Are you ready to geek out? So is Sam Maggs! The bestselling writer is one of the talented moderators for the Edmonton Comics & Entertainment Expo this weekend. We chatted with her about her work, her love of pop culture, and how fans can make the most of their expo weekend. Keep an eye out for our extended interview!
WHERE Edmonton (W): What’s particularly special and exciting about the Edmonton Expo?
Sam Maggs (SM): It always comes down to the people. The folks in Edmonton are visibly stoked to have a venue where they can get together to share their love of nerddom in one place. And the Edmonton Expo isn’t as gigantic as other cons like San Diego, so it really gives you an awesome opportunity to interact one-on-one with the stars that are there—shorter lines, less crowds—but it’s also an opportunity to meet the folks around you and make some new friends.
W: What’s the best part of being a moderator?
SM: Besides being able to ask really weird, esoteric questions that only I am interested in the answer to—sorry about that!—it’s such a fun experience to be able to facilitate that discussion between some of the actors and the fans in the audience. There are many great genuine moments that can happen. It’s an honour to be able to help that along.
W: What are your tips for convention newbies?
SM: I would encourage everyone to go check it out, even if you don’t think you’re into the kind of stuff that happens at these conventions. There really is something for everyone. My favourite part is Artist Alley, where you can find beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces from talented professional creators and independent artists.
Bring a water bottle. Wear comfortable shoes, because you’ll be walking on a lot of concrete. Don’t be afraid to go to panels where you might not necessarily know the celebrity before you go there. Some of my favourite convention experiences has been sitting in on panels where I don’t know the person or their work, and I leave with something new to watch or read or play. Step outside your comfort zone a little bit, and don’t be afraid to talk to the folks around you! You already have something immediately in common with them.
W: What’s been your favourite celebrity meeting?
SM: I met Jason Momoa at a previous convention, and he was so tall! I was really thrilled about that whole experience. You know when you picture a celebrity in your mind and then you see them in real life and you’re like, “Oh my God!” It was one of those. He’s going to be at Edmonton Expo, and he’s really kind and delightful.
W: Who are you dying to meet?
SM: I’m moderating Matt Smith’s panel in Edmonton this year, and I’m so excited. He’s my favourite Doctor. I’m obsessed with season 5 of Doctor Who. I think he does such an amazing job with that character, and then he’s gone on to play so many amazing roles. He was Prince Philip in The Crown, and we just learned that he was cast in the new Star Wars movie, which I know he probably can’t say anything about. I’m pretty good about not being too star-struck or nervous around celebrities as part of my job, but I think I’m going to be a little nervous for that.
W: What are some of your favourite nerdy hangout spots in Edmonton?
SM: The good folks at BioWare have been doing a monthly drinks hangout for woman in gaming and women interested in video games at a bar downtown. I think that’s really cool.
I also love Happy Harbor [editor’s note: it’s now Wonderland Games]. It’s my favourite comic book store in Edmonton. The folks there are super kind and welcoming of people of all types. They have game nights there, they have ladies’ comics nights once a month, and they have an amazing selection of books, graphic novels, toys, and games. It’s always fun hanging out there.
W: Tell us more about your Girl Squads book tour!
SM: My Canadian tour stop is going to be in Toronto, unfortunately. But I will be back in Edmonton with the book at a later date for sure. The book comes out October 2, and it will be available everywhere—and it’s available for preorder now. I’m so excited to share these stories about wonderful women supporting women throughout history that I wish we had all been taught growing up.
Sam Maggs is a bestselling writer of books, comics, and video games. She’s a Senior Writer for Insomniac Games; the author of THE FANGIRL’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, WONDER WOMEN, and GIRL SQUADS (Oct. 2018), all published by Quirk Books and distributed by Penguin Random House; a contributor to BioWare’s highly-anticipated forthcoming game ANTHEM; and she’s written for comics like STAR TREK and JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS.