Lower your shields, Regina: Fan Expo comes in peace

NERDS by Stephen Whitworth


Fan Expo
April 25-26
Evraz Place (Canada Centre East)

Regina’s first-ever Fan Expo was a blast. From the celebrity panels to the cosplayers wandering the trade show floor there was a lot of shiny, nerd-goodness to take in. And from what I could see the attendees did just that, with geeky gusto.

It was great. R2-D2 patrolled the celebrity signing area. Multiple iterations of amateur Avengers took a break from fighting evil to assemble for photo-ops. A seedy Batman frowned at anyone who dared look at him. A body-builder dressed up in the greatest He-Man costume in existence — complete with orange skin, white Prince Valiant hair and more muscles than any plastic mould could handle.

The highlight for me was meeting WolfCop actor Leo Fafard in full WolfCop make-up and snarling attitude. I’ll treasure my blurry iPhone 4S photo-memories forever.

And of course, there were the celebrity guests. Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Marina Sirtis (Counsellor Deana Troi) told rude jokes and declared that she should be the first female Doctor Who. Wayne’s World star Tia Carrere was ridiculously friendly and alarmingly gorgeous. Kevin Sorbo was presumably nice, I don’t know. Ray Park (Darth Maul) was fit and friendly.

This year’s event might be even better. Here are a few highlights to look forward to.

MARGOT KIDDER She’s best known for playing Lois Lane , and we’ll get to that in a minute, but let’s not forget that Margot Kidder is a Canadian actor who appeared in the legendary Bob Clark’s 1974 horror classic Black Christmas. If that ain’t cred I don’t know what is. She also starred in The Amityville Horror.

Back to Metropolis.

The old Superman movies wouldn’t have worked without Kidder. Kidder nailed the deceptively tricky role of Lois Lane and she did it by making Lane a believable journalist. I’ve met a lot of reporters who have the same qualities Kidder portrayed: cackling, childish glee at cracking a story, bravery that comes as much from reckless, single-minded obsession as it does from courage, and of course a big mouth that can get them into trouble.

Also, journalists are usually funny people. Yup, really.

On top of that, it was completely believable that Superman would fall in love with her. He’s a smart but naive Kansas sweetheart and she’s a savvy and beautiful champion of truth and justice. It’s just a thing that works.

Margot Kidder is an amazing actor and it’ll be fascinating to hear anything she cares to say.

BILL SIENKIEWICZ To me, comic talent seemed to get short shrift at last year’s Fan Expo. I was blown away to meet Chris Sprouse, an artist whose good taste is evident in his unfussy, honest drawings, but I sure didn’t see anyone else lined up to shake his hand. Harrumph! Well, this year we have a legend in the house. I remember Bill Sienkiewicz from his runs on two Marvel comics in the mid-eighties — New Mutants and, special to me at the time, Moon Knight. Sienkiewicz drew in a more gestural style than many of his peers and doubtless inspired legions of followers. He’s a mandatory name-check for anyone interested in mainstream comic art, and it’s super cool that he’s here.

JONATHAN FRAKES The guy played Riker on Star Trek and he seems super nice. What’s not to get excited about?

NERD-SHOPPING Fan Expo is a shopping mall for nerdlingers who like buying nerd-merch. There’s nerdy T-shirts, nerdy hoodies, nerdy collectibles and memorabilia, nerdy knick-knacks, nerdy books and comics, nerdy toys, nerdy games, nerdy art — it’s a full-on Nerdvana. And you know what? In two weeks a comic book movie is going to break all the opening week box office records. Everybody has seen Star Wars and Lord Of The Rings. Basically, EVERYONE’S A NERD.

And in 2015 that’s cool.

See you nerds at the convention!