The 2018 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo has come to a close and, as with last year’s event, this has been another jam packed event! There was cosplay, merchandise, hand-made crafts, art, artists, panels, and more!
Celebrities are always a major draw to events like this and there were plenty! Last year, Calgary Expo fans were delighted and blown away to have Peter Capaldi on site. This year it was impossible to top, unless Jodie Whittaker were to have made an incredibly unlikely appearance. There’s nothing quite like having the Doctor of the time, or companions, live before you.
Sadly for Doctor Who fans, this year’s Doctor Who guest, Catherine Tate, had to bow out just a few weeks before the event. As disappointing as that is, these things happen and the show must go on. Besides, you can’t keep a good Doctor Who fan down. Fans on this side of the Atlantic are accustomed to being under represented in all things ‘Who’. So, while cosplay may not have been as abundant, and merch may not have been as front and centre, fans still had fun and plenty to shop through.
Merchandise was scattered through the large event. Fans have to look a bit harder when a celebrity isn’t there to represent their fanbase. Through an exceptionally wide variety of goods, Whovians (or however we prefer to be named) had plenty of gems to uncover. Looking for artwork? Artist Alley had its own large area full of fans with almost any kind of creative item you could search for.
What To Buy
From bathrobes and t-shirts to posters and toys, there was something for everyone. Speaking of toys, of course Funko Pops were easy to find (though it would be nice to see some new ones soon), there were also some great Ninth and Tenth Doctor era figures.
Not into dollies and figures? Take a turn or two and you’ll discover that you’re not too far from stacks and stacks of back issues of comics and magazines. The new Titan comics are available, as well as a few classic issues. I found these two issues near one another. Not long after tweeting this picture, I returned to find the 1st appearance of The Doctor in a comic was gone. Good catch lucky buyer! Here’s hoping it’s found a loving home.
Take another turn or two, get a little lost while taking in all the sights, and you find yourself at another giant stretch of comic and magazine back issues. It didn’t take too much digging to find several back issues of Doctor Who Magazine! They appear to be in very good condition and though the quantity was limited, it was still an exciting find. I snagged myself a copy of issue 51!
What really makes the Calgary Expo shine is the people. The staff were all more than helpful and cheerful, full of good advice and positive energy. It’s honestly not hard to grin ear to ear here as the fans are full of cheer and beaming with delight! One of the funnest and most enjoyable aspects of the expo is the cosplay.
Each year the Calgary Expo hosts POW! The Parade of Wonders! While I didn’t make it to the parade I highly recommend readers take a quick peek through these official photos as there are some amazing outfits, including one small 12th Doctor fan!
Unfortunately you can’t see everyone and sometimes those you do see are just too busy for a photo, or you miss your chance. Fun for me this year, barely on the grounds and without even having my pass, one of the first cosplayers I came across was the 5th Doctor!
Arguably the most cosplayed Doctors this year were the Fourth and Eleventh. So many of them were present, though, including at least one Thirteenth:
Josh Adams and Comics
What would expos be without comic books? Thankfully the Calgary Expo had an amazing line up of artists this year, including the incredibly talented, and friendly, Josh Adams. I was fortunate to be able talk with Adams about his time working on IDW’s Doctor Who comics. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about his time and involvement. It seems that being a fan of the franchise made the work that much more enjoyable.
Adams also had glowing praise for Titan Comics and what they’re doing “I think Titan’s amazing.” He adds. “Doctor Who is probably one of the best licensed comics out there right now. Most titles, highest quality of art, writing production. Across the board. It really does stand head and shoulders above most of the stuff that’s out there.”
We talked all things Doctor Who, including about the upcoming 13th Doctor and I couldn’t agree with him more. “I can’t wait!” He says. “There are people who have their gripes about Doctors, when they change, especially now when it’s a female Doctor, but it’s one of those things where, it’s writing. When someone says ‘oh that can’t happen’, you go, ‘of course it can, because it’s writing.'”
Pictured is a piece I purchased after speaking with Adams (Also Pictured). It features Kevin the Dinosaur and a beautiful illustration of the Eleventh Doctor. Be sure to keep your eyes open for Josh Adams when he comes to a city near you. He still has quite a few pieces of his work and they’re exceptional.
Fan Art & More
Not everyone gets the chance to draw Doctor Who professionally, but thankfully we all get to express ourselves and make other fans happy with our talents. There was no shortage of Doctor Who fan art this year. Take a look through most any artists’ book and you’re likely to find something Doctor Who related. Speak with an artist and they’re delighted to do a commission. There were lots of prints with a wide variety of images and styles available, but a couple of the more unique items I came across were stained glass pieces… and even coffee!
Calgary Expo Overall
The 2018 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo has delivered another triumphant year! With major stars like Jeff Goldblum and Jason Momoa on site to cult favourites like Cary Elwes and Chris Sarandon, who couldn’t have had fun? It was unfortunate that Catherine Tate/Donna Noble couldn’t make it but that didn’t stop any fan from having a brilliant day, or four! And who’s to say she, or another brilliant Doctor Who guest, won’t make it next year?
There’s so much to do: Get your face painted, or a permanent tattoo. Buy a print from a local artist or a commission from you favourite comic book creator. You may locate a rare collectable or find the latest goody. Not to mention the panels! One could easily spend their four days in the diverse and abundant amount of panels.
The Calgary Expo delivered an extraordinary event to the fans, and fans made this another stellar year! Here’s to 2019!