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CowCon 2009
by Amanda Knoss

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Although I normally stray from writing personal columns, I learned something this weekend that I thought I'd share with everyone. This past weekend, I learned that the easiest way to turn a journalist and self-proclaimed geek into a sloppy puddle on the floor is to introduce her to a comic convention.

No, it isn't actually called CowCon, but it might as well be! Perhaps CalCon, because Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo is kind of a mouthful.

It was only the forth annual Expo this year, but they were expecting numbers that tripled from their original year, and I don't doubt that they surpassed this. The convention has been growing exponentially in size and could very well be a renowned event within a few years.

Originally, there had been only two media guests that were appearing that had caught my personal attention, leaving plenty of time to admire the work of artists and get a couple signatures on my favorite comics. It was my first comic convention, and I wanted to do it right.

Within the week before the show, however, some last minute additions to the guest list had me all but quivering in excitement, and worrying about whether or not I'd get around to do everything. In the end, the science-fiction geek in me won over the comic book nerd... and I spent the entire day in line-ups and panels.

I had sacrificed my DSLR for my easier-to-carry point-and-shoot, which was a pretty big step for me. The tiny Nikon Coolpix S550 was a present from my boyfriend for Christmas, and has been determined to break up my love affair with my SLR. Although I don't regret carrying something far more light and portable, it didn't make for as good of pictures as I'm used to, and the Expo would have been a great opportunity for some fun shots.

But the journalist in me was non-existant, and the moment I got through the doors I bee-lined it to the booth that Kandyse McClure and Edward James Olmos were signing autographs.

As one of the most beautiful people alive and a star and two of my all-time favorite television shows, Jeremiah and the recent Battlestar Galactica, it was a complete pleasure to meet McClure. Although the fan attention was quite pressing even towards the beginning of the day, she took the time to converse and share some stories. McClure has made guest appearances on many other science-fiction shows, including Smallville, Dark Angel and Reaper, and it's a safe bet that her career in the entertainment business is only just beginning.

Next came Mr. Olmos, whose larger than life presence without a doubt follows him from the screen to the real world. For those who don't know, he also stars in the recent Battlestar Galactica and one of my favorite movies, Blade Runner. He exuded a gentle yet intimidating personality and took the time for a few kind words before rushing off to his photo op.

A third Battlestar Galactica star, Tahmoh Pinikett, who is also in Fox's new science-fiction show Dollhouse, was supposed to be there but I didn't see him at the booths, nor in the BSG panel that I headed off to next.

The Battlestar Galactica panel was the largest one I attended. The seats had run out, people were pressed against the walls, and fans were privy to experiencing personal insight to the concluded show by two of its stars. McClure and Olmos touched on a little bit of everything, including the evolution of the show to Olmos' and Mary McDonnell's appearance at the United Nations.

(A long and poorly-filmed clip of Olmos and McClure speaking about the evolution of Battlestar Galactica)

The panel following BSG's was just as exciting, if not more so, for me. Sean Astin has been a long-standing influence in my creative life, and there was no way I was going to let him come through my town without meeting him. He answered the usual questions about his three most famous films, Lord of the Rings, Rudy and The Goonies, and got to address more personal ones from more intimate fans. I got to ask him a couple of my own, including an inquiry about the fate of the show Jeremiah, in which he also starred in its second season.

(Sean Astin speaking about his children becoming actors.)

One of the last minute guest additions was also one of the most exciting people for me to meet. After Sean's panel, I swung around to meet Margot Kidder, whose name speaks for itself. For the readers who are not aware, she starred as Lois Lane to Christopher Reeve's Superman, and turned out to be just as sweet and beautiful in person. Donning my Superman messenger bag and choker, I was definitely in geek heaven as I waited in her intimate little line.

Finally, I swung around to have a few words with Mr. Astin at his booth. Although his groupies were stream-lining the fans in a very mechanical manner, he was still warm and conversational, and remembered me from panel.

By this point, I found myself overwhelmed and completely exhausted. I allowed my friend Val to choose what we did then - she had been patiently following me around for seven hours and often presenting herself as a mule for my bags and memorabilia. We ended up leaving, ignoring the fact that in both of our minds, this made us old.

I now mourn the fact that I missed the costume contest and autographs from artists Steve Niles (of "30 Days of Night,") Michael Choi and Sonia Oback (of "X23: Target X" and "Witchblade,") and Ron Marz (of "Witchblade.") The writer in me is aghast at the absence of my SLR, and the fact that my notebook and pen didn't see the nerd-tinged incandescent light.

But my inner fangirl has never been so satisfied.

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Other Columns
Other columns by Amanda Knoss:

Secondaries: Part Two

Ub Iwerks: Engineering Creativity


Star Wars Cubicle Gear

Mano-a-Mano: The Travolta Role

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Amanda Knoss
If there's something Amanda can't commit to, it's a single taste in films. She believes that Walmart, Starbucks and a certain super-power government are going to clan together to take over the world. Either that, or she's over-caffeinated again.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Amanda Knoss by clicking here.

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