for nearly as long as i care to remember, natasha eloi, videographer for canada’s space channel, has been the hottest, most recognizable face of sci-fi pop-culture in canada. not only does she bring a star quality to what can at best be considered a fringe element of mainstream western consumer-culture, she makes it hip. she takes her (seemingly) one-woman deep-dive into the collective escapist mindset and makes it at once intrepid, exciting, and always memorable.
i’ll never forget this one summer when natasha and a decorated van travelled across canada to seek out weird life and weird allegiances to civilizations that looked towards the stars for new ideas and new ways of being. she travelled as far out as vulcan, alberta, a place to which even i, being albertan, have never dared to venture! weekly and more often, she’d visit my tv screen to take me behind the scenes and show me the latest in comic and sci-fi news and events. she’d go to visit all the people who’d shape the imagination-scape of the forward-thinking and other-worldly alike. she was hooked into the creative universe like trinity was hooked into the matrix.
this weekend, i watched her covering the san diego comic con, and it was extraordinary. her was someone who i had met, smack dab in the middle of the media circus with legends like frank miller, marcia gay harden, robert downey jr.!, the neca boys, and well… dozens of other people in the biz to whom my only access is the price of my movie ticket or graphic novel. wicked!!!
i suppose that natasha might not be the most likely of cultural ambassadors, but she bridges a gap with unprecedented sincerity between the cool and the geeky, between the sci-fi and the rest-of-the-world, between the young and the old, and between the genders in a way that i’ve never seen before and expect never to see again. i can hardly believe that out of the 30 million random encounters that i might have with any given random canadian, that i would cross paths with her, after so many years of watching her on tv. the only thing that i can’t understand is how no one i know has ever heard of her?