It took a lot longer for this to happen that it should have. This month I went to my first ever comic con.
Now, I enjoy a lot of geeky hobbies: board games, video games, sci-fi and fantasy, but for some reason I was never drawn to the big conventions. At first glance it seems like a place to spend a lot of money shopping. Why would I pay to go shopping when I can just do it from my computer?
The difference for me, this year, was that I got sucked into a fandom. I signed up to meet and have a photo op with the lead actress from my new TV obsession, Wynonna Earp. Fangirl activate!
Last minute I decided I was going to go all in and add cosplay to the mix. A one hour trip to Value Village later and I had a pretty decent Doc Holliday costume. Sans mustache.
After meeting up with friends, Saturday started off with a tour of the vendor area. The amount of merchandise was overwhelming to say the least. Though, there was a fair bit of repetition (Pop Vinyls anyone?). I was keeping my eye open for unique items that I wouldn’t be able to order easily online. When it comes down to it, I am a keyboard shopper through and through.
Next up was a photography session. I brought my DSLR with me because my friends always have amazing costumes. The best spot we found was an area with tall decorative grasses. It was a pretty humorous sight, full of costumed fans looking pensive or lost among the tall grass. Pokemon live in the tall grass right?
We took our turn in the grass to great success.
Following our grassy photo shoot, we ate then watched the cosplay contest. The amount of detail put into those costumes was amazing of course. The kids division was cute and hilarious, especially when the kids clearly pointed out that they had nothing to do with their costumes. I think we’re Star Trek characters? Shrug.
After the contest I headed down to the photo op area to get in line for my photograph with Melanie Scrofano. All day I was keeping a look out for Earpers in the wild. There are tons of us all over Twitter, but I was hoping to come across some fans IRL. While I was in line I saw a Wynonna cosplay and a fan with a WayHaught shirt. MY PEOPLE!
The most important thing on my mind while I waited was, what the heck do I want to do for a pose? I wanted to do something memorable and a little silly, because that’s just how I roll. Do I do a Charlie’s Angels back to back? How about the season 2 bullet splitting showdown? Or do I get down on one knee and give her my ring. I agonized over this right up until I went into the photo room. My friend and moral support, Tom, helped me decide upon the ring idea.
And it went hilariously sideways.
My nerves were through the roof and I started to get adrenaline tunnel vision. I’ve never been starstruck before! I said something dorky like, “can I give you my third seal?” and got down on one knee, held up my ring and the photographer snapped a picture.
BUT WAIT! There’s more…
As I was leaving, the photographer called me back saying he didn’t like how it looked. Something about the height difference. So back I go and we rearrange the pose so Melanie is sitting on my knee. Cool!
Except I put the ring back on my wrong finger. And now it’s stuck.
It felt like forever. Butter was suggested at one point. Fortunately, I managed to wrench the Dollar Store ring off of my fatter than expected middle finger. I obviously don’t use my middle finger enough. It needs cardio. With the crisis averted we smile, snap the picture, hug and I’m on my way to grab my print.
The picture turned out better than I expected and we laughed at how fun and silly the experience was. Up until then I had been waffling on whether or not I was going to get an autograph. I was definitely going for that autograph.
Sunday began much like Saturday, except we wandered around around the artist alley section. I enjoyed this more than the vendor section because of the uniqueness. There were a lot of talented artists and so much cool fan art. I still didn’t find anything Wynonna Earp related. Maybe at a bigger con.
The next most important thing on the schedule was Melanie Scrofano’s panel. The crowd was modest, but very enthusiastic leading off with a “girl on top” chant which ended anticlimactically when the guest moderator came out first. Cue the sad trombone.
Highlights of the panel included talk about the pressures of performing while pregnant and favourite childhood TV shows. I’m not the only one who watched Married with Children with their parents. Though I’m sure most of the jokes went over my head. There were also HUGE spoilers for season two and there were a number of fans who had only seen season one so far. Melanie pointed out that they were covering their ears to avoid spoilers and then said that everyone dies in season two. Clever.
The panel ended with a rage against overpriced tampons when the guest moderator asked how much tampons cost in the bathrooms and answered his own question with a guess of $1.
After the panel, I changed into my second taco themed t-shirt of the day and we zipped on down to the autograph line. Fortunately my nerves from before were gone. I got my awesomely dorky picture signed while we chatted about tacos and taco related swag. Tacos are tasty after all!
Meeting Melanie Scrofano now has me convinced that I need to meet the whole cast. New life goal. I have been following along with the fandom on Twitter since last summer and it was such an amazing experience to be a part of it in real life. It’s addicting and I want more!
After a food truck lunch we had one more round of cosplay photographs.
We finished the day off with Alex Kingston’s panel. Tom is a huge Dr. Who fan and I tagged along for the ride. I know little to nothing about Dr. Who, but Alex was wonderful and engaging on stage. She ran a little trivia contest and brought some fans on stage to do their best impression of her. The two winners, after singing the theme song, were each awarded a banana as a prize. Must be an inside joke of sorts.
A+ for my first comic con experience! Next time though I’d plan on going for all three days with more cosplay and more guest panels. The merch was cool, but for me it was all about the people. I’m totally hooked. I now have the Calgary Expo and Earpapalooza (OMG!) on my radar for 2018 with even more fun photo op ideas. Until then…
Chemist by day, dodgeballer and photographer by night. Relationship anarchist and passionate Earper.