I thought I’d share some of the highlights of this weekend, as everyone loves cosplay photos!
Click through for the highlights of this weekend, and for my gallery of costumed attendees!
On Friday, I took the train down from CT, and stayed at the Marriott connected to the Philadelphia Convention Center. Which sounds much more convenient than it actually was, I swear the walk was still a mile. I have the blisters to prove it.
The area that the convention was held in was a cavernous exhibition hall that never quite seemed to fill with people. On the one hand, that was a bit disappointing, as it led to the feeling that the event wasn’t fully attended, but on the other hand, it was rather nice not having to deal with all the jostling and close quarter combat that NY and San Diego offer.
The floor was mildly disappointing to me, as a seasoned vet of these things. There were no shortage of comic book and comic book related toy vendors, but large outside companies were almost completely absent. At New York and San Diego, video game companies, television networks, movie studios… all sorts of entities add character to the floor with their attention grabbing displays. Not that they don’t also have their share of comic book and toy dealers as well, but without the pizzazz of the pros, you’re left with a bit of a flea market feel to that aspect of the event. Not that there weren’t some fun things going on on the floor. They had a Batmobile, a General Lee and a Back the Future DeLorean to take pictures in, a Doctor Who call box, and a couple of zombie related photo ops. But it seemed as if the floor was missing a bit of the flash I was accustomed to.
The strength of the Wizard World events that I’ve attended (and looked into) are the autograph opportunities, and this is where Wizard World Philly really shined. I literally couldn’t get all the autographs I would have liked to, they had so many of them. As it was, I got William Shatner’s, Henry Winkler’s (right), Adam Baldwin’s, Michael Rooker’s and Linda Blair’s. There were tons of other autograph opportunities there, as well, such as Stan Lee (whom I have already), three other Firefly stars (Gina Torres, Jewel Staite and Summer Glau), WWE stars, two former Supermen (Brandon Routh and Dean Cain), a couple other Walking Dead stars (Norman Reedus and John Bernthal), and on and on… seriously, Wizard World does a fantastic job of bringing in celebs whose autograph you’d like to have.
At the moment, I’m not collecting comics, so I’m not on top of the “who’s who” right now, but they did feature a healthy “Artists’ Alley” of comic-book artists and authors signing off on their works, as well.
They also did a good job of putting together a panel lineup. Nothing to rival San Diego, of course, but right on par with New York! I worked two of them into my schedule. I attended Michael Rooker’s and William Shatner’s. As you can imagine, those are two guys who had no trouble commanding the stage for an hour. I planned on attending Linda Blair’s as well, but she missed a flight and had to cancel. The two biggest offerings of the weekend were a Walking Dead panel with Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, and John Bernthal, and a Firefly panel with Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, Summer Glau and Jewel Staite. I would have enjoyed attending either of those, but they clear the room between panels at Philly Con, so you can’t attend both. Standing on their own, I just couldn’t muster the will to sacrifice the time required in line to get into them. I half heartedly checked into the line for the Firefly panel, trying to see if I could get in line at the last-minute and still catch a seat in the way back of the auditorium, to which the other attendees resoundingly answered, “No.”
Of course, the big question that always gets asked about these things is “How were the costumes”, and I’m happy to report that Philly fans did it right. There were a ton of people who came dressed up, and as usual some were great, some were good and some were ill-advised… here’s a sampling of the pictures I took!
All told, it was a really great weekend, and Wizard World put on quite a show! I got a lot of great autographs, got to see William Shatner and Michael Rooker talk about their respective careers, and got to see countless costumed conventioners doing their thing! It’s definitely a show I would recommend if you’re in that area, and one I look forward to attending again myself one of these days!