So, a couple weeks back, I took part in my first Calgary Expo, followed the very next weekend by the very first Fan Expo Regina. I had a wonderful time at both, and like every show I do, learned a lot. Here’s some thoughts and pictures…
1. Old friends are the best kind of friends.
As previously observed, it’s always great to catch up with old friends. Calgary afforded me the chance to break bread with one of my longest-serving pals, Jordan DeBarros, and I was so thrilled for the chance. In a lot of ways, little has changed, as conversation and laughter flowed easily over steak sandwiches, but in other ways, so much has changed, and in such exciting ways. It was so cool to see this fella I learned to hit baseballs with in grade school had turned into such a centred, fulfilled and spiritual person. I was so glad he was able to make the time, and show me “his” Calgary. I don’t know when the next meal I can share with him will be, but it’s something to which I greatly look forward.
Da kine is da kine
I also ran into a bunch of other familiar and friendly faces in Calgary, (like Raheel and even Chad “Don’t Worry We Will” Jackson!) and it made that big place feel a lot homier.
While in Regina, I got to connect with my Comic-Con veteran pal Wayne (a great artist in his own right, though he broke my heart by deleting his Tumblr, so I can’t link to it now) which was wonderful. We always laugh a lot, and he is often able to open my eyes to different points of view. Even when I am unconvinced (I still don’t think Vladimir Putin is such a great guy, despite Wayne’s emphatic defense) it’s always good to gain a new perspective. He was also Johnny-on-the-spot while at the convention, providing me with oatmeal cookies and rinkburgers so fast it was scary. Like, truly, deeply terrifying.
2. My Dirtbag Tastes Are Catching Up With Me
I’m a simple man. You know that. When I’m on the road, and want a quick inexpensive meal, McDonald’s is likely my first choice. When I’m driving to another province, or drawing at the con for the day, I often won’t get a chance to eat at regular time. So for that reason, nature’s greatest gastronomic triumph, the Slurpee® acts as a meal replacement, and keeps me cool in convention rooms, which often get stiflingly hot.
Love will keep us together.
(To save me from myself, I’ve instituted a rule that I am only allowed to regularly enjoy these foods if I’m on vacation or long distance road trip)
But in addition to the increased risk of diabetes, I’m realizing through negative encounters that maybe I spend too much time in these places, especially after dark. I can roll my eyes at the elaborate cigarette and scratch-and-win lotto purchases of the people in line ahead of me, but in my own way, am I any less addicted? Is a giant cylinder of pure sugar really that much healthier?
And as for McDonald’s, I think I’ll have to institute a daytime-only rule. Things get weird after dark, or at least they do in Regina. Crazy wild eyed guys challenge you to fights. (This is too long of a story to tell here)
(Artist’s rendering borrowed from Gary Frank. He was like this, but with crazier eyes)
Anyway, when you’re trying to avoid a police report, it really gives a guy pause.
3. 52 Minutes for Chinese Food? Well, I NEVER!
I made friends with the very talented Calgarian next to me over the course of the weekend, and asked him which Chinese Food place he recommended. He said the Silver Dragon was good, so I made mental plans to get that at the end of my day (especially since I’d officially broken even that day, so I felt OK spending some money, and was super sick of McDonald’s Food, even before dealing with that nutjob in Regina).
By FAR my favourite costume of the weekend!
Thanks everyone who came by the booth, especially the friends who came to visit me, or bring me food, as well as my great aunt and great uncle who put me up in Regina. Much, much appreciated.
Lots more fun stuff coming soon! Info on my latest exhibition in Vancouver, and a couple recent appearances. Thanks for reading, I love you.