Running Back to Saskatoon Expo

Hello friend!

I’m still recovering from the incredible experiences I had in Angoulême, France last week but as I gather my thoughts about that trip, I wanted to take a moment to look back to Saskatoon Expo 2023, which was my first show of convention season in 2023.

Big red is ready for the crowds!

Now, as much as I adore Regina Expo (and it remains my absolute favourite show—look for my review of the 2023 version in a post coming soon!), there’s nothing like getting to do a comic-con and getting to come home to your own bed. The other fun thing about the Saskatoon Expo is that it remains the only show where I’ve had the honor of being asked to host panels with various media and artist guests.

A born night owl, and growing up in a home that deeply valued comedy, I was a giant admirer of David Letterman, and a student of the talk show format more generally. It’s perhaps a bit embarrassing to admit that growing up, some part of me always envisioned being a talk show host myself. That might be why these rare opportunities to host panels are so satisfying—for one hour, once or twice a year, I get to play talk show host—researching the guests, coming up with questions, and hopefully finding some room for humour along the way.

As you may have read in a previous post, in 2022 I had a blast interviewing TV’s Lois Lane, Erica Durance, which was an experience that was tough to top.

In May of 2023, I had the pleasure of hosting the Flash TV show panel with cast members Danielle Nicolet and Kayla Compton. The panel was an absolute blast, filled with laughter, insights, and even some behind-the-scenes secrets from the finale. Both actresses were not only talented but also incredibly kind and generous with their time.

Airing for nine seasons, the Flash filmed in Vancouver, BC, and I had the unique timing of interviewing Danielle and Kayla after they’d filmed the series finale, but before it had aired. As the Flash show was the main reason these American actresses were living in Canada part-time, I wanted to make sure they returned to the USA with bit of Canadian hospitality to remember, so I gifted them with the most Canadian junk food I could find: Hawkins’ Cheezies and Coffee Crisp chocolate bars.

Only the best for my guests,

The following day, I was asked to host another panel with the ladies, but I reluctantly declined, as my primary obligation at the show is to be at my table creating artwork and selling my comics. It’s a tough balance to strike, as of course I love helping the show out as a host, but having paid for my table, there’s always that pressure to make that table cost back necessitating missing out on other fun opportunities.

I’m not saying my height factored into being asked to host the Flash panel, but it couldn’t have hurt.

One of the highlights came on Sunday as Danielle and Kayla stopped by my table as they were leaving for their flight home, and picked up some of my comics.

Waiting for Wednesday: Cecile and Allegra endorsed!

To my great shock, they also had reviews of the Cheezies and Coffee Crisps (never in my wildest imagination did I think Hollywood stars in such great shape would really try the junk food!), saying they loved the taste of the Cheezies, but not the lingering orange colouring (or scent!) it left on their fingertips.

They were kind enough to autograph the cards I wrote my questions on for the panel, as well.

Talk about a genuine thrill! It’s these unexpected moments of connection that make the convention experience so special. As usual, I am so grateful to my friends and family who came to watch the panel (and, I’ll admit, to the people who came early to the Jonathan Frakes panel that was immediately to follow the Flash panel!) to Keat and his team for permitting me to do the panel, and of course to my pal Joey, for watching my table while I was away, and just for being a cool hang.

You must understand: for Joey, this is a huge, huge smile.

Being a part of Saskatoon Expo from its early days, through all the changes and growth, has been a source of immense pride for me. There’s a unique sense of community, kicked off by my buddies Mike and Chris, that has continued over the years, and it’s heartwarming to witness.

And because no post is complete without a touch of creativity, I’m excited to share some drawings of Danielle and Kayla in their iconic costumes from the Flash TV show. I’d intended to complete drawings of Danielle and Kayla to get signed, but simply ran out of time before SaskExpo. So here they are!

allegra garcia as played by kayla compton

Thank you, Saskatoon Expo, for yet another unforgettable weekend filled with panels, connections, and moments that make this community so special. I am so excited for the next one!

Lots more posts coming soon, including reviews of Sask Expo Regina, VANCAF, and—oh yeah—my trip to France!

Thanks for reading, I love you.