I had the chance to visit the Edmonton Expo (or as some people have begun calling it, “Edmonton Comic Con”). I had never known Edmonton to have that big of a nerd population; it had always seemed like a more sports oriented city. After all, are we not the ‘City of Champions?’ But this city managed to surprise me with a whopping 12,000 person turnout!
At the Expo, I was able to buy wares from various vendors and artists, go to panels about comics, and dress up as my favourite character. Every single person had their own reason to be there – and that’s what I love about these conventions. I love getting to know people and talking about what gets me excited about being a nerd. I met people who were both older and younger than me. I even at one point ran into my tattoo artist, who was sporting a fantastic Gears of War outfit.
I went to the Expo with a good friend of mine, who was just as excited as I was. We bounced from room to room, with her representing the more excited and happy side, and me the calm and subdued. It’s not that I was unhappy to be there – I’m just normally a quiet person who doesn’t outwardly show her excitement. Sometimes I feel like this is surprising for a lot of people, considering how much I love comics, books, movies etc. When I meet the creators and actors behind things that I love, it’s such a surreal experience. I definitely had as much fun as I could cram into the 7 hours I was there.
One of the best moments for me was going to Charisma Carpenter’s panel. She’s an actress who became famous on the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Charisma was just so refreshingly honest. She had a lot to say about her experiences filming Angel and BTVS (not all of it good). She even answered my question about being on set of the Expendables 1 and 2. She had a lot of interesting things to say about her character; mainly, that she felt Cordelia wasn’t given the same level of importance as the others. It was nice to hear what her real feelings were and not some boiled down version of the truth.
Another surprise was meeting Julie Newmar. When I heard the original Catwoman was going to be there, I leapt at the chance to see her. She was so incredibly personable. Even before signing autographs, she came down to meet with everyone who was at the front of the line (me included). She spent as much time with each person as she could, asking questions about their life. A lot of people who know who she is kept commenting on her age, saying things like “oh wow, she must be old.” Well, yeah? So what? If she still wants to go to these events and meet all her fans, then why is her age a factor into anything? I can only hope I am half as awesome when I get to her age.
I think the main reason a lot of people went to the Expo was to meet Misha Collins from Supernatural – myself included. Misha is a very intriguing person, and the fact that he is really good looking doesn’t hurt either. I’m often afraid that when I meet celebrities they’ll ruin the image I have of them in my head. I realize this is a lot of pressure to put on someone, but everyone needs a fantasy. Well, Misha Collins was just fine. He was engaging, joking with my friend and I, admiring the shirts we had chosen (both wearing Supernatural shirts). He even reached out (asking my permission first) and stretched it to look at the design. He must have met thousands of people that weekend, but he still seemed patient with everyone. At one point, he even got on a con-goer’s phone to talk to a friend who couldn’t attend the event. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty awesome.
So, the Edmonton Expo put together a pretty good show. I will definitely be attending next year, and I encourage anyone who didn’t get a chance to attend next year. It was a great experience.