City’s oldest comic and toy show still going strong

An eclectic mix of costume, character, and retailing filled the the Red and White Club at McMahon Stadium.

Held on March 11, the Red & White Comic and Toy Expo was held in celebration of comics and toys. It also gave collectors an opportunity to pick up the one issue missing from their collections.

Leslie-Ann Kalman, a retailer at the show, thought that the expo was a great success for local businesses and artists to showcase their products and talents.

“We’ve got to grab them by the shirt and bring them in,” said Kalman, who works for Art in the City.

Art in the City sells posters designed around popular movies, sports, and pop culture icons. It is the store’s second year at the event.

“The people (here) are so much fun,” said Kalman.

Kalman’s strategy for getting customers is to ask them questions about what they are wearing and then try and match a product to their individual tastes and interests.

“I’ve had some wonderful conversations with people over the last two years. Some people come dressed in the most interesting things,” she said.

The expo had many attendees cosplaying as various characters.

Ky Olsen was one of them, cosplaying as Cloud Strife from the video game Final Fantasy VII.

“I’ve had people walking by me and whispering, ‘Wow, that’s Cloud,’ all day,” said Olsen.

“This has been really amazing.”

Olsen was part of a group of four women dressed up in cosplay from various video game series, including Overwatch and the Metroid series.

During the event, there were two costume contests for those who dressed up, one for people under 13, and another for those older than that.

According to Ben Falconer, one of the organizers of the expo, the event draws more than 1,500 people on average during its one day of operation and has more than 40 people showcasing comics, with 10-15 people showcasing local art.

Jason Wenzel, who dressed as a Ghostbuster, believes that things like the comic and toy show are good for Calgary.

Wenzel and his Ghostbusting partner Sean Nicholson walked around the show dressed in full gear from the movie Ghostbusters and spent a lot of time showing off the creativity that went into designing replicas of the movie’s props.

The expo has been held every year for the past 18 years and was the first of its kind in Calgary.

The expo will return this fall. Admission was $5 for those over 12, and free for anyone under 12.

Leslie-Ann Kalman poses with some of the posters she hopes to sell for Art in the City, at the Red and White Comic and Toy Show, in Calgary on March 11. Kalman enjoys talking with all the people at the show, and matching their interests with a poster that suits them most. (Photo by Brandon Wilson/The Press)
About Brandon Wilson 3 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Brandon Wilson worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.