Nerd Con, Day 2: The Fourth Was With Us

The sun rose at 5:28 a.m. this morning. Me? More like 11:30. Still, that left lots of time to take in the second and final day of the first-ever Fan Expo Regina. And that’s what me and Carl Johnson did. Here’s a short recap.

FXR 2014 (marina sirtis-2)
Marina Sirtis says we have to pronounce it Re-GEE-na from now on.

-We got to the funky-smelling, overheated concrete warehouse Fan Expo had been slotted into around half past 12 and the place was packed — much busier than yesterday, far as I could tell. From what I could see this event was a gigantic success. I’m optimistic it’ll be back next year.

-After a quick walk around the floor, we went to the badly-lit auditorium where Marina Sirtis — councillor Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation and breaker of hearts — was set to speak. She was great! Hilarious, brash, and happy to insult anyone or anything for a laugh. Topics she covered included menopause, football and its offensive team limricks (she shared a very un-PC one), playing a character who wrecked the Enterprise on the only two occasions she drove it, feminism, the Irish, the French, Star Trek movie directors who are proud of hating Star Trek,  punching fans, being placed on no-fly lists, Patrick Stewart being a flirt, how much she loves her ST:TNG co-stars, why she should be the next Dr. Who, the correct pronunciation of “Regina” and a lot more. She’s a hoot. Easily worth the price of admission on her own.

-Lots of cosplay on day two and holy nerd peer pressure, Batman: so many people were dressed as their favourite comic, anime, manga, science fiction and video game characters that I felt a bit out of place. Next year I’m wearing a Star Trek uniform. Maybe Shatner’s green “fat captain” shirt.

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The pleasant and bespectacled Lowell Dean, director of WolfCop.

-Spent a little more time today wandering the floor and checking out artists, merch and organizations. There were more than 60 exhibitors at Fan Expo, and a lot of things to see and buy. Highlights: meeting and posing for pics with Leo Fafard in full WolfCop dress; talking to comic artist Chris Sprouse about his influences, the importance of craftsmanship and U.S. politics; and catching up with my friends at ComicReaders. Also, I bumped in to several fellow Prairie Doggers including Terry Morash, Lois-Anna Kaminski, Stephen “Rosie” LaRose and designer Paul “Awesome” Klassen (who cunningly escaped before I could trick him into taking photos for me all afternoon).

The food situation continued to suck. I only had one and 2/3 chocolate chip cookies all day because all the goddamned pizza had goddamn meat on it. Once again, it’s 2014 and this kind of nonsense is not acceptable. Not asking for poached asparagus in truffle bearnaise sauce here. Just make more than two kinds of meat pizza, and maybe sell an edible veggie burger.

-In case it’s not clear, the only aspects of this excellent convention I didn’t like were all the result of bad decisions by Regina decision-makers past and present, some of them un-fixable. The Evraz Place complex should probably be downtown. Since it’s not, Regina needs a downtown convention facility. I can’t complain about the food enough — hungry people need edible food and vegetarian options. Also, the concrete-floored facility was inappropriate for what’s basically a cultural event and trade show. I’m sure buildings that feel like re-purposed aircraft hangers are fine for fertilizer and livestock but humans require proper flooring to walk on if they’re to hang out at a convention all day.

Anyway, great stuff overall. I’ll wrap my Fan Expo blogging up tomorrow with a pile of photos. Carl’s got some stuff coming too.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees.

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