Calgary Expo 2012 Fancy Photo Comic Part 3

Calgary is a weird town. Everything is pretty nice and clean and Canadian and there is a series of above ground tubes that you can navigate most of downtown with to avoid actually being on the street, but pretty much everything closes at sundown and NOTHING is open on Sunday. Visting cartoonists need to drink on Sunday too, Calgary! I don’t think Canadian Jesus will mind. Incidentally, Canadian Jesus is the same as American Jesus (the one true Jesus) except he does some occasional ice fishing and pays too much for his mobile data plan.

The Holodeck is for porn! The Holodeck is for porn! 

The Holodeck Is For Porn T-Shirt, funny star trek parody shirt

If you are a long time reader of HijiNKS ENSUE, you probably know what Star Trek: TNG means to me. It was more than a show. It was a friend and a guide when I was a confused, ignored and bullied little boy. I learned so much about respect (how to earn and give it), problem solving, avoiding violence at all costs, but still not letting anyone push me around, and what the future can (and should) be if we aren’t too childish, greedy and stupid to get ourselves there. I very large part of who I am, and how I view the world is based on the lessons I learned from TNG. So, with that in mind, I’m sure you can gauge how much it meant to me to be present at the 25th Anniversary reunion of the TNG cast at the Calgary Expo. It was nothing short of magical.

As the cast members recollected and joked with each other, I quickly realized that they were not performing; not putting on a show, but instead they were just catching up. It was as if 8000 grinning geeks were not in the room with them as they told stories, and reminisced. We were scores and scores of flies on the wall to the greatest geek conversation we could have hoped to hear. That is not to say they ignored the audience or seemed in anyway ungrateful for our contribution to their legacy (quite the contrary, actually). It’s just that they almost seemed lost in their affection for each other. Patrick Stewart in particular spent most of the evening facing not the audience, but turned to face his friends. If asked a question directly, he always had to look for the mic and pick it up because he had long since put it down in order to pay closer attention to what Frakes, Wheaton or Sirtis were saying. It seemed like the whole thing was sponsored and film by Space in Canada, so I am hopeful that the discussion will be broadcast in some fashion soon. I cannot stress enough how perfect a cap that evening was to 25 years (20 for me) of Star Trek: TNG fandom. I must thank Sohmer and our Calgary Expo volunteers for getting me the ticket. It’s one of those things that I wasn’t going to let myself splurge on, but knowing now what I would have missed… let’s just say I would have regretted it.

Speaking of splurging, when I saw that an entire cast photo with the TNG crew was available for $500 and up to six people were allowed to split the cost, I immediately grabbed five friends and got ready to do some convincing. Turns out this is a proposition that, among Star Trek fans, requires little to no convincing. Thanks again to our fantastic volunteers, we were able to score some line-skipping passes which meant we only had to wait for about an hour instead of three to four. Now I normally am not one for photo-ops or impersonal signings at events where celebrities are present. I much prefer a casual encounter, a brief exchange or words, etc. But this was potentially the last time these people were going to be in the same room… forever! I was already mentally clearing family photos off the mantle to make room for this picture. The photo-op itself took all of 15 seconds. Honestly it wasn’t even enough time to make eye contact with the whole crew. We were in, somehow I ended up next to the Captain (in Troi’s spot), they snapped the pic and we were out. As we left I heard Wil say, “Everyone wave to my friend Joel!” That was, uhh… pretty fucking rad. And as you can see, the picture turned out amazing! Look at that grin on Patrick Stewart! I’m going to have it tattooed over my own face so I can see it every time I look in the mirror. Damn, that was a good day.

COMMENTERS: What events go on your “life flashing before my eyes” hit list? What awesome things have happened to you that made you say “I WAS THERE! I ACTUALLY DID THAT!“?

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  1. I'm not going to be a Grammar Dalek and point out your errors.

    I do, however, want a holodeck, if not for the sole purpose of Riker-on-Picard action. Or Jack-on-Ten action. Or Crusher-on-Troi. Or me-on-Ten.

