Wizard World Chicago 2018 Photos, Part 6 of 6: Objects of Affection

cat nurse!

Space taxidermy! Me and a Sister of Plenitude from Doctor Who.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found ample enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. A few guest cancellations dampened our spirits somewhat, but we persevered and enjoyed our couple’s outing anyway, especially since Anne’s entire weekend admission was free as a consolation prize given to her and a couple thousand other fans after David Tennant’s last-minute cancellation last year.

Now that site traffic has subsided to its normal insignificant levels and all our visitors and new acquaintances have retreated to their respective internet corners, we wrap our miniseries with one last photo gallery in honor of what it’s all about: all that stuff around the convention. Everywhere we walk in an exhibit hall, we’re surrounded by millions or nifty items , whether for sale or for display only. Two organizations in particular brought their finest collections to entertain, to educate, to raise funds, and/or to treat fans to deeper glimpses into revered elements from their favorite fictional multiverses.

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2018 Photos, Part 5 of 6: Who Else We Met, What Else We Did

David Krumholtz!

It’s David Krumholtz! You might remember him from such films as The Santa Clause, Serenity, and Addams Family Values, plus the CBS series Numbers!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found ample enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. A few guest cancellations dampened our spirits somewhat, but we persevered and enjoyed our couple’s outing anyway, especially since Anne’s entire weekend admission was free as a consolation prize given to her and a couple thousand other fans after David Tennant’s last-minute cancellation last year.

Despite the Saturday morning photo op debacle, we ended up having a lot more fun than expected, in terms of meeting both fine actors met and comics creators I zealously paid in exchange for new reading material. The weeks leading up to the shindig weren’t without their stressful moments. Anne had most been looking forward to meeting TV’s Henry Winkler, a.k.a. Dr. Saperstein from Parks and Recreation, among other acclaimed characters. Despite Anne’s free pass, we weren’t officially committed to WWC till I paid for my own ticket two weeks before showtime. Naturally the Fonz canceled literally two days later.

I, in turn, had been hopping up and down in anticipation of meeting comics maker Ryan North, best known for writing the last four years’ worth of Marvel’s amazing colossal Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, plus a short but amusing Jughead arc last year.. A few days before WWC, after months of silence from North on the subject, a curious fan approached him on Twitter, only to be told that he wouldn’t be coming and had submitted cancellation of his appearance to Wizard World before they’d added him to their website in the first place. I took a few hours to compose myself and remember the pros of self-restraint. I realized I had to move on and also try not to think about the part where we would be missing a hometown show, HorrorHound Indy, which changed venue and rescheduled for the same weekend. Simply put, we had to make the most of WWC.

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2018 Photos, Part 4 of 6: Ghostbusters!

No Ghosts!

Who knew that all these decades later, Casper’s Uncle Fatso would be better remembered than he is.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found ample enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. A few guest cancellations dampened our spirits somewhat, but we persevered and enjoyed our couple’s outing anyway…

…especially after a last-minute major addition to the guest list spawned an entire additional programming track. For the Ghostbusters fans out there, Ernie Hudson — a.k.a. Winston Zedmore, “the black one” — had been scheduled to attend for a while. One week before showtime, another name popped up on the guest schedule: Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman himself. Hollywood directors are a rarity on the WWC roster (e.g. John Carpenter, Robert Rodriguez, actor/directors like Jonathan Frakes) and I wish we had opportunities to meet more of them.

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2018 Photos, Part 3 of 6: Last Call for Cosplay!

Is This a Pigeon?

Yutaro Katori from The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird. Or if you’re on Twitter a lot, the “IS THIS A PIGEON?” meme, live and in 3-D!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found ample enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. Once again we lead off a new convention miniseries with the mandatory cosplay galleries. We captured whoever we could while wandering the show floor Friday and Saturday…

…and here are all the rest, all the other cosplayers whose works we appreciated and whose souls we captured. We apologize sincerely for the hundreds of other great cosplayers we didn’t photograph, but: (a) we were trapped in lines a lot; (b) we’re getting older and recognizing fewer costumes; (c) Deadpool variants notwithstanding, we tend to sidestep characters that show up in packs of fifty; (d) I’m getting less excited every year about competing with roving herds of Instagrammers who don’t even bother to learn the names of the characters they photograph; (e) we don’t do costume contests anymore; (f) no ever runs up to us and demands we take and post their pic, which would be most welcome and super convenient for us if they did; and (g) by 5 p.m. Saturday we’d accomplished all our goals and lost our wills to walk.

If you don’t see yourself here, I’m really sorry, but I do hope you get to see a few other fellow cosplayers that you missed this weekend. We saw a lot of fine efforts all around the Stephens Center, breathing new life into favorite characters and generally enriching the WWC experience. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2018 Photos, Part 2 of 6: Movie Cosplay!

Beetlejuice ghosts!

