Wizard World returned to St. Louis last weekend and despite a few cancellations, including the king himself Stan Lee, it was yet another amazing show from the pioneers in pop culture. Friday evening kicked off with a nice size crowd waiting to be allowed access to the floor. When 4 p.m. hit, we were not disappointed. Kato Kaelin and dueling pianos greeted everyone and after what appeared to be a smaller than usual turnout of vendors last year, I was more than pleased to see the quantity and variety of merchandise being offered up this year.
Shortly after beginning our perusal of the booths and their merchandise, we headed to Nichelle Nichols’ booth to see representatives from the Office of the Mayor of St. Louis deliver proclamation honoring her 50+ years in show business and status as one of the pioneering greats in the world of television and science fiction. February 2nd 2018 was declared Nichelle Nichols Day in St. Louis. Having been a Star Trek fan my entire life, this was a pretty awesome moment to witness.
Saturday brought the crowds out in force. The convention was packed. Great cosplays could be found everywhere and if you were there for a celebrity panel, then this was your day. We had the pleasure of making it to see Bonnie Wright take questions from the audience regarding her role in the Harry Potter films. Her panel was followed by quite possibly one of the most entertaining panels I have ever been privileged to see. John Barrowman delighted the crowd by showing up in a TARDIS dress and high heels. He sang songs, kissed babies, took photos, and had anecdotes that brought people-including myself-to tears. It was far and away my favorite event of the weekend. That is not to say the gentlemen from Lord of the Rings were slouches, however. Their panel followed Barrowman and it was awesome to see three of the nine members of the Fellowship together again. They talked about their harrowing experiences on helicopters in New Zealand, explained how each member of the Fellowship have matching tattoos in real life, and whether Sean Bean preferred his death from Lord of the Rings over his character’s death in Game of Thrones.
All in all, Saturday was as entertaining as we could have hoped. Although, Stan Lee’s cancellation did dampen the mood a bit especially considering the circumstances. I can speak for everyone at 8 days a geek by wishing Stan Lee a speedy recovery and we look forward to another chance to see the king speak at a future event.
Sunday brought the convention to a close, but not without providing us with a few more celebrity panels. Sean Astin and Billy Boyd both held individual panels for the Lord of the Rings fans who did not get their fill the day prior. The bright spot of the day for this geek was attending the panel entitled J. Jonah Jameson Against the Crowd. SAG/AFTRA member Karl Brevik donned the guise of the notorious Spiderman hater and attempted to convince a crowd of con-goers the join him in his hatred of the web-slinging hero. Mr. Jameson made his case, invited comment and criticism from the crowd, and addressed those criticisms in a hilarious brand of geek improv that left about half the crowd actually siding, by applause, with the editor of the Daily Bugle. I found this style of panel highly entertaining and hope to see more of its kind at future conventions.
8 days a geek would like to thank Wizard World for bringing another fantastic show to St. Louis and for allowing us the opportunity to cover the event. Next year’s convention has already been announced, so make your arrangements now. Wizard World returns to St. Louis February 1-3, 2019. We will see you there!