Saturday, April 26, 2014
(Rough)Con-Man: Calgary Expo Friday
It's a bit jarring as there's nothing super close to the Stampede besides a casino and train station. The surrounding area is under heavy construction so you feel a bit remote upon entering. Like Seattle's Emerald City Comicon, CE is spread out across its site so you have to make friends with the guide and map. There was badge pick up in the Grandstand then kids attractions in a tented pavilion, food trucks and giant balloons outside, the Boyce theater and stadium Corral for panels, Big Four building for vendors and food then the main hall BMO for a huge variety of exhibitors then yet another small section Palamino for autographs and more swag. Phew!
Lance Henriksen arrived the day before. Our Con hotel this time is the lovely Sheraton eau Claire in downtown Calgary next to the river and starting point of CE's huge cosplay parade. Anthony Daniels, the Sons of Anarchy and The Hobbit crews rode up front as hundreds of costumed con goers walked the streets up to the Stampede.
WonderCon. Calgary marked his first professional signing and said his wife, accountant and children thanked us. Rumor was God was charging $80 bucks to a pop to sign and hang out. That's Richard Dean Anderson money! His spotlight panel was hilarious and heartfelt as he talked about meeting James Cameron, his reaction to hearing the synopsis to The Terminator, Kevin Jarre's massive and detailed contribution to Tombstone, working on Apollo 13, viewing it at the White House and urinating in between Bill Clinton and Tom Hanx. Great times. They didn't announce where to go for questions so I missed out on asking what the making of Navy SEALs was like and if he made people call him by character nick name God during production.
To end the evening there was a separate event dubbed Middle Earth EXPOsed that was half tribute to WETA CEO Richard Taylor and half variety show featuring cast members from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. It was laughs galore as the cast reminisced then partook in sword play lessons, sang for the audience and did some improv skits. Unannounced video tributes from Peter Jackson and Richard Armitage put the spotlight on Taylor who was on side stage making a radio contest winner up into an Orc through prosthetics, make up and costume. The seats are small and cramped together in the Corral but it was a very fun event.
Tonight is Aliens EXPOsed with the biggest reunion of cast since they shot the film in 1986. Before that, some sight seeing and grubbing is on the agenda but I just looked outside and it's freaking snowing. Oh Canada...