This past weekend the inaugural Saskatoon Comic & Entertainment Expo hit the titular Canadian city. Saskatoon? Yes, you know, the city that was mentioned in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 song that one time. It’s the birth place of both Alpha Flight‘s Puck and WWE‘s Rowdy Roddy Piper. The grain (Quadrotriticale) that the tribbles ate in the classic Star Trek episode came from there… Well now that we’ve proven the city has its share of nerd cred, how did the first year of this event go?
Two words: Freakin’ amazing. A few quick thoughts on the weekend and a metric tonne of cosplay follow.
Let me start out by saying this wasn’t my first (geek) rodeo. I’ve been to my share of cons (and even had a hand in organizing one a few years ago,) and to be honest many of those have been ‘first year’ type things and I know first hand that there can be a few stumbles when you invite 8,800+ new friends over to talk about who is the best Doctor and explore the finer points of adamantium metal working. That’s (partly) why I’m so impressed by the work done by the Saskatoon Comic & Entertainment Expo organizers (who are also the people behind the Edmonton and Calgary Expos.) They did an absolutely phenomenal job. If they encountered any of the dreaded first year gremlins it certainly wasn’t evident and I was on-site for both days of the convention.
From the moment you passed through the gate and onto the floor you were consumed by everything the show had to offer. The Artist Alley and the Creator Guest area was full with a lot to see and the various vendors in attendance were on par with (if not better than) most other shows that I’ve been to. As you’ll see in the forthcoming photo gallery, the crowd deserves a few kudos as well. The attendance records for similar events in the city were shattered by the Saskatoon Expo, and it was clear that many attendees were on hand to enjoy both days. The aisles were packed (yet polite, we are Canadians after all,) and there was some great cosplay on hand. There was even a cosplay theme wedding at the event, insert “holy Bat-rimony” pun here.
Quick note on the cosplay: I made a rookie mistake and went with a cheap SD card so I was only able to capture a fraction of the picture worthy sights, people and events. Thankfully, our collection of pictures has been supplemented by Christopher Pugh and Maryanne Hill from Justice League Saskatoon. Thanks again, Christopher and Maryanne.
As for the celebrity guests, the panels included Nightmare On Elm Street‘s Robert Englund, Nana Visitor from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Phil Lamarr from Futurama and Mad TV, and X-Men’s Sabertooth, Tyler Mane. Not bad right? Well we’re not done. Also in attendance was Lance Henriksen, Brandon Routh (who gave the best line of the weekend when he announced that he is technically still Superman, he just doesn’t get paid to be anymore) and the insanely entertaining crowd pleasing entity known as John Barrowman. I won’t try and summarize the panels because lets be honest, at any convention the panels are always a “you had to be there” kind of thing. And you really should have. I know that the convention season keeps growing and growing and that it is hard to pick and choose which ones you should choose to attend, but trust me: the Saskatoon Comic & Entertainment Expo is one you should really think about looking into for next year. If this year is any indication, next year’s will be even bigger and better.
Besides, John Barrowman said that he had a blast and that he was going to tell all of his celebrity friends that the Saskatoon Expo is worth checking out. Ya… Captain Jack said that, are you saying that you don’t trust the word of Captain Jack?
Didn’t think so.
The Saskatoon Comic & Entertainment Expo will be back next year, September 19th and 20th. After You’ve checked out our gallery below you can see more from the floor at the events official Flickr.