I had a blast last week when I went out of town to attend the 10th anniversary Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo with a few of my friends, my second-ever Expo experience. For anyone unfamiliar with this type of event, it’s about the oddest, geekiest, most unique way to spend a weekend. Thousands of people converge on the Expo grounds over four days to mingle, shop, and interact with some of today’s hottest TV and film actors, industry leaders, and local artisans. It’s also the perfect place to show your love for your favourite characters through cosplay.
|Phoenix Scroll Saw Art|
Reused and repurposed items may not immediately come to mind when you think of science fiction and comic books, but there are two major ways that I saw reused items represented at this Expo. First, through the art and jewellery crafted by several of the artists. Steampunk aficionados crafted their items from things like old gears, clock hands, aviator goggles and pocket watches, to name a few.
I found art prints of animals made from twigs and leaves, mismatched strips of leather made into cool bracelets and bookmarks, and even Dungeons & Dragons dice upcycled into pendants and bracelets. My best discovery this year was an artist who transforms mundane bits of wood into jaw-dropping works of art with his two hands and a scroll saw. I almost brought home his incredibly detailed "Star Wars X-Wing v. TIE Fighter" vignette, but this elegant wolf’s head stole my heart (as shown in photo).
|There was somebody in here!|
The second way that items were visibly repurposed or reused at this event was through the cosplayers. At my first Expo, I had a vague notion that some might attend in costume, but I underestimated how passionate people can be. Some cosplayers come in professionally tailored costumes, but I’d say the majority of them seemed to be fashioned from everyday items that inspired individuals imagined as something more. Some of the best things I saw this year were: a Nerf gun painted bronze to be the perfect steampunk accessory; layered strings of pop can tabs made into a surprisingly convincing chainmail; corrugated plastic sheeting shaped just right to become Interstellar’s TARS robot; Queen of Hearts playing cards perfectly embellishing the collar of a Queen of Hearts gown; and a lady Captain America with the iconic shield painted onto her parasol.
I think what I enjoyed most about the Comic Expo was that there was evidence everywhere of what you can create from using your imagination. Just as the sci-fi and fantasy entertainment we celebrate wouldn't exist if someone hadn't dreamed it up, these types of repurposed works of art and cosplay would never be there for us to admire if someone didn't first study an everyday object and think, I wonder what I can do with that!
- Nichole (Volunteer)