So a few weeks ago I took my third annual trip to the Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago. I know, I know… *cough cough nerd! cough*
But seriously, it’s for people beyond your stereotypical Comic Book Guy (although, they are there in full force).
Although comics do abound, in recent years it’s grown to be more encompassing all pop culture realms. My best friend and I first went in 2010 after we realized that Buffy/Angel stars are frequent attendees. Every year there are a variety of television and movie stars (and some pro wrestlers… wtf?) and you can get pictures with them, get autographs, and see many of them in panel presentations. There are also countless vendors hawking every kind of merchandise.
And the people watching. Oh, the people watching. It’s almost worth the price of admission just to go and grab a seat and watch everyone walk by. Even without going into the main convention hall, you can stay in the lobby and see plenty of craziness.
This year the celebrity attendees included Buffy/Angel stars James Marsters (Spike), Amber Benson (Tara), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), and Amy Acker (Fred). The less important, but still cool, others included the cast of Boondock Saints, Jon Berenthal from The Walking Dead, the king of comics himself Stan Lee, Dean Cain, Joey Lawrence, Lou Ferrigno, and plenty of others.
We went to a James Marsters concert that Friday night. Super fun. Also, it was the precursor to his 50th birthday celebration. We were shocked that our beloved Spike is already 50! This, of course, was followed by a best-of Buffy marathon.
On Saturday we went to the James Marsters panel and toured the convention hall. Even on my third go-round it can still be pretty overwhelming. Part of the fun is that the celebrities all stay at the official convention hotel, so you can just turn a corner and *bam* there’s Lou Ferrigno giving you the “hello” nod as you walk by. That happened. Last year I ran into Sean Patrick Flanery as he was leaving the bathroom.
The past two years they’ve also added a late-night dance party at the hotel for the convention-goers. Some of the people stay in costume, which provides ample opportunities to see stormtroopers dancing and pose for pictures with Batman, Wario, and Loki.
If you’re even remotely enthralled by pop culture, definitely check the convention listings near you. Wizard World hosts them all over of the country and it’s so worth the experience.