    Aaaaand, now I need a cold shower…

  2. You got to meet my hero Patrick Stewart! AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhh
    -fangirls everywhere-

    How sober where they when they kissed?

  3. That last panel may be the most awesome picture in the history of the universe. Just…holy crap. The entire cast?! What dark sacrifices were made to get that to happen?

  4. Is it just me or .. is everyone getting older except for Patrick Stewart??? I mean at first I didn't quite recognize the others. Then I saw the captain, all the others clicked into place, and all I could think is all of the rest look so old now.

    • To be fair, Patrick Stewart has looked exactly the same since Dune…which makes me think that the spice is a real thing

  5. Joel's adventures in Calgary! An all-star cast including Alina Pete! Must have been a great time, but please learn how to spell CANADIAN. (PS Great meeting you.)

  6. Getting to drunkenly play "Still Alive" on the piano with Trocodero band member Jeff Williams while about 2 dozen of my friends sang along has to be up there on my list. That also happened in Canada, actually.

  7. I was actually a few people ahead of you in line that day (It was kinda hard to miss Lar). It was ridiculously expensive, but so very cool.

    Even better than that, though, was when I brought my soundtrack of the Broadway musical 1776 to Brent Spiner for an autograph and he stood up and performed the opening lines of the play in front of me. That was awesome.

  8. You guys needed some local guides! The Ship and Anchor is just a few blocks west of the con, and it's open on Sundays. Perfect for landscapers, bike couriers, and comic nerds!

    BTW, downtown closes on Sundays, because nobody actually lives downtown.

  9. Star trek, Hijinksensue and Blind Ferret… holy nerdgasms… I think this calls for a special cross over with the cast of LeastICouldDo & Hijinkensue on a holodeck.. Once Rayne finishes his current Game Of Thrones dream of course lol

  10. Re: Calgary's series of downtown fresh-air avoiding tubes.

    There's a Canadian film (we have those!) from 2000 titled 'waydowntown' which is about a group of office workers in Calgary with a running bet regarding not going outside. They all start to go a little crazy. I wouldn't call it a great film, but it's dark, funny, and weird in a way that only art from the late 90s/early 00s can be.

    Also, Don McKellar (Canadian actor, director, writer) staples motivational sayings to his chest. So there's that.


  11. My IWTIDT moment, one of many, would be when I met Geoff Johns, Judd Winick, Tony Daniel, Marv Wolfman, and Paul Levitz at the DC booth in WonderCon 25, and it almost completely converted me to a DC reader, away from Marvel.

  12. Holy $#!T I'm in a Hijinks Ensue comic!!

    Hey, I'm Mike, I'm the guy in the Sparks McGee costume next to Mr. Wheaton up there. It was great seeing Joel and the rest of the Blind Ferret crew. Getting to meet people like Wil Wheaton, Patrick Stewart, and Stan Lee was undeniably awesome, but my highlight moment was watching my non-geek girlfriend make the sudden realization that she HAD TO HAVE ALL THE TNG AUTOGRAPHS. Total CON-vert.

    Here's the sketch that Joel was kind enough to my copy of "Godspeed…":

    Thanks again!

  13. Last year at Phoenix Comicon, I had Wil Wheaton autograph my DVD of Star Trek – Next Generation: A XXX Parody. Yes, that's right, I got Wil to autograph a porno!

    I wasn't sure he would do it, but the only reason I even knew this film existed and got it is because Wil mentioned it on his blog, so I figured WTH, and asked. He seemed to be excited about signing it and said this was a first for him LOL He drew himself into the cast line-up on the cover and wrote 'Yay Boobies!' in a balloon over his head and then signed it. He then also told me that April O'Neil was running around the con in her Troi costume, so I spent the rest of my time there trying to find her so I could get her autograph too. I never did find her 🙁

    BTW This is the ONLY porn DVD I own and I proudly have it on my shelf next to all my other Star Trek DVD's 🙂

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