MANY people might assume a comic book convention would be an event for boys or maybe stunted adolescent men.
The Central Canada Comic Con (C4) currently roiling at the Winnipeg Convention Centre gives the lie to that perception, especially this year.
A glimpse through the celebrity guest roster provides a clue. Sure, the convention boasts its share of male sci-fi icons, including Patrick Stewart (a double franchise attraction for Star Trek: The Next Generation and X-Men), Billy Dee Williams (The Empire Strikes Back) and Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5, Tron).
But the event has a healthy complement of formidable female stars too, including Nichelle Nichols, (Star Trek's Uhura), Marina Sirtis (ST:TNG's Deanna Troi) and Winnipeg's own cult star Tamara Gorski (Angel, Hercules, The Man with the Screaming Brain).
Taking her place in the guest roster is Tia Carrere, 45, the Hawaii-born actress who has worked in several Comic Con-friendly capacities, in films such as James Cameron's True Lies, or Wayne's World or Kull the Conqueror. In fact, it's kind of difficult to nail down which role fans respond to best.
"In Canada, and actually worldwide, I think Relic Hunter was my big thing for these kind of fan events," Carrere says in a phone interview.
Carrere can attest that the series had tremendous appeal for girls, and she meets them frequently at fan events such as C4.
"I always thought it was kind of a cheesecake sort of thing that guys would be into, but a lot of women loved Relic Hunter," she says. "They loved the character of Sydney Fox, and I've met a number of women who said they became archeologists or geologists because they saw Relic Hunter and that was so gratifying."
For her part, Carrere appreciates the opportunity to meet fans.
"You don't really interact with people like the olden days, when a movie studio would get fan mail and pass it on to you, so you don't really get the access anymore," she says, adding that interactions with the public might simply take the form of papparazzi.
"With the fans, it's truly a reciprocal thing where they just love you and remind you of things that you've done," she says.
So no creepy fan encounters?
"A guy asked me to autograph his arm, so I autographed his arm and the next day, he came back and showed me he had tattooed the autograph right onto his arm. That was a little disconcerting," she says. "That was a lifelong fan there."
Central Canada Comic Con wraps up tomorrow at the Convention Centre.