Episode IX: The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2012

A small fraction of the line to get in.

The 2012 expo is a tale of the good, the bad and the ugly. Mainly, it highlights a definitive need for a complete overhaul of the urban planning of Calgary unlike any other Canadian city to date. Calgary, in its hurry to grow up, has forgotten it’s figurative shall we say, logistical ‘pants’. Unfortunately for the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, the logistical elements were caught with their ‘pants down’ at the overwhelming response to this years event.The combination of an established crowd of attendees for local booths, a new wave of interest spiked by films like Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope’ and the coup de gras in the form of an entire Star Trek: The Next Generation once in a life time full cast reunion, resulted in a perfect storm of epic attendance on Saturday April 28, 2012.

As this blogger was locked out of the Saturday event, I can only make an effort to present a pictoral tableau of Saturday:

We can only hope that in hind sight, the 2012 Calgary Stampede Centennial will have enough foresight about Calgary and just how much it has changed since the 1960’s. I post this in order to deter what I would like to call the ‘old guard’ of Calgary event mentality; that only local groups from rural Alberta and maybe the surrounding prairie provinces will be in attendance. Reality set in for the Expo on Saturday- the stakes in Calgary are higher now, the profile of our city has risen to be able to entice visitors from around the globe to make the effort to come out. In other words, bring your A-game.

 

In typical event goer fashion, this attendee adopts the mantra adapt and overcome. Come Sunday I am prepared. I plan to arrive a good hour before the event start time of 9:00am. I arrive with a book, a bottle of water and a snack to keep the blood sugar up. I also arrive with the mentality of ‘This is a BIG event, in a BIG city’. I approached this as I did T.I.F.F..

Gone were my assumptions of “I’ll swing by this afternoon, after all how busy could it be?’. Put to bed were my memories of past expo’s at the BMO where the hall seemed larger than the Grand Canyon, capable of swallowing any exhibition thrown its way.

And by jove, the Expo got it! Organised crowd control markers were established. The flow of the crowd was contained. The concept of choke points and crowd behavior patterns were implemented in style. Everyone received a ticket. I had a fabulous Sunday.

And here, in every way an attempt to re-establish some dignity to the Expo in their effort to ‘adapt and overcome’

As I enter the coral, I am politely herded with my fellows to sit patiently and listen to a group of very professional musicians. Playing what I later found to be video game music, at the time I was pleasantly surprised to find non-comic related material at the event. How wrong I was. How good they were to make video game soundtracks sound like jazz insturmentals, I cannot convey in this picture.

Peter David, I later found out has a B.A. in Journalism from New York University, has writen for some of the biggest titles out there. His newer projects can be found here: www.crazy8press.com

Panel number two: The Art of Batman. Three artist’s representing the range of transition in style of the Batman comic art, and indeed the character, were well represented.

Panel number three; Writing for Comics. Insight into the creative team process and trials faced by writers in this ever adaptable genre.

 

Now we arrive at event number four; the Children’s Costume Contest. Or what I dub ‘the genesis of all comic cons’. Half a dozen Link’s, too many Star Trek fans and half a dozen storm troopers later, we arrive. In reality, this is what this event is about. A shared community of individuals from all age groups, race and gender coming together to celebrate.

My hats off to the Expo, and looking forward to next year.

This entry was posted in Festivals. Bookmark the permalink.