Saskatoon and Edmonton EXPO
Hrvatska Verzija English Version
2nd October 2014. in Zagreb

There and back again (Journey to Canada 2014.)

I've come back from an epic journey to Canada which I started 9/13/2014. Still I am fighting with my metabolic adaptation to the time difference - so annoying jet lag. In truth, this journey began a decade ago, and perhaps a year or more when I was still in the time of too slow dial up connections, searching on the Internet for any Star Wars inspired tattoos. Here I encountered a web site, Tattoos and Toys, by Shane Turgeon who was at that time a complete stranger to me from the other side of the planet. Today he is nothing less than my brother who doesn't speak Croatian. Incredibly, just one click was enough to gain one of my best friends.

Shane was the spark that triggered a whole sequence of events; connecting geek tattooists which are Star Wars and pop culture fans in general in a great community, from which arose Marc Draven's Ink-Fusion Empire community and Chris 51's Epic Ink tattoo reality show (which is similar to other TV shows of this type, but at the same time completely different), to the organizing of smaller tattoo conventions at major events such as Lucasfilm's Star Wars Celebrations and various Comic Cons and Expos. In September of this year, over two consecutive weekends, I participated in two such events: the Saskatoon EXPO and the Edmonton EXPO. In the meantime, I was introduced to Canadian culture, visited the Rocky Mountains, was a guest tattooist at Shane Turgeon's Shades Of Grey tattoo studio in Edmonton where I met up with old friends and made new ones. Mainly, I have spent three unforgettable weeks with people I care about. I had enough time to learn their personalities, faults and virtues, and now they all have a special place in my life.

Rocky Mountains - Jasper

John, Shane i Marin

"Australia, Canada and Croatia. Amazing international trip to jasper with John and Marin yesterday! If anyone ever asks why Star Wars is "important" to me, it's because of photos like this. It has NOTHING to do with movies or toys and everything to do with the amazing people from all over the world who have come into my life because of it. Amazing adventures with amazing friends are better than movie adventures any day!"

Shane Turgeon

At the second day after my arrival in Canada we went, as the Canadians says, to the short day trip to National Park Jasper, “only” 350 km in one direction. The National Park was named after trapper Jasper Hawes. Jasper Hawes was led there a trading post in the early 19th century, Jasper Forest Park was established in 1907 and was granted national park status in 1930. This park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, together with the other national and provincial parks that form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, for the mountain landscapes containing mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons, and limestone caves as well as fossils found here. The headquarters of the park is located in the eponymous town of Jasper where lives about 4000 inhabitants. Is it worth it, yes it was. There the nature showed all its greatness and beauty in untouched form. Huge mountains as far as the eye can see, bare peaks, wooded foothills with glacial rivers and lakes.

Now I know how looks authentic landscapes from Winnetou and I can say that once in Sixties Croatia was even well acted out North America in German's screen adaptation of Karl May's novels, although Canada could do it better.

Shane's SUV Last 100 km to Jasper. Last 50 km to Jasper. Mountain goats on the road Oh, my deer! Rocky Mountains Rocky Mountains Rocky Mountains Gondola lift station Rocky Mountains View at the Jasper town Rocky Mountains Pyramid Lake Pyramid Lake Mount Kerkeslin Athabasca river Athabasca falls Athabasca falls Athabasca falls Athabasca falls Athabasca river Capitol mountain Capitol mountain Mount Kephala Mountains Aeolus, Kephala and Capitol

Shades of Grey | Tattoos, Toys, Comics & Art | Edmonton

Shades of Grey

The ambiance from a dream of every geek. Sanctuary, temple, I've almost smashed my head on the pillar in tattoo studio because of all these geeky distractions. The first few days was almost impossible to walk through tattoo studio and looking ahead. I have seen many tattoo studios and I was worked in some of them but Shades of Grey is the most special of all of these. It is not uselessly tawdry with fiddlesticks to left impression of cool place to customers, it simply has a soul. It is obvious that this place is the mental projection of tattooists whom tattooing is not a job but a way of life.

