Well folks, another Calgary Comic con has come and gone.
Whether you were here to witness the legions of Vulcan-ear adorned trekkies swarm for autographs from Leonard “I am not Spock” Nimoy, or whether the combined starpower of Alex from A Clockwork Orange, that surly guy from Dollhouse, and the always creepy “Candyman” Tony Todd wasn’t quite enough to entice you out…
For better or for worse, the Roundup Centre has bid farewell to the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo for another year.
Let me tell you, it was a helluva time.
I don’t have access to the numbers, but this year’s expo was definitely on par with last year for traffic. Which is to say, at peak periods in the afternoon (particularly on Saturday) the expo was shoulder to shoulder in the main lanes and throughout Artist Alley.
An ample distribution of cosplaying con keensters further contributed to the crowd problem. Ready for more alliteration? The costumed con-goers caused significant clots in crowd traffic, as camera-wielding expo fans lined up to snap away.
Regarding the popular costumes this year – unsurprisingly, several Deadpools were present. I also counted four Zatanna’s over the weekend, perhaps curiously.
And, as I mentioned before, the Trekkies were out in full force. If the combined presence of Leonard Nimoy and Brent Spiner (pallid-faced android Data) weren’t enough on their own, the hype surrounding Nimoy’s pre-con visit to the small Alberta town of Vulcan contributed the final sparks necessary to reignite Star Trek craziness here in Calgary.
The worst part of this was the children. Dorked-out Dads riding the waves of sci-fi nostalgia from their glory days threw pointy ears on their (usually bespectacled) spawn, fitted them with oversized Halloween Star Trek shirts, and marched them around like beacons of hope for a next Next Generation.
But I’m detracting now from the coolness of some of the more inspired costumes from over the weekend. Here’s a brief sampling of some of the cosplay from this year’s expo:
Panel-wise, Saturday was really the big day for prominent comic creators/authors/artists present. Chris Claremont proved himself as articulate a speaker as he is a writer of comics, sharing some genuinely insightful kernels of wisdom at the Writing for Comics panel as well as the X-Men Q & A. Fans hoping to attend either the Leonard Nimoy or Billy Dee Williams panels were greeted with massive lineups, with the former boasting a lineup that stretched around the exterior of the con, back into the main hall and halfway through the room.
Much of Sunday I was personally occupied with taking video footage and doing the whole interview thing, but I heard the Boom! Studios and Top Cow panels were pretty thoroughly lively. The one panel I actually made it to was an Iron Man spotlight featuring several Marvel Artists as well as a concept artist on the Iron Man movies, John Giang. After ten minutes of anxiously awaiting the presentation in our seats, we were informed that Giang has mysteriously vanished from the Con altogether.
Whether he was abducted by a jet black minivan in the harsh afternoon (pre-rain) sunlight, or whether he simply ate too much of the Coco Brooks’ pepperoni pizza (who could blame him, really), this meant my Sunday was effectively panel-less.
But! No big loss, as I had the pleasure to chat with a few past Fabler interviewees in person, including (but not limited to):
…And Lar deSouza, webcomic artist on both Looking for Group and Least I Could Do. He’s pictured here with a convincingly costumed Richard, the sadistic warlock and fan favorite character from Looking for Group.
On the topic of Lar, I had the opportunity to interview his creative counterpart writer Ryan Sohmer at the Con. Stay tuned to the Fabler Blog in the coming weeks to see how it turned out. Ryan appeared to be verging on deathly ill when I chatted with him, but, as he confided in me, the sheer power of Red Bull sustained his wits throughout the Expo.
As for the Fabler, we had our own corner booth which we shared with parent company Zensoft Studios.
The artist you see at front is Jay Korim, penciller on the soon-to-be-launched Fabler exclusive webcomic, the Sundry 7. The Fabler team was on hand distributing freshly printed copies of issue # 0 of the Sundry 7 free of charge to anyone who stopped by the booth.
We met a lot of friendly faces curious as to what the Fabler’s all about, and had the pleasure of chatting with some interesting creative talent that had their own thoughts to share about what we’re aiming to accomplish with the site.
We also gave away some nifty prize packs, including several PS3’s and a bunch of copies of Batman: Arkham Asylum.
As you can tell from the above photo, the air was positively thick with excitement as the winners were drawn. Thick, I tell you.
I mentioned before that Sunday included, in part, some serious video-taking. We shot a bunch of footage with a trusty handy cam that hopefully we’ll get to show you here on the Fabler Blog soon. Among those featured in our video segment are Eisner-nominated artist Fiona Staples, Dinosaur Comics’ author Ryan North, and a few other talents you’ll just have to wait and see. Provided our trusty (read: budget) handycam came through for us.
On a final note, I leave you with this inspiring image of Vince Smith of the Calgary comic collective Vicious Ambitious (formerly of Team Zissou).
If that doesn’t get your short shorts bunched up in enthusiasm, I don’t know what will.
For more photos from the con, browse over to our Flickr page.
Did I purposely avoid mention of Twilight at the Con altogether? Yes I did.
-Written by Kevin de Vlaming