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Arts & Culture(Archives)


The Entertainiac

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The best part about going to a nerd convention is that no matter how much Klingon you can speak, or Chewie impressions you make, or how many Star Trek vs. Star Wars debates you’ve entered, there is most certainly someone geekier than you at a comic-con.

I attended my first nerd event at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo and have to say … it was out of this world both literally and figuratively.

To set the scene, allow me to go back, way back to a childhood far, far away. I was six when Captain Picard was leading the Starship Enterprise and I was working on my goal of becoming Dr. Beverly Crusher. This was my six-year-old life plan, to spend my days curing the sick and injured with nothing more than a scanner, and spending my spare time on a holodeck with my crush Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge playing Barbies. This was a good reasonable plan for a six-year-old.

When that didn’t work, Plan B was initiated: to destroy stylish teenage vampires with cunning retort and a killer wardrobe; a good plan indeed for a teenage girl and avid fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Well it’s safe to say I grew out of those idealistic somewhat unachievable goals but my childlike enthusiasm for things like zombies who thirst for flesh, has yet to waiver. Science fiction and horror still inundate my Netflicks picks and Yoda remains my favourite philosopher.

“Do or do not... there is no try,” is an excellent mantra whether you are playing basketball or having one more pint.

So while attending a comic-con, you can imagine that my nerd was fully operational.

There were people dressed up from all walks of life; seeing bankers, dentists, accountants dressed up like Animae and Dr. Who characters was pretty entertaining to say the least. There were also movie and TV props from my favourite shows and the cast members from Firefly to Touchwood to Supernatural in attendance.

At one point I was sauntering down an isle of familiar faces from Terminator’s Linda Hamilton, to iconic animator Stan Lee and even Princess Leia herself, Ms. Carrie Fisher. It was overwhelmingly exciting watching them engage with fans and having a close encounter of my own third kind. While I wouldn’t pay the $40-$60 extra for autographs, I did splurge on two photo-ops costing the equitant of an X-Men collector’s item but overall, it was so worth it for the nerd experience.

First there was Eliza Dushku of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse fame. It was a somewhat disappointing exchange as we were herded in like cattle with nothing more than an awkward smile and a hello. There was no opportunity for a public scolding for her attempt on Buffy’s life all those years ago.

That said, the second of the purchases was well worth it: a photo with three main cast members of the Walking Dead including Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun and Melissa McBride. They were friendly and engaged with their fans despite the lineup of crazed enthusiasts waiting behind the curtain, even going as far as taking silly pictures with my 16-year-old sister and her friends. A lot of bucket lists were checked that day.

If that wasn’t enough, the convention itself was an experience with cool collector items, special effect make up demonstrations, sword fighting presentations, workshops and even panels with the stars who provided insight and secrets into the making of their shows.

So if you have any interest is geek(ing) it out, a comic-con is most certainly the place to do it because remember “Do or do not... there is no try.”

If you missed your 2013 chance in Calgary for the event of a lifetime, have no fear. There’s an upcoming convention in Edmonton on Sept. 28-29:



Plan ahead. There is so much to see and do you need a personal schedule.

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Buy the weekend pass EARLY (around $60). The package will sell out and it’s the best bang for your buck. This also goes for any photo op or autographs you wish to purchase.

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Wear comfortable footwear. You will stand in a lot of lines, so be prepared to wait.

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Make sure you have a fully charged cell phone. You will take hundreds of pictures and even some video. You don’t want to lose power when you favourite actor walks by.

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Attend the demonstrations, panels and workshops. Most of them are free and it’s fun to give yourself a first-hand, live-in-person account from your favourite stars. Plus it’s a good way to give your sore feet a break.


YMM writer Paula Ogonoski and friends get their own close encounter of the third kind during the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo in April meeting cast members of the Walking Dead. Ogonoski along with fellow nerds Nicole Fitch, Amanda Richardson and Craig Momney, and cast members of the Walking Dead including Steven Yeun (Glenn), Melissa McBride (Carol Peletier) and Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon).


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