Top 8 Highlights of Wizard World St. Louis 2014

It is hard to believe it, but another Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con has come and gone.  This year was AMAZING!  When Wizard announced last year that they would be coming back to the 8daysageek hometown, they didn’t mention they would be bringing one of the most satisfying lineups I could imagine.  There were so many great celebrity guests, amazing vendors, awesome cosplay, and just pure unadulterated geekiness, that it is going to be hard to narrow it down to a top eight list.  Although, that’s what I do around here, right?  Thusly, I am going to count down for you the top eight highlights of my Wizard World St. Louis 2014 experience.  Please keep in mind, due to annoying requirements such as sustenance, hydration, and the need for restroom breaks, I was unable to attend everything the con had to offer.  I will count down for you the top eight highlights that I personally managed to experience.  I understand that Bruce Campbell put on a panel that was a laugh riot.  Sadly, I missed it.  Also, if you were a teenage girl, the appearance by the Grier Brothers was enough to make you go “squeeeeeee!” all the way back to the convention floor.  Alas, I am not a teenage girl…and was completely unsure as to why there were a thousand screaming tweens exiting the Ferrara theatre and nearly trampling us to death.  With all that said, let’s get to the countdown…

 

 

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#8.  Opening Ceremony- On Friday evening the Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con officially opened with a ceremony honoring the original Batman and Robin.  The mayor’s office declared April 4th to be Batman and Robin day in the Lou.  Adam West and Burt Ward were on hand to accept the declaration as well as some pretty snazzy personalized Rams jerseys.  They cut the ribbon to officially begin the convention and geeks across St. Louis cheered.

 

 

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#7.  Entering the Venue- For anyone who attended last year’s Wizard World St. Louis event, you were so excited to actually have the con in our great city, that you overlooked the fact that it was all crammed into a single hall of the America’s Center.  Not this year!  This year that same size hall served as the entry point for geek heaven.  The con floor itself was laid out across the entire Edward Jones Dome floor.  It was stunning to walk through the entrance and see the dome overhead and booth after booth of amazing merchandise and artwork spread out below.

 

 

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#6.  Sean Astin- I attended many panels at this year’s convention.  To be completely honest, Sean Astin’s was not one I was planning on making part of my schedule.  Due to scheduling, however, I ended up attending the Lord of the Rings star’s panel.  He was incredibly funny and when asked to recount how the special effects were used to make the actors appear small while playing the role of a hobbit, managed to turn it into an amusing joke about how in his mind the question asked by the audience member was actually a statement that he himself is not as short as everyone thinks.  He was very entertaining and when it was all said and done, I was glad that I had attended his Q & A.

 

 

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#5.  Matt Smith- This panel SHOULD be much higher on this list.  Matt Smith was fantastic.  He was funny.  He told great stories.  He answered questions with honest, amusing anecdotes.  The reason this panel isn’t any higher on my list is because of the fans.  Unlike with every other panel I attended this weekend, the audience members who got up to ask Matt Smith a question, drove me to the point of insanity.  There are things you JUST DON’T DO when attending events like this.  Especially, if you are going to get up and ask a question of the celebrity.  Matt Smith had to deal with fans asking him to record their outgoing voicemail message (Really?), sing songs from the Disney’s Frozen (Why?), and even one fan who stated she was hoping to possibly get a lock of his hair. (Just plain CREEPY.)  The Doctor Who star is not a trained monkey!  He is not there to obediently obey every command given to him by a member of the audience.  The moderator did a good job to try and rein this ridiculousness in, and Matt Smith was as nice as can be in accommodating these silly requests, but in the end…it left me a little embarrassed for the geeks of St. Louis who should know better than to act like that during a Q & A.

 

 

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#4.  Eliza Dushku- The Dollhouse star’s panel was the very first celebrity panel I attended this weekend.  She did not disappoint.  Eliza came out-looking beautiful as always-and did a great session.  She was funny, smart, and did I mention beautiful?  She even tried her best to calm the crying baby in the crowd, which turned into a very funny bit between the baby’s grandmother and Eliza questioning her parenting skills.  When the panel ended, Eliza even came to the edge of the stage to meet the woman and the baby personally.  She held the baby while the family took photographs and even pretended to walk away with the child towards the backstage area.  It turned out to be a great panel to start my Saturday with.

 

 

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#3.  Karen Gillan- The Doctor’s companion also put on a great Q & A session.  Karen came out sporting her brand new super short haircut and explained how she had to shave her head for her role in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  She even told us that she and Matt Smith were both wearing wigs at the time they filmed their last scene together.  Unfortunately, they didn’t swap-despite how amusing that would have been.  She also dealt with a few fans making obnoxious requests, but they weren’t near the level of those put forth in the Matt Smith panel.  Karen did her impersonation of a Dalek, spoke in an American accent, and even yelled Oy!  We learned about the soon-to-be released Occulus and an unreleased movie she filmed with the beautiful Jennifer Morrison.  I was very excited to see Amy Pond in person and she did not disappoint.

 

 

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#2.  Firefly Panel- Sunday’s main event was the panel featuring four members of the Serenity cast.  While waiting for the show to begin, we were informed that Summer Glau was unable to attend because she had to catch an earlier flight back to Los Angeles.  This was a little disappointing, but after the the trio of Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, and Adam Baldwin hit the stage, all thoughts of disappointment went right out the window.  These guys were hysterical!  The three of them acted as if the show had never ended and they were still on the set playing pranks on each other to this day.  They recounted those pranks, answered some pretty brilliant questions from the audience, and told some very hilarious stories. (Alan Tudyk meeting with the Fox executive that actually cancelled Firefly was the best)  The star of the show however, was Alan Tudyk.  The man decided that the panel was the best place for him to clear out his personal messenger bag and began autographing and handing out items that he found within.  The catchphrase of the day, coined by Tudyk himself was, “Here’s some shit.”  It was one of the best panels I have ever attended.  That is…except for the panel that comes in at number one on today’s list.

 

 

My number one highlight of Wizard World St. Louis 2014…is a panel that starred one of the greatest geek icons of all-time.  He is one of the greatest science-fiction icons of all time.  He is the greatest bad actor in the history of film.  He is…

 

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#1.  William Shatner- Most celebrity panels consist of a moderator either standing at a podium or sitting at the same table the celebrity is seated at.  They control the flow of the panel, rein in the oddballs, and generally keep the panel flowing smoothly.  You know who doesn’t need a moderator?  The Shat!  All Captain Kirk needed was a lone director’s chair on stage and a microphone.  He handled the entire discussion all by himself.  He took questions from the audience, he told amazing stories, he even had a back and forth with an incredibly ostentatious young fan.  It was the funniest panel I have ever attended.  Shatner is one of the sharpest, wittiest, clever celebrities I have ever heard speak.  His answers to questions meandered this way and that; he went off on complete tangents at times.  Then, just when I thought he had forgotten the original question altogether, he would bring it right on home with a poignant answer that left you wondering how he managed to do it.  I can’t think of enough great things to say about William Shatner’s panel.  So, I will just end this by saying that it was obviously the highlight of my Wizard World St. Louis 2014 experience.

 

 

There you have it!  The Top 8 moments of my time at this year’s Wizard World St. Louis.  Were you there?  Were there moments you thought were even better than the ones I have listed here?  Let me know!  Hit the comments section below, or tell me about them on Twitter @SeanMLScott.  Until the next time I compress something incredibly complex into eight small entries and arbitrarily rank them for you…Allons-y!

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