I will admit it – I am not a comic book reader. The occasional ‘Archie” back in the 90’s, maybe. But ask me the origin of any random character and I will have to use my “phone-a-friend” option. With that in mind, Rich and I try to attend the big comic conventions that hit New York each year, as he is a comic reader. This past weekend was no different, when Rich, Handel and I pounded the pavement at the Penn Plaza Pavilion for Wizard World’s Spring Edition of their Big Apple Comic Con.
There is a stigma associated with Comic-Cons. We all know that. Most people immediately think nerdy guys and girls in funny costumes pining to find an issue of “Amazing Fantasy 15” or drooling over Star Trek action figures. But really, Cons are much, much more. It’s not all comics and toys. It is generations of people – old to young, coming together for an event showcasing so many of the pop culture items they love and adore. It’s so interesting to walk around the convention floor looking at all the different things that vendors bring to the masses. Years’ worth of collectibles, rare comic books in exceptional quality, figure busts, fantastic personal artwork, even personalized comic sneakers make the cut. If you wanted it, chances are you found it at the Big Apple Comic Con this year. There were representations at the Con from soup to nuts, showcasing NYC’s best in comics, toys, video games, movies/TV, wrestling, MMA, anime/manga and so much more.
Attendees got to head over to the portion of the floor known as “Artist Alley” and meet some of the best artists in the industry today – several of whom we met and purchased artwork from. Some you may recognize, like Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams, Greg Horn and Arthur Suydam. But there were also independent artists like Dan Khanna, David Cortes, Heather Kreiter and Tim Smith who we got to talk to and become fans of. Watching several artists sketch work right there was amazing – all the skill they put to paper is great. Some were even using iPads to draw! It is certainly a sight to see.
There are always celebrity guests at Cons, and this event was no different. Amongst others, fans got to meet the likes of James Marsters (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Morena Baccarin (“Firefly”, “V”), Kristanna Loken (“Terminator 3”), Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”), Dan Fogler (“Balls of Fury”), Chandler Riggs (“The Walking Dead”) and Dawn Marie (ECW). It was surely a great time for the thousands of people who waited patiently on line to get in – it was for us. Check out MTR's Facebook page to see all of the photos we took, and head to www.wizardworld.com to see what else is in store this year.
I recommend that the next time Wizard World hits your city, you get tickets and check it out. Each convention has its own pulse, and you are surely never to see the same thing twice. I have an outsider appreciation for these types of events, and I am sure you will gain one too if you step outside the box.