I didn’t think the past month could get more exciting but then there was the Calgary Expo!!! It is the second largest comic and entertainment convention in Canada and they do such an amazing job! For those that have never been to a con, if you’re a geek/nerd of anything, you should really try to go to one at least once. Everything from anime, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, gaming and more is represented.It’s a chance to meet your favourite actors, get comics signed by creators and to attend informative panels on a variety of topics such as how to get started in comics or voice acting. This was our second time attending and I already can’t wait for next year! Without further ado, here’s our daily breakdown of all the awesome we attended. Keep in mind there’s about a million other things happening besides what we went to!
One does not simply drive to Expo. No no, Team Whisky & Comics had to make it an adventure! On our drive we encountered a llama, Paul Bunyan’s Bowling ball and made a stop in Westeros(e). There was no wine to be had in Westerose though because we had to keep driving to Calgary to see Rene Auberjonois, the actor that portrayed Odo on DS9. He is definitely a talker, but he keeps you interested the whole time. Being an older actor he certainly knows how to work the crowd. Our last panel was with Jewel Staite, best known for her role of Kaylee on Firefly. She didn’t bother having a moderator and just walked out (no small feat in her amazing stilettos) and answered fan questions for the full 45 minutes. She is as plucky as her character Kaylee but certainly more outspoken and just an overall BAMF. We ended the day by going to a trivia event hosted by Garrett Wang from Star Trek Voyager. Garret does so much for the Expo he might as well be the mascot. He’s such a friendly guy too, walking around talking to the crowd.
Person I’d most like to drink whisky with from Day 1: Jewel Staite
Friday kicked off with the Parade of Wonders (POW)! This is a chance for people to show off their amazing cosplay and there was definitely lots of it! Leading the parade was Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, who is essentially a superhero to Calgarians. Actor guests in the parade included Kristy Swanson, Garrett Wang and Brett Dalton. Graham McTavish was sporting a fabulous kilt and I was able to ask him what his favourite scotch is, to which he replied Highland Park! We booted it back to the Expo grounds to get a Jewel Staite autograph and explored some of the exhibitor booths. Espionage Cosmetics were there and I picked up some fab Expo themed glow in the dark nail wraps!
Our panels of the day were the Buffy movie panel with Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry followed by the Queens of Darkness with the villains of Once Upon a Time: Lana Parrilla, Kristin Bauer, Victoria Smurfit and Merrin Dungey. They had a great story about taking Cruella’s car out for a spin. Then to top it all off was a last minute guest, Neil Patrick Harris! Love that guy.
Person I’d most like to drink whisky with from Day 2: Luke Perry
We arrived early to take our time to explore all the amazing art and geek-wares for sale on the trade show floor. There’s so much great fan art for sale that you can get signed by guests it’s hard to find the one you like best! We also got out first volumes of Wayward and Roche Limit signed by their respective creators. Our first panel of the day had us seeing dead people from The Walking Dead: David Morrissey (The Governor), Scott Wilson (Hershel) and Lew Temple (Axel). We followed it up with the giant that is Jason Momoa (Stargate Atlantis, Aquaman, Game of Thrones). One of the audience questions was from an aboriginal woman who, familiar with the importance of sacred land, asked what significance Mauna Kea is to him, as he is currently opposing the addition of an observatory atop the dormant volcano. For those unfamiliar with the cause check it out here. Unfortunately he couldn’t say much because he’s in the middle of drafting a formal statement but the cause is obviously important to him. Then it was super secret spy times at the Agents of SHIELD panel with Ming-Na Wen and Brett Dalton moderated by The Mary Sue’s Sam Maggs. Ming-Na is the complete opposite of Agent May and stole the show, she is absolutely hilarious. The first audience question was from a kid dressed as Spiderman wondering when the characters on the show ever get to pee (I have often wondered the same thing). Then the rest of the audience questions basically went like this “Hey Brett, you’re great on the show as Ward, but this question is for Ming…”. He took it in stride though and everyone thought it was hilarious. Ended the day with the Rosario Dawson panel where questions ranged from Clerks all the way up to her role as Claire on Daredevil.
Person I’d most like to drink whisky with from Day 3: Tie between Ming Na Wen and Jason Momoa
The attendees may have started feeling like extras from The Walking Dead but the Expo staff were still smiling and awesome and we got to high five all of them on the way in. The volunteers are the real stars of this event, hands down. We got an autograph from Hayley Atwell AKA Agent Peggy Carter and she is the sweetest person. We asked what whisky she’s drinking and right now she’s enjoying Haig which I haven’t tried yet myself. I then introduced myself to Sam Maggs and told her that I spend about an hour of my half hour lunch at work reading The Mary Sue. I can’t wait to get her book The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks. We were going to chat with Anne Wheaton but instead got talking about beer with one of workers at the Espionage Cosmetics booth. We even stumbled across the beer she mentioned later in the day and picked it up! Then it was off to the Hayley Atwell panel, and she just doesn’t portray an amazing feminist spy on tv, she is one in real life, except the spy part (maybe). We ended our expo experience with Gwendoline Christie who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones! She’s also in the upcoming finale to the Hunger Games series and the new Star Wars movie! She is taller than I imagined and is absolutely stunning! I was a little disappointed they didn’t take audience questions, but I also know people would only want to ask about Hunger Games and Star Wars so it was nice to just let her talk. She jokingly said that Brienne probably doesn’t smile because the armor is so damn heavy. She also talked about her challenges of not being the average looking actress and how passionate she was to want to play Brienne. She had done a lot of Shakespeare before television and I’m curious which roles she would have played.
And then that was it. We walked off into the sunset, waved goodbye and retreated back to our secret mountain lair.
Person I’d most like to drink whisky with from Day 4: Hayley Atwell
A number of guests seemed to enjoy partying with the boys of 90210 in the evenings.
Why does Momoa even have a security detail? Pretty sure he could take down anyone himself. Same goes for Gwendoline Christie, she towered above her security people. Just googled it, Christie is just an inch shorter than Momoa. now I’m imagining them in some sort of epic warrior movie! They could totally be She-Ra and He-Man!