Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chicago's ComicCon: Wizard World

I attended my first ComicCon on August 13 in the northern suburbs of Chicago. My husband bravely endured his loathing of crowds to see the nerd culture spectacle with his very grateful wife. (I should mention the the event was so packed it took us longer to turn into the convention center than it did to drive there).

You may already know, but comic conventions are increasingly more about pop culture stuff which appeal to comic-loving crowds rather than an event solely to buy and trade comics. San Diego's ComicCon features every buzzed about TV show and scoops movies like Cowboys & Aliens and Super8 a year in advance. Most of my entertainment choices fall into these categories, so it's really cool to see celebrities from shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer get such rabid fan recognition.

Here's James Marsters, Spike from the Buffy & Angel series:

I snapped a few pics before my husband chastised me for being sneaky; some actors have paid photo ops if you want to pose with them (and wait in hours-long lines). I wasn't really interested in that, I wanted to capture the ambiance! But, I didn't want to be tacky so I refrained after that. Thus, no pic of the incredible Patrick Stewart (of Star Trek, X-Men, and most noteworthy to me, an episode of Ricky Gervais' wickedly funny Extras).

Of course there were storm troopers and Jedis:

I thought frantically about costume options the night before (I have a Princess Leia wig) but realized 24 hours time does not result in an awesome costume. My husband and I just dressed like we usually do and enjoyed the spectacle.

But next year.

For my writerly angle, I attended Felicia Day's panel, whose main gig is writing and starring in the web series The Guild, hilarious shorts about online gamers who end up meeting in real life. The show makes a ton of gaming and nerd culture references, but overall the stories tap into the weirdness of relationships and everyday pitfalls like dating. Next to her is Vork from the series, who apparently co-writes some of the episodes.

I respect Felicia because she made this webseries from the ground up out of her love of online gaming and the desire to do something creative. She's the ultimate fan-girl turned celebrity. You can see how cool she is just by her fan interactions. Felicia acted in the last season of Buffy, and starred in producer Joss Whedon's online project Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog which also starred Neil Patrick Harris and that mildly famous Castle actor Nathan Fillion.

I didn't get a picture, but the cast of Boondock Saints, a movie I did not enjoy but my husband loves, reunited at Chicago ComicCon. One of those actors is Sean Patrick Flanery from a short-lived '90s show called The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Even though George Lucas produced this show, practically no one I know remembers it! I loved it and was sad it was cancelled. Seeing the actor appeased a little slice of adolescence for me.

I was impressed to see all the artists represented at the con. We bought a book from an independent artist of the most adorably freakish monsters. Some great art is represented, and a few authors were there, too. Someday, maybe I'll have a booth in a crowded aisle of a convention...

Have you been to a convention like this? Are you freaked out by grown men and women dressed as characters from video games and movies you've forgotten existed? Or are you marking the next event on your calendar? Do share!

*Note: all photos taken by me personally at Wizard World 2011.


  1. I'll never be able to go to a convention like this but oh, how I would love to! I've had a poster of James Marsters stuck on my kitchen door (so I can see it every day) for more years than I care to remember.

    I love Felicia Day. I started watching the Guild when I used to play World of Warcraft and she managed to capture that whole world beautifully, whilst never forgetting that behind every computer screen is a real,(if sometimes odd), person. It's great to see her guest starring in Eureka playing, what else but an adorable nerd :)

  2. I own the whole Young Indiana Jones series. It wasn't, actually, so short lived. Technically, it's 3 seasons, but I think it actually spanned about 5 years. There were just pretty long gaps between episodes after the first year or so because they did everything on location, so the episodes took a while to film, etc. The dvd collection is awesome and full of discs and discs of extras.

  3. I saw online there were a few TV movies that are included in that collection. It was a cool show and looked expensive, so I'm sure if ratings weren't great that's why it was cancelled.

    I just found the collection on Netflix instant streaming! It's my lucky day!!

  4. As far as I know, none of them were actually considered movies except, maybe, the one with Harrison Ford in it.
    And it wasn't exactly cancelled. I mean, if they made more, they would get aired. I mean, it's Lucas and Indiana Jones. But they took so long to produce, the actor got older, they didn't follow a regular release schedule so people didn't know when to watch, it just got to the point where they didn't make more.
    If you like history, you should try to rent the extra discs from the series. They have some really good documentaries on them.


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