Costume Contest winners, Group/Duo division: various ghosts from the cast of Beetlejuice, including Michael Keaton and Alec Baldwin!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found ample enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. Once again we lead off a new convention miniseries with the mandatory cosplay galleries. We captured whoever we could while wandering the show floor Friday and Saturday…

Rather than piling 50-60 photos into a single entry that takes weeks to scroll through, our process of arbitrary gallery groupings continues, this time with a batch of characters from assorted movies, both live-action and animated. Some are admittedly movie-adjacent, but the point is costumes. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2018 Photos, Part 1 of 6: Marvel and DC Cosplay!

Doctor Octopus!

Doctor Octopus is ready for battle, as is the brand new carpeting in the Stephens Center lobby!

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found ample enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. A few guest cancellations dampened our spirits somewhat, but we persevered and enjoyed our couple’s outing anyway, especially since Anne’s entire weekend admission was free as a consolation prize given to her and a couple thousand other fans after David Tennant’s last-minute cancellation last year.

Once again we lead off a new convention miniseries with the mandatory cosplay galleries. We captured whoever we could while wandering the show floor Friday and Saturday in between the autograph lines, the random bits of shopping, and the nightmarish photo-op area, whose Saturday morning state I previously described on Facebook as “a dumpster fire run over by Pamplona bulls being chased by multiple Sharknados.” Anyway: the first three chapters will represent a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the costumes that were in the house. Because I always feel the need to divide cosplayers into arbitrary categories, our first set spotlights the stars of screen and page from the multimedia worlds of Marvel and DC Comics. As always, keep in mind we’re not paid professionals with $3000 cameras. We’re a pair of geeks all too happy to share photos and give away amateur journalism for free. Enjoy!

Continue reading

We’d Rather Be Conventioning

DeLorean!

My wife Anne enjoying a ride in a DeLorean (under 88 mph) at Wizard World Chicago 2011. If only Doc Brown could chauffeur us away today.

You know that feeling when the end of a long winter is coming, but it feels like the doldrums are the only state of mind you know because they’ve pervaded your everyday world so deeply that you forget what life was like without them? Or is it just us? Did everyone else have a positively thrilling winter and we’re the only ones yearning to ditch it all for just a few days out of town? Or at least a few minutes away from early post-winter potholes?

Longtime MCC readers know Anne and I love to travel together. We look forward to our annual road trips to different parts of the United States every year. In recent years we’ve added a slate of in-state birthday outings for more quality time together. Then there’s our favorite penchant for frequenting the Midwest comic/entertainment convention scene. Even before February had ticked off its twenty-eight days with Oscar season and not much else in its favor, the two of us were already putting our heads together and planning our 2018 getaways from our present homebody status. We have a loose framework for our 2018 road trip, early into its mapping stages and too soon to share spoilers. We have no idea how to spend this year’s birthdays because it’s far too soon for such talk. Conventions, on the other hand, are already nigh.

Continue reading

Our 2017 in Jazz Hands: Another MCC Convention Photo-Op Gallery

Alex Kingston!

My personal fave from this year: at WIzard World Chicago, Alex Kingston, whom I first saw on NBC’s ER. Much later she returned as Doctor Who‘s Professor River Song. She was one among three of the Doctor’s companions we met in 2017.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover, one year ago:

Here in the doldrums of January, when not much is going on outside our humble abode, my wife Anne and I have already tentatively mapped out our 2017 convention plans, with room for additions if any wild opportunities come up in the months ahead. As an antidote to the soggy winter blues and the current political climate that has all but murdered my enjoyment of most of the internet lately, we’d like to take a look back at the actors we’ve met over the past three years with this very special photo compilation of one of our favorite convention activities: asking actors if they’ll join us in a bit of jazz hands.

That previous gallery collected our jazz-hands experiences from 2014 to 2016. Our 2017 has come and gone and, as previously reported, we broke our personal record for most events attended in a single year, which added up to a veritable chorus line full of what Broadway pros call “Fosse fingers”. We won’t come anywhere close to topping ourselves in 2018 or for the foreseeable future, so please enjoy the following clipfest starring a plethora of talented folks who have impressed us in movies or on TV who were willing to play along, including one accredited pro who was actually there on the front lines at the dawn of the jazz-hands era.

Continue reading

Chicago Photo Tribute #13: A Wizard World Chicago Epilogue of Edibles

Animal Tots!

Best food of our weekend: Park Tavern’s Animal Tots — tater tots topped with pulled pork, cheese curds, mustard, fried eggs, and gravy.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife Anne and I attended our ninth Wizard World Chicago up in Rosemont, IL, where the fans are fun, the festivities are fantastic, and the food is frightful. With rare exceptions, convention center food is never a highlight on any of our con experiences. The Chicagoland area itself has no shortage of top-notch restaurants, but virtually none of them are next door to the con. Unless you’re willing to settle or to pack a few days’ worth of picnic food to take along, you’ll have to search your surroundings and possibly venture a bit from your hotel if you want any sustenance beyond lukewarm pizza, bags of chips, or the McDonald’s a half-mile down the way or the Dunkin Donuts another half-mile past that.

This year we scared up three meals worth savoring — two of which validated our convention center parking without making us regret the food itself, and one a bit further down that served as a delicious capper to our weekend.

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2017 Photos, Part 5 of 5: Who We Met and What We Did

Billy Boyd!

