Doug met blacksmith Bill Fedun last year at Fan Expo Canada; he enjoyed talking with him again this year as well as meeting Madeleine Wilson, who's wearing one of Bill's custom designs.
Bill works on armour, shields, knives and swords in his studio in Metcalf, Ontario, which is located about 15 miles south of Ottawa, the capital city of Canada.
In addition to promoting the South Tower Armouring Guild, Bill also teaches armour and chain mail-making and swordsmanship at Algonquin College and, through the City of Ottawa, at the Plant Recreation Centre on Preston Street.
Our first stop in Stockholm was the Stadshuset, the seat of the capital's government. It's also the venue for annual Nobel Prize festivities. We're in the courtyard of the impressive building, which opened in 1923 and reportedly has over 8 million red bricks and 19 million chips of gilt mosaic.
Rooms decorated with gilt mosaic provide an elaborate backdrop for the annual Nobel Prize banquet; Doug took my picture in front of the Statue of Liberty/U.S. flag.
This display at City Hall shows the china, silverware and crystal used at the Nobel Prize annual banquet.
During a tour of Stockholm's Old Town (Gamla Stan), the guide stopped at the Iron Boy, the tiniest public statue (of about 600 statues) in the city. It is said to honor the orphans who had to transfer cargo from sea ships to lake ships before Stockholm's locks were built.
The Vasamuseet complex is quite large, but the highlight is the 3-floor museum housing the warship Vasa, which has been meticulously restored after capsizing on its maiden voyage in 1628. It was top-heavy because of an extra cannon deck and sank in 20 minutes. (The replica of the complex is outside the entrance to the Vasa museum.)
Fortunately, we had beautiful weather for an afternoon visit to Skansen, the world's first open-air museum. It was founded in 1891 and showcases Swedish life and customs of bygone days.
Edith Chartier (left), a costume designer from Ottawa, stopped by Doug's table in Artist Alley and mentioned that she was participating in several scheduled Steampunk events, including the Steampunk Fashion Show, Steampunk 101, and Steampunk Costuming 101.
The next day she stopped by Artist Alley with a different costume (far right) and other Steampunk-inspired Fan Expo attendees, who planned to participate in the Steampunk Meet and Greet Costume Reception and Steampunk Photo Shoot.
The landmark tiger sculpture outside the train station in Oslo.
Oslo's largest park is named after the sculptor Gustav Vigeland, whose 212 sculptures depict humanity. The Wheel of Life was modelled in 1934. The wheel is a symbol of eternity and consists of a garland of men, women and children holding onto each other in an eternal cycle.
A second wrought iron gate in the 75-acre park leads up to the 56-foot tall Monolith comprised of 121 human figures, carved out of a single block of stone, supporting and holding onto each other.
Doug is on the roof of the 3-year-old opera house, which seats 1,300 in the main theatre. The $614-million opera house is part of a larger harbor redevelopment.
The Fram Museum, which opened in 1936, houses the 125-foot polar expedition ship that took Roald Amundsen deep into the Arctic and Antarctic. He was the first person to raise a flag on the South Pole.
The Viking Ship Museum houses 3 of the best preserved 9th century Viking longboats in existence.
Doug has been a cartoonist for Playboy magazine since 1964.
For nearly 20 years, starting in the mid-60's, his "Doug Sneyd" and "Scoops" news cartoons appeared daily in newspapers across North America. Sneyd's talent has also led him into cinema: in 1993, he wrote, produced and directed "Black-eyed Susan," an educational movie-drama about spousal abuse, for the Ontario government. He was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Book Illustrators and has been a member of the National Cartoonists' Society and the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Thirty of his full-page color Playboy cartoons are among the 235 Sneyd works included in the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa.
Sneyd was born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, but spent much of his professional career in Toronto. In 1969 he moved his family north to Orillia made famous as the mythical "Mariposa" by humorist Stephen Leacock. He works on the third floor of his home-studio overlooking beautiful Lake Couchiching and spends his winters on the Gulf Coast in Orange Beach, Alabama.