It’s that time of year again! Anne and I are at Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we’re so far having a blast even though parts of it resemble hard work and our feet feel battle-damaged after two days of endless walking, standing, lining up, shuffling forward in cattle-call formation, and scurrying toward exciting people and things. This year marks our first time splurging on VIP passes for a con as an experiment, and the first time in ten years that we’re attending three full days. We normally make a point of skipping Sundays, but we had multiple reasons for going overboard this once.
Pictured above: my haul so far from their Artists Alley, always an interesting place to scout out new comics and graphic novels. I’m annoying to a lot of folks in there that I tend to avoid prints, posters, sketches-while-I-wait, prose novels, zombies, erotica, amateur manga, and jewelry, but within my annoyingly rigorous shopping guidelines, I can usually find a few items to catch my eye.
WWC is always held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Spacious accommodations, lousy concessions, pretty landscaping. In a rare move, WWC reserved the entire convention center this year rather than risk sharing it with other incongruous crowds like antique coin collector clubs or dental hygiene seminars or whatever.
Taking photos of projection screens always looks tacky, but that doesn’t always stop me. I’ve attended a few panels so far, including Saturday’s 3 p.m. Firefly Q&A with special guests Summer Glau (who also costarred in the equally criminally truncated Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles), Adam Baldwin (who helped scar my young psyche in Full Metal Jacket), and THE Nathan Fillion, costar of Much Ado About Nothing. They clearly enjoyed each other’s company, the crowd loved them, and over half my Saturday was spent waiting in their respective lines.
I also met someone from The Wire, which in itself means this was an A-plus weekend, and we’re not even done yet.
At dinner Friday our waiter was a comics fan who planned to attend sometime this weekend. After we ordered, we spent a few minutes chatting about Marvel’s Secret Wars, and at the end of our meal he sketched on our receipt, no charge. For the sketch, I mean, not the food. If only.
The perks with my VIP admission included this trading card for which I have zero use. I haven’t collected geek trading cards in about twenty years, it has no sports or gaming stats on it, there’s no original painted art anywhere on it by some top comics artist, and it’s not numbered as part of a special series. If anyone’s interested in owning this rare gem, I’m asking eleventy billion dollars OBO.
Each of our passes also came with two free copies of The Walking Dead #1 with completely different variant covers from the last hundred free copies of The Walking Dead #1 they gave us at previous Wizard World shows. We have no idea what to do with four more copies of the comics equivalent of Malibu Stacy With New Hat, but they’re ours to keep or turn into cool paper airplanes.
Once we’ve finished attending the final day, returned home, recuperated and regenerated any lost limbs, rest assured as always we’ll be sharing the results and photos later this week on MCC — costumes, actors, anecdotes, and more!
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UPDATED 9/3/2015: Follow along with our pics and stories in this special MCC miniseries: