Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog #22: Encounters Of The Geek Kind, Part II

The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2011 
Now I'm going to tell you about my first trip to the city of Calgary last year in June to attend the 'Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo' at the BMO Centre. My step-children Bailey and Kayde spent the weekend with their biological father while Shelby spent the weekend with Nana Darcy and Bubba (Grandma) LaBerge, Crystal and I made the trip alone to Calgary. Our first stop was in Stony Plain to pick up the t-shirts my cousin Curtis created for me to wear at the convention. One was a Ghostbusters design made by him with 'Slimer' and the 'Marshmellow Man' which was awesome. The other two were based on ideas I submitted to him for my meetings with William Shatner and Jonathan Frakes. The Shatner shirt read on the front "William Shatner For Prime Minister", and on the back it read "Because He's The Shat". The Frakes shirt read on the front "Captain Riker, USS Titan' and on the back it read "The Next Star Trek Series". When I met them Shat didn't really notice me or my shirt, Frakes did notice and said 'The Titan, that's great!". Very cool and thank you Curtis for that. If anyone is interested in thees shirts or any others Curtis has designed check him out on facebook: Curtis Sarapuck. Now we were off to Calgary. We actually had no problems navigating to the hotel room in downtown Calgary. The Marriot Hotel was very nice and fancy, maybe a little too fancy for us red necks. Then we were off to the expo. I got to meet comic book artist Amanda Conner, who I am a fan of and got a picture of her 'Power Girl' autographed by her and writer Jimmy Palmiotti, which is now proudly framed in my living room. In the autograph area we seen Tia Carrere (from 'Relic Hunter' and 'Waynes World'). We also seen Mira Furlan (Ambassador Delenn from 'Babylon 5' and Rousseau from 'Lost') and got her autograph, and later got our picture taken with her. She was nice but seemed a little shy. We also got our pic taken with Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) and I have a hard time believing she is actually 60 years old!!! She looks amazing!! I would say she looks like a woman in her early 40's. She was stunning.
Saturday I payed for the most expensive breakfast I ever ate!! $46 for Crystal and I to eat breakfast in the fancy hotel restaurant, and it really was not that good. We went to the expo and there was easy 3 times the amount of people there that day compared to Friday. I got to meet up with a school friend, Taryn Francis (Lawton) who was there to get her picture taken with Shatner. It had been too many years since we seen each other and it was great to see and catch up with her.
Crystal and I caught the 'Battlestar Galactica' panel with stars Micheal Hogan (Colonel Tigh) and Kate Vernon (Mrs. Tigh) and they were both funny and great to listen to on stage.
 I later caught a Matt Frewer panel. Frewer is best known as 80's icon 'Max Headroom', but being a Trek nerd I was more interested in his guest appearance on an episode of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. I even asked him about it and I was so nervous having him and the entire room staring at me...but I got out my question. I said "I....I...I wanted to ask you about your role on Star Trek. Did they call you for the role because I had heard a rumour that that role was originally written for Robin Williams (who apparently was a big fan of the show)". He said to me that he was asked to take the role and also heard the Williams rumour but doesn't know if it is true. He also had hoped to make another appearance with that character, but it never happened.
Later Saturday we caught an 'Innerspace' panel. 'Innerspace' is a sci-fi news show in
Canada on the 'Space' cable channel. The hosts Ajay Fry and Teddy Wilson were entertaining and informative. I was happy to hear that an Space HD is eventually coming.
I got an autograph from Jonathan Frakes, Star Trek's 'Captain Riker'. I told him that the next Trek series should be about Riker and the USS Titan and he replied by saying 'I couldn't agree more!". Very cool and nice guy.
William Shatner was awesome at his panel. Shat came out on stage with a arm full of hot women in the green orion slave girl make-up, very cool. R2D2 presented the Shat with a white cowboy hat from the Mayor of Calgary. Apparently the white hat ceremony is a big thing in Calgary. A guy behind me said "That's not right. R2D2 should not be giving him the hat. The mixing of universes is not right!", and I thought I was a nerd... Shat was great on stage and announced a special documentary series he has done interviewing all the Captains of the Star Trek series... looking forward to that. The line up for the pic was crazy busy. When we got to get our pic with him I didn't get to ask him anything.There was a little boy who got his pic before us and after the pic the boy didn't know where his dad was and Shat said to me "Who does he belong to?" referring to the kid. That was it. It was very much get in and get out or get tossed by security. Shat just wanted it to be over, you could tell he had had enough at that point. Still very cool to be standing next to him!! The guy is 80 years old and the fact he still does so much is amazing to me.
We had a great supper at the hotel lounge. While sitting next to the window we seen 'Innerspace' co-host Teddy Wilson walk by. I waved at him, he waved back and must have noticed my 'Shat For Prime Minister' shirt and gave us the Vulcan salute. We asked him to join us but he said he had to go. After I sent him a message on Twitter and he actually got back to me. He and Ajay are very cool guys!
Sunday at the expo we watched an awesome Zombie version of Micheal Jackson's 'Thriller'. Crystal got a zombie scar on her thanks to a cool make-up booth. We both got our pics taken with R2D2. We attended the 'Innerspace'  autograph session and got to meet and talk with Ajay Fry and Teddy Wilson. I learned that Teddy was actually a child actor who starred on a 80's Canadian kids variety comedy show called 'You Can't Do That On Television', which was actually the show where Canadian singer/song writer Alanis Morissette got her start. I loved to watch that show as a kid!! They signed autographs and took their picture with Crystal and I.
We got our pic taken with Jonathan Frakes, Captain Riker himself!! He even shook my hand and noticed my USS Titan shirt... awesome!! 40 minutes later i got my pic taken with Battlestar Galactica stars Micheal Hogan and Kate Vernon. I shook Kates hand then Hogan's hand and he even noticed my shirt. Then in his 'Colonel Tigh' character and Tigh voice he said to me "Hello Captain, well lets get this done!" which was awesome. As I left I said 'thank you' to them and Hogan replied "The pleasure was all ours". They were so nice and it was very cool to have met them.
Crystal met 'The Excorcist' star Lynda Blair. She was very excited to meet her and learned a lot from her about her animal rescue group. We then went to the Jonathan Frake panel and he was very entertaining.
We left Calgary Sunday at 4pm and stopped in Red Deer for supper, with Crystal still with her zombie scar on her face. This was normal at the Con, but imagine the stares at the 'Ricky's' restaurant in Red Deer... what people must have been thinking...
The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2012!!! 
I highly recommend the Calgary Comic And Entertainment Expo to everyone, and the next one is scheduled for April 27-29,  2012. I'll be there too! Hotel is booked, money put aside and I am ready to go with Crystal. Aside from meeting the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation at the 'TNG EXPOsed' Reunion Show we will be meeting John Noble and Jasika Nicole from 'Fringe', Richard Hatch the original 'Apollo' from the original 'Battlestar Galactica'. Adam West, Katee Sackhoff, Stan 'The Man' Lee, Jon Bernthal & Laurie Holden from 'The Walking Dead'... the stars are coming to Calgary once again. Also legendary Comic Book Writer Peter David and Artist George Perez will be there. I am very excited, just hope the weather is nice that weekend for the drive.
Anyway have a great week and talk with you soon!

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