This past weekend was the first ever Wizard World St. Louis comic con. I have never had the pleasure of attending Wizard World before or any major comic convention held around the country, so needless to say I was thrilled at the chance to cover this con for our humble website alongside our editor-in-chief. I managed to attend all three days of the con for at least a few hours each. The experience is something I will not soon forget and look forward to reproducing annually, as long as Wizard World continues to grace our fair city with its presence. Here are the highlights of my days at the con…
We showed up slightly before the official opening of the convention on Friday afternoon, got our press passes, and stood in line watching as they announced the opening of the con. After allowing a large number of paid guests in, those of us in the press line were ushered inside. I felt like…well…like a geek at a comic convention. It was nerd-vana. We spent the next couple hours perusing the aisles, looking at all the vendor’s wares, and snapping pictures of all the incredibly creative cosplayers. I didn’t attend any panels that day, wanting to acclimate myself to the event and dropping some coin on a t-shirt and a couple books. After a lengthy chat with a local St. Louis indie comic author, who I will be spotlighting in a later article, we headed out for the day. Five hours very well spent. My only complaint about the event was the overwhelming abundance of steampunk. It was everywhere. Maybe I’m just not geeky enough to appreciate it, but I couldn’t stifle a giggle every time we passed someone with giant goggles or an old brass clock strapped to their arm as a shield.
Saturday began early. We arrived slightly after opening and waited in a line that stretched throughout the entire building and onto the floor of an unused convention hall. Why didn’t we just cruise right in, flashing our press passes, you ask? Because my wife attended with us on a standard ticket, and instead of leaving her behind, we decided to experience the con like paying customers. The line actually moved very fast, only taking around 40 minutes for us to gain entrance. By that time we had to head directly for the Q&A panel with the Walking Dead’s Laurie Holden. We found seats and were immediately informed that AMC had said Laurie was NOT ALLOWED to answer ANY questions regarding the Walking Dead. She arrived and did her best to answer questions and skirt the restrictions placed on everyone. The panel was mildly entertaining, but could have been much better if not for the moratorium put on anything Walking Dead by AMC. We then headed back out to the floor for a few trips through the vendor stalls and artist booths. Then it was time for lunch. We found a great bar and grill just one block away from the convention center with a sign welcoming con-goers. After a delicious lunch, it was back to the floor for more perusing, all the while getting more snapshots of the cosplayers who attended that day. Then it was time for another panel, this one with Tom Felton from the Harry Potter movies. We were all pleasantly surprised at how witty and amusing this panel was. Felton seemed at home on the dais and kept us all entertained with his answers to the audience’s questions. Then it was back to the con floor one more time. I refrained from dropping any cash this time and after a long day at the con we headed home very satisfied.
Snow. Lots of snow. That is what we were greeted with on Sunday morning. Would that stop me from attending all three days of my first con? Of course not!! By myself, I headed into the city, braving the elements to meet up with a friend who was also attending. We hit the floor shortly after 11a.m. and did a quick walkthrough before heading out to the Q&A panel with Morena Baccarin from Firefly. She was not only stunningly beautiful, but very intelligent and amusing as well. If anyone in the crowd didn’t have a geek crush on her prior to the panel, they sure should have afterwards. Then, you guessed it, back to the floor. We checked out lots of artwork and it was quickly time for me to head off to another panel. This time it was a Q&A with James Marsters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. This proved to be the best panel I attended the entire weekend. Marsters was hilarious! He kept everyone laughing while discussing everything from his music career to who was a better kisser, Sara Michelle Gellar or John Barrowman. I left feeling completely justified in braving the still falling snow to attend this day’s events. I then headed back to the floor to grab yet another t-shirt and accompany a local artist friend to meet Neil Adams and procure an autographed piece of his stellar artwork. I picked up some books from the aforementioned local comic creator and bid farewell to Wizard World as we headed back out into the snow-filled Sunday afternoon. I cannot wait until next year’s Wizard World here in St. Louis, which has already been announced as taking place April 4-6 2014. I would like to thank all the celebrities, volunteers, employees, vendors, and artists who made this first ever St. Louis comic con a success. I’ll see you all back there next year!