It has been a week or so since my return form this years Calgary Expo and my mind is overload with trying to remember it all.So to the best of my ability I will try and tell you my experience at this years Calgary Expo.
My band of merry nerds arrived for the opening day and from the start I could tell that the event organizes had learn a lot from last year. I also think that they also learn from the Edmonton show that they had put on six months earlier. The parking for the event was already packed and we had a little walk to get your badges. The line up to get your badges moved along nicely from outside the door to the line up to get you wrist band. After getting our goody bag we finally made our way back out to where you would enter into the BMO hall ABC. The massive line up we had seen earlier to enter the hall was gone. Entering into the main area of the expo was easy and plenty of volunteers all knowing ahead of time what the plan was made things move smooth. Like my first visit to the show last year once I entered into halls ABC it was a feeling of excitement and where the hell do I go. I explained to my band of nerds earlier that I like to walk the floor the first day. See all the art and tables and booths to see what each one had to offer and make a plan of attack for the next day. So after walking the floor and seeing all we could see we called it a night and returned our hotel room for some much need rest and prepare the Day 2.
Day 2 was a little different then Day 1 only being that I had to wait in the very long line to get into the BMO. Once the doors open thou the line up moved along quickly and we were in a very short time. The only problem about the line up was that if you had plans to get in to see a panel or get a autograph or had a photo op planned you may have missed it. So the organizers of the Expo may wish to rethink this and move the time back on some of the beginning events to a little later. Saturday was packed with more people. Well it felt that way to me. The area was filled with cosplay characters all being asked for photos and more than happy to agree to have their photo taken. X-23, Wolverine, Steampunk, Superman, Batman, Galactus, Ninja Turtles, Rogue, X-Men, Doctor Who and so many more that I saw and missed. There were a few tables selling the old gaming systems like Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Genesis game systems and the games they played were for sale a booths just selling them and others hoping to cash in the nostalgia. Old gaming systems are a big hit with the older collector going back to play the game of their youth. If you were only going to hope and get some back issues of your favorite comic books well you may be a little disappointed. There were booths selling books but not that many and you had to be willing to spend some time going through the boxes. Some of the vendors did have they books in order but many you had to just find your way through them to get what you wanted. A couple of the vendor were more that willing and happy help you find what you were looking for. Luckily for me I was just looking for a few I needed. I did get my autographs I wanted except for Nathan Fillion, man he was a popular dude. I tried 3 time to get his autograph but it time was packed. Getting in to see a panel was much better organized also. The entrance to Corral now was enter only unlike last year were you entered and exited from the same spot. SO much easier. I was able to take in a panel or two. Overall Day 2 was great. No major problems compared to last year and getting out and back in was not problem at all.
Holy crap standing in that line for Sundays show was f’n cold. If there had been a freak snow storm things would of gotten ugly. Getting ingain was easy and quick, once the doors were open. Sunday was the day to get your art, check out the independent artist and top comic artists that were attending the show. This year they had top notch artist attending. Adam Hughes, Adam Warren, Arthur Suydam, Alan Grant, Adi Granov, Erik Larsen, Neal Adams, Josh Adams and so many more. Oh I can not forget the man himself, Stan Lee. Publishers attending were, Avatar Press, Boom Studios/Kaboom, Rue Morgue, Topatoco, Aspen comics, Red 5 Comics, Top Cow and Zenescope. Now honestly I can not remember how many Publisher attended last years but as the show grow more and more should be attending. Maybe Marvel, DC or Valiant will make the trip up. I got my Savage Dragon #1 signed by Erik Larsen which was way cool. I did notice that Erik Larsen has a very different way of holding his pen when inking that was strange to me. But I am not complaining about it just it is neat to see how can make magic with their hands. I also got a nice Harley Quinn picture signed by Neal Adams. Again the show was packed and it was good to see. I missed the Nathan Fillion panel and I was pissed to be honest. Early in the year the Calgary Expo was twiting asking who they should get and I suggested Mr Fillion. So not getting his autograph or seeing his panel was the real big pisser for me.
So in conclusion and if you still reading this HOLY SHIT AND THANK YOU. The 2013 Calgary Expo was so much better organized then last year. Tickets sale were run better. The wrist bands was a great idea. Getting in and out of the BMO and other venues was so much better organized. Making the autograph are more open for people getting autographs and a are to get away from the crowd was a great idea. The eating area away from the main hall and autograph area was great also. Over all the organizers and volunteers and all involved in these years Expo should be proud. Like any event not everyone was happy and things can be improved here and there. But the leaps and bounds made from 2012 were huge. The guest and media stars were great and the number of artists were awesome. My only disappointment, not getting to see Nathan Fillion and get his autograph. Yeah I know stop whining.
A side note I hope to post more cosplay later.