Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ren & the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo

It's no secret that I really like comic books. So it should be an easy extension to say that I really like Comic book conventions, but that is not always the case. In general, I like the spectacle of it all; browsing for merchandise, searching for cheapo trade paperbacks, and marveling at co-splay but I also can't take incessant line-ups, repetition, and the never-ending crush of crowds. It is a love/hate relationship.

So for this years Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo I thought it would be good to witness the festivities through new eyes. So, after a couple conversations with my sister Monica, I ended up accompanying my nephew Ren to this years Expo.

For those who are considering going to a comic convention or entertainment expo I must recommend public transportation. There is truly something special about seeing Spiderman or Sailor Moon on the train. Our LRT ride had a few good costumes but Ren didn't seem too impressed.

As we arrived at Northlands we followed the waves of people into a line-up for wristbands. At this point my pessimism was on full tilt....damn lineups. However, much to my surprise the line-up moved exceedingly fast and was my only one for the day. Bonus! 

TV and Movie celebrities seem to be a big draw for people at the conventions but with the rare exception I have no desire to meet any stars or get anything signed. Ren and I walked through all of the celebrities assembled pretty quickly which I think suited him fine as he didn't know who any of them were. I briefly paused to gawk at Alice Cooper who is of course a legend and Amy Acker who is thinner than my pinkie before finally stopping at Dwight Schultz to snap a picture from afar. I mean c'mon, the dude is Murdoch from the A-Team and Barclay from Star Trek Next Generation. 

With the celebrities behind us we went in search of my list of desired Trade Paperbacks and cool chachke's / junk the wife will hate.

Love the vivid color of the t-shirt wall


I had limited success in finding the actual comics I was looking for but 'settled' for some cool ones I didn't even know I wanted. Satisfied that I had seen enough of the vendors, Ren and I wandered around taking in my favorite part of the event: Cosplay

How amazing is that Wild Wild West steampunk wheelchair? I can't imagine it would be comfortable tucking your legs back under yourself for so long but kudos to him for doing so. Also, I was totally amazed by the Groot costume. The movie was only a couple of months prior and I am guessing this individual wasn't sitting on a Groot costume at home before the movie. Really remarkable to see just how good it looked in what I am guessing was so short of a time.

Finally, the straight up ridiculous Kay Pike of Canada Cosplay. She was gladly posing all day for pictures with all comers. Obviously, she is beautiful but her proportions are more unreal than alluring. For example, in the pose below I think she looks more like a full size action figure than an actual woman...ok, she definitely is a little alluring :)

Ren's Favorite

I think Ren was a little overwhelmed by all the people and the overall weirdness of seeing Batman and Darth Vader just wandering around talking to each other. It doesn't help that I when I get excited I walk super fast for hours on end and have no need for food or water. Much like the wife, he was good at pointing out when he was tired and needed a break. At this point I wasn't even sure if he was enjoying himself at all.

However, nearing the end of our day and shortly after a break we came across what I think was Ren's favorite display at the event: Two huge Lego Star Wars scenes. 

The Battle of Endor

The Battle of Hoth

Both scenes were brilliantly laid out and had so many tiny details. I think Ren could have stared at them for hours. My favorite design element was the gruesome scene of Wampa versus Storm Trooper.

Star Wars Lego for the save to appease Ren and salvage the day.

Overall, I think that the event was extremely well run and put together with a good mix of vendors, artist and pure goofiness. Perhaps in a couple more years when Ren has reached more of a geek stature (like his uncle) we will attend again.

BTW - I actually think Ren's favorite part of the day was the subsequent trip to McDonalds. Those Happy Meals are aptly named.

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