This weekend I was able to make it out to the Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia – a weekend every year when nerds from the area descend upon the city of brotherly love to celebrate comic nerdery in all its forms. Now before I go on about it let me say three things. (1) I’m pretty sure no one considers me “press.” I’m not sponsored by anyone nor was I going to the convention on behalf of any organization. It was just me going for fun. So despite the number awesome guests that were attending the show, I didn’t shell out for any VIP sessions, panels or photo-ops. After admission and the stuff I bought, I wasn’t about to spend a few hundred dollars more. (2) I really should have broken this down into Saturday and Sunday and posted each day, but I didn’t, so I apologize for how long this is going to be. And finally (3) My day job requires me to, well you know, be there, so I was only able to attend on Saturday and Sunday, not the whole 4-day stretch (which I do regret to some degree). But even attending for only two days, I got to meet some cool people, have some interesting discussions with artists and exhibitors, spotted a few celebrities, and of course saw some decent cosplayers, as one comes to expect from a comic con, of course. After waiting about 40 minutes to pick up “advance tickets” I thought would save me said 40 minutes, I was finally wristbanded and on my way in.
I got to have some good conversations with some comic people about art, comics, and the industry in general. The first one was with Greg Horn, artist extraordinaire responsible for a long list of outstanding covers for a number of publishers including Marvel and DC, most recently for DC’s Blackest Night series and Wonder Woman #600. He’s done work for Top Cow and Image as well, and is currently doing some cool stuff for Zenescope (that’s him on the right channeling his best Galactus). I bought a couple of prints that were for sale – a sweet Arkham City rendition of Joker and Harley Quinn and another featuring Wonder Woman as a Star Sapphire from Blackest Night. Picked up his art books too. But what made the encounter cool was that he actually talked to me at length on the side of the booth while he was signing stuff for other people (which he did for no charge by the way). On top of comics in general I was surprised to find that he was very up on his Indian legends, namely the Mahabharata, and told me the story about the publishing and abrupt halt to the comic book that was going to be made from that legend. It’s a shame it was stopped too, because his knowledge and sketches for it were fantastic, even to someone like me who’s well versed in Mahabharata legend. So on top of doing some of my favorite covers in all comic-dom, it was nice to see that he’s a super cool guy too. In fact, you should check out some of his art.
Now when I said before that there were some awesome guests and I spotted some celebrities, I mean that there were some awesome guests. Stan Lee, one of the godfathers of modern comics was there, indirectly causing me to be immobilized in a crowd of people waiting to stand in line for a picture or autograph. I did see him but couldn’t get close enough to snap a photo, as I didn’t shell out the $80 to do so. A friend of mine got to meet him and have a couple of his comics signed, and said he was a pretty funny guy. When he asked Stan the Man how he was doing, his response was “Well I’m here, so I THINK I’m doing OK.” To be honest I expected no less after we’ve all seen his usually comical cameo in Marvel movies, not to mention his role in one of the funniest scenes in Mallrats. This con was kind of a Mecca for Star Trek fans too. I believe this was the first time that all of the captains from the different Star Trek shows (Shatner, Stewart, Brooks, Mulgrew, Bakula) were together in the same spot at the same time. I was able to see them all, but wasn’t about to fight the mobs to try and get through. And on a side note – Patrick Stewart is aging extremely well. Must be all that time he spent with Q.
Then there was the original Hulk Lou Ferrigno, Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth, Heroes cheerleader Hayden Panatierre, the original Buffy Kristy Swanson, and a bevy of wrestlers headlined by CM Punk, who commanded the longest lines for anything I’ve ever seen in my life. And I have to tell you, after seeing a guy like Paul Bearer in character for so many years, seeing him chilling at his booth texting was something that was exceptionally amusing to me.
You can see the rest of my photos and more cosplayers here. Some Spaceballs in there, The Big Lebowski, and a bunch of comic characters in there. And if you are any of these people or know who they are, let me know so I can post your name for credit.