Improbable stampede hits Cowtown
– by Brendan Richardson
Comic geeks, trekkies, zombie-aficionados and other, less conspicuous individuals – who just happen to like pop culture – might want to be in Calgary April 27-29 for the seventh annual Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. Western Canada’s largest convention of its kind drew 30,000 last year. This year, with headliners like cast members from The Walking Dead, Star Trek: The Next Generation and that old guy who shows up in all those superhero movies – Stan Lee himself – leading the way, Calgarians will find themselves dealing with an unapologetic stampede of what organizers like to describe as “full-frontal nerdity”.
One of the big draws for the expo is getting to meet some of the biggest names in sci-fi, horror, comics, anime, cartoons, gaming and animation. Visitors can take part in panels and workshops where they can learn how to break into voice acting, the comic book industry and other fields of interest. For those who get a kick out of reconnecting with their inner 13-year-old, there are after-show and costume parties where they can rub elbows with the likes of Adam West, Jake the Snake Roberts and Richard Hatch to name a few. Play your cards right and you might just find yourself slow dancing with Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger).
Familiar faces from past and present universes will be there. Here are a few things you might want to check out.
Star Trek: TNG EXPOsed – The nine principal cast members from Star Trek: The Next Generation will be reunited for the first time in over 20 years. Nerds will feel like it’s the 90s all over again when their nerdettes start gushing about Sir Patrick Stewart and how sexy he looks for his age again.
Joining Stewart will be Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, Wil Wheaton and Denise Crosby. All will be at two separate events: the Calgary Expo (April 27-29) and Star Trek® TNG EXPOsed (April 28, 2012).
James Marsters – “Spike” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be on hand to talk about his acting career but also his recent foray into comic book writing. Marsters wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike and Dru for Dark Horse Comics. He also fronted the band Ghost of the Robot from 2003-2004 before moving on as a solo musician.
Dave Prowse – “Luke, I am your father”. The voice of Darth Vader will chat about Star Wars, training the late Christopher Reeve in Superman and appearing in cult classics like A Clockwork Orange, Jabberwocky and the 1981 version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Adam Baldwin – Having worked with such Hollywood icons as Stanley Kubrick, Joss Whedon and Chris Makepeace, “Animal Mother” from Full Metal Jacket has starred in mainstream and cult films alike. These days, Baldwin is best known for his work in sci-fi hits like Firefly, Serenity, The X-Files and Stargate SG-1.
Tickets can be purchased by credit card at www.calgaryexpo.com