Tattoo studio entrance Mary Pictures Yoda Galactus Geekology and pier Relics and sacred pictures in the background The Bible and other relics More relics... Tattoo area Heroes and villains More heroes and villains After Edmonton EXPO

Saskatoon EXPO


Warming up before the Edmonton Expo in a Saskatoon city. Van ride on a 500 km straight road through the valley of nowhere. Experience almost same like in the Fanboys movie. Saskatoon is the largest city in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan with about 250000 inhabitants. Located in the middle of a vast valley, founded in 1883, center of mining region in which is mined potash and uran and draw large amounts of oil and gas. Industrial city in which there is also a large number of colleges and research institutions. Experience of Saskatoon is somehow weird. Deserted streets where in the early morning hours blowing cold wind and occasional passer create an atmosphere like in a some Stephen King's novel, just slightly ominously. Whatever of the first impression Saskatoon EXPO can be cited as an exemplary example to other events of this kind.

Fanboys van for Saskatoon Fanboys: Marin, Teddy, Mary, Shane 500km straight road on the flat land Saskatoon View from the hotel to the street View from the street to the hotel Tattoo booth R2-D2 Tuskens Boba Fett's logo tattooed by Marin Urbanc Boba Fett Unmasked Boba Fett Rohan logo tattooed by Marin Urbanc Rohan Pentagram tattooed by Marin Urbanc Darktrooper Han and Chewie Trekkie Mary Wonder woman and Trinitry Bane Mandalorian EXPO Comics Steam punx Gandhi Saskatoon's morning Return to the Edmonton Sunset 
In the middle of nowhere while we stared at the stars

Edmonton EXPO


City at my own, about 800000 inhabitants area slightly larger than Zagreb but much more developed. Edmonton was the center of all the events of my residence in Canada. Most of my time I have spent in that city, unfortunately, due to guest appearances in Shades of Grey tattoo studio and participating in the Edmonton EXPO I didn't get to see everything that this city offers. I succeeded catch the daily routine of its inhabitants in which systems without problem I can be integrated. Even to me in many ways is more comfortable than the Zagreb's daily routine. Less stress, doesn't getting older by waiting. Kindness is one of the main characteristics of Canadians even when it is artificial but makes that you feel good and that's a what missing here.

Edmonton City

One of the more impressive things in Edmonton to me was West Edmonton Mall. The shopping center where between the all shops are located the hockey rink, water park, amusement park and even hotels for shopingoholics. Otherwise shopping centers gets on my nerves, and while my wife buys food and other items at these monstrous places I waiting her in front of my laptop in the car but Edmonton mall can be incorporated into the world's wonders and should be visited.

West Edmonton Mall Ice rink Heather and Ferrari Pirate stage Pirate stage Aqua park Aqua park Show penguin to Windoze Rollercoaster Rollercoaster Knowledge is power Jasper Ave Illuminatus? Scotia Place 100 St Jasper Ave Fairmont Hotel Macdonald Chateau Lacombe Hotel Knox church Chianti Restaurant

Edmonton convention

If I had to choose between the Edmonton EXPO and last year's Star Wars Celebration Europe II in Essen I would be placed in a difficult dilemma. The level of experience and fun almost identical, slightly smaller number tattooists in Edmonton EXPO but much better organization of tattoo booths, thematically more diverse and more visitors than at the Star Wars Celebration Europe II. Means +3 for Edmonton but Star Wars is Star Wars, +5 for Essen. Edmonton as a city has a better offer of everything than Essen, still more +2 for Edmonton. Well, Edmonton EXPO vs. Star Wars Celebration Europe II, 5: 5.

Tattoo booths Beginning of EXPO Serenity logo Tattooing Sailship tattooed by Marin Urbanc Tattooed by Heather Maranda, woman who knows knowledge Bryan J. Turnbull, he also knows knowledge Mary, this gentle girl also knows knowledge Karyn and Marc Comics Airsoft equipment AK-47 EXPO atrium Harry Kim Bane and Robocop Darth Vader and Robocop R2-D2, clonetrooper and me Scout trooper and me Jedi and Twi'lek 501st legion Anything and Everything Stormtrooper armor Wolverine Alien vs. marine Marin vs. alien Alien Mathemagick Knights of the northern realm Tank girl Alice Cooper T-shirts booth Stormtrooper Ghostbusters Scream Mandalorian 501st legion EXPO EXPO EXPO EXPO The Wild Wild West Resident evil Spock Superman Iron man