Regina has its largest ever comic book culture convention
Article: Simon Feser – Contributor
Star date: May 3, 2014. Evraz Place breaks new ground in Regina by hosting Fan Expo, a comic book culture convention run by the same team who oversees Toronto’s Fan Expo Canada. The expo fell on a lucky weekend; the 3rd was Free Comic Book Day, and May the Fourth (Be With You) is an unofficial Star Wars holiday, a coincidence that was not lost on the fans.
The expo saw more than 8000 attendants, despite the relatively small venue and the fact that it was one of Regina’s first geek culture conventions. Local fan Christian Elig commented on the turnout.
“Based on the convention’s size, it was surprisingly full. It didn’t seem like any point of the day suffered from a lack of crowd. It also had more voice actors and stars by comparison to some conventions I’ve been to, even though it ran for a shorter amount of time.”
The expo featured a plethora of attractions for fans of television, comic books, and movies. Stars of TV shows including The Walking Dead, Star Trek, Dragon Ball Z and Pokémon met with fans, while comic book creators and artists offered sketches and merchandise. Many of the guests also ran small panels where they hosted Q&As and discussions. The fans themselves made for some interesting sights, with hundreds of people cosplaying as their favorite characters.
May the Fourth saw most of the cosplayers, with huge groups of people dressed in elaborate Star Wars outfits. In addition to the celebrity presence and the fun amongst fans, there were also plenty of vendors selling seemingly endless collections of comic books.
Justin Brown, who worked the local Comic Readers storefront, said that he enjoyed the experience.
“I didn’t expect it to be so busy. But, it was really cool talking to people and seeing all the cosplayers.” Justin also commented on the fellowship between storefronts. “Everyone was really friendly. The people that were beside us would send people over to us if they were looking for something specific that we had.”
Comic Readers was only a small part of the local presence. Tramps Comics and Games also ran a booth, and local artists Joel Hustak and Matthew Lapierre could be found down Artist’s Alley. The team behind Wolf Cop hosted a Q&A session on Saturday, and they offered photographs of fans going through grisly werewolf transformations that were set up by a stellar special effects team.
Overall, the convention was a resounding success, with thousands of fans left star-struck, happy, and laden down with merchandise. Representatives of Fan Expo Regina have confirmed that the convention will be returning in 2015, and Regina geeks will surely come out in droves once again.