This past weekend, I was able to attend Wizard World Comic-Con in Chicago and boy, was it fun! The event took place from August 9-12, each day filled with more and more surprises. This year, there were more exhibitors, better celebrities, and tons of amazing cosplayers.
August 9th, 2012
I arrived Thursday morning and picked up my pass. Because I was able to go into the exhibit hall half an hour early, I was able to look around at all the merchandise before the floor became packed. This year, the celebrity signings were right in the middle of the floor as opposed to the far left. This made it easier for people to find them and ensured that the guests would be more spread out. Last year, the biggest guests that came were Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, and Christopher Lloyd. This year, Wizard World upped the ante by bringing in three other Starfleet captains, William Shatner, Avery Brooks, and Scott Bakula (who was sporting a very impressive mustache). Not to be too sci-fi-centric, the convention brought in the great-grandfather of comic books, Stan Lee, the man who created half the iconic Marvel characters (and is probably best known for his cameos in recent Marvel flicks). Suffice it to say, I finally got to meet one of my comic book idols.
Walking around, I admired the placement of the exhibits and the organizations that comprised of Wizard World Comic-Con. There was a scent of camaraderie in the air, a place where people can share their mutual interests and geek out together as fans. No need to keep in the things they love, everyone was free to talk about the things they love, be it comic books, sci-fi shows, or films.
When you walk onto the floor, the first thing you see is a giant area filled with couches, stools, and bean bag chairs, for the tired comic book enthusiast who wants to sit down and rest for a moment. In the middle of this area were eight Starfleet uniforms on display for everyone to admire. Surrounding these uniforms were props from the Star Trek franchise. Cardassian disruptors, Klingon bat’leths, etc.
This day was devoted to sight-seeing and admiring the con, and it was fantastic! While wandering around, I even met someone I admired, the Cinema Snob, an Internet film reviewer! I’m a big cinephile and it was a great pleasure to sit down with one of my heroes and talk about films in general. The thing that I love the most about Wizard World’s conventions are the celebrity signings. Unlike other conventions where the celebrities have huge sealed-off lines so that an average guest can’t talk to them, Wizard World places the celebrities close to the guests, so people can stop by and have a quick chat.
The great thing about Wizard World Comic-Con is that it’s able to create a sense of intimacy between their guests and the things at the con, be they the exhibitors, the props, the celebrities, or each other. Stick around tomorrow for my coverage of Days 2 and 3!