Nguyen (from the 404s comedy troupe) were the MCs for the costume competition. They were wonderfully funny and the costumes were well done. I was totally blown away by Liana K.'s knowledge of gaming, comics, you name it, she probably knew about it. No wonder she's considered a Fan Queen.

Day 2: Sunday April 25, 2010
Spawning like an intelligent salmon today. As soon as the doors open I head for the Palomino room where celebrity guests will take part in the Ed & Red mini talk show. The other salmons must have went to the autograph table, because I'm the second person to get in the hall. I score a seat near the stage, which means I get some really excellent photos of the celebrities being interviewed by Liana K and a dirty little sock named Ed. My best shot was of Yukon-born actor Tahmoh Penikett.

Afterwards, I thought I'd check out the exhibitions. A mob held back at the exhibition hall door changed my mind. I decided to find the Brent Spiner panel line up, instead. Good thing too, because that line was getting pretty long. When we got in the MC told everyone that the previous Twilight discussion panel had a battle between the vampires and the werewolves to see who had the most fans in the hall. He said it looked like the android won, because Brent Spiner fans totally filled the hall.

All in all, crowd control was actually pretty good on Sunday. Believe it or not, someone who avoids lines at the best of times actually learned that standing in line can be a cool thing. You meet the most interesting people. Like the young man from Edmonton who was there to "get away." Then there was the UK guy who claimed they had nothing like this in England. And the woman who wondered if her teenage sons, who were perusing the exhibitors hall, would find her in the Leonard Nimoy panel discussion line-up (they didn't). The discussion by two married men on the possibility of scoring with the beautiful spandex-clad superhero, I could've have done without. They laughed, though, when I turned and told them she would probably kick their asses. They then speculated on whether their spouses could be convinced to dress up as superheroes. We were all there, sharing what we love. Kind of like Facebook, only in 3-D.

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