Ain’t no party like a Pippin party ’cause a peppy perky poppin’ Pippin party got pizzazz!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time once more! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found much enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. Friday night left us near death by the end of our day, after a few miles’ worth of walking up and down the aisles and hallways, with breaks to go stand in lines of varying lengths and value. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

Our ninth visit to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center of course had its share of ups and downs. Some letdowns were beyond our control. Some stresses could have been avoided. Some volunteers could’ve used actual training. But for our entertainment tastes, temperaments, and frequently adjusted expectations, this year’s WWC was an overall success. It helps that we’re Doctor Who fans. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the Doctor, it’s that weird twists are all part of the game, and sometimes you just have to resign yourself to a lot of running.

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2017 Photos, Part 4 of 5: Objects of Affection

Throne Anne!

We don’t watch Game of Thrones, but I trust Anne has nailed the intended mood.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time once more! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found much enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. Friday night left us near death by the end of our day, after a few miles’ worth of walking up and down the aisles and hallways, with breaks to go stand in lines of varying lengths and value. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

In this penultimate gallery: a look at some of the nifty items around the show floor, whether for sale or for posing with. The merchandise! The snacks! The movie vehicle replicas! The Iron Throne!

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2017 Photos, Part 3: Last Call for Cosplay

Hands of Blue!

The mysterious Hands of Blue from Firefly, on the hunt for WWC guests River Tam and River Song. Their next target after that: possibly Melissa Rivers.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time once more! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found much enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. Friday night left us near death by the end of our day, after a few miles’ worth of walking up and down the aisles and hallways, with breaks to go stand in lines of varying lengths and value. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

…I know, I know, less typing, more costume photo galleries. While you enjoy I’ll just be sitting over here in a musty corner, waiting to get back to writing paragraphs at some point. ‘sokay, I ain’t jealous.

So: cosplay! From gaming, movies, TV, and cereal!

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2017 Photos, Part 2: Animation Cosplay!

Belle + Adam!

I understand Disney’s live-action Beauty & the Beast is 2017’s highest-grossing film in America. On a related note, here’s Belle and Prince Adam, waiting for you to tell your 70,000 closest friends to come here and see this photo, please and thank you.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time once more! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found much enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. Friday night left us near death by the end of our day, after a few miles’ worth of walking up and down the aisles and hallways, with breaks to go stand in lines of varying lengths and value. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

…and naturally cosplay photos are all part of the service, otherwise why bother conventioning. Last time we showed you some costumes, and now please enjoy more from myriad animated realms.

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2017 Photos, Part 1: Comics Cosplay!

Tick!

I’m so old, I remember when the Tick wasn’t an Amazon Prime superstar, and creator Ben Edlund was still writing and drawing his adventures.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time once more! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found much enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. Friday night left us near death by the end of our day, after a few miles’ worth of walking up and down the aisles and hallways, with breaks to go stand in lines of varying lengths and value. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

…and what we nearly always do is lead off a new convention miniseries with the mandatory cosplay galleries. We captured whoever we could while wandering the show floor Friday and Saturday in between the long lines and longer waits. (For a few reasons we skipped Sunday this year.) I have no idea how many chapters this particular experience will run, but the first three will represent a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the costumes that were in the house. Because I always feel the need to divide cosplayers into arbitrary categories, our first set spotlights the stars of screen and page from the world of Marvel, DC Comics, and other publishers out there, as well as from their movie and TV adaptations. Gentle reminder: there are more than two comics publishers out there. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Two Notes from Wizard World Chicago 2017

John Barrowman!

Longtime MCC readers will remember our jazz-hands photo op with TV’s John Barrowman from Wizard World Chicago 2016. Somehow this gentleman keeps coming back into our lives again and again…

It’s that time once more! This weekend my wife and I made another journey up to Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we found much enjoyment and new purchases alongside peers and aficionados of comics and genre entertainment. Friday night left us near death by the end of our day, after a few miles’ worth of walking up and down the aisles and hallways, with breaks to go stand in lines of varying lengths and value. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

We’ll be posting our photos ASAP after we get home — including some new jazz hands and, yes, all the cosplay we caught on camera — but will regrettably come up one major actor short of our original hopes.

Continue reading

Road Trip Origins, Part 2 of 2: Our First Wizard World Chicago

Wizard World Chicago 1999!

July 17, 1999, a day that shall live on in the hearts and minds of at least two geeks.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. Every tradition begins somewhere. As longtime friends and readers might expect, ours began with a convention.

Enter Wizard World Chicago 1999. It was probably the largest comic con within 500 miles of home. We figured if we could handle a 2½-hour excursion southeast to Kings Island, then we could handle driving three or four hours northwest to Chicago.

Thus did two twentysomething best friends embark on their first real road trip, arrive at their destination in the Chicagoland town of Rosemont, and walk into the largest geek convention they’d ever seen in their lives.

Right this way for our grainy 35mm photo gallery and a big batch of exhumed memories!

Road Trip Origins, Part 1 of 2: From Wallflowers to Wanderers

Anne + Randy 1999!

Flashback to 1999: two twentysomething youngsters enjoy a church fish-fry with no clue what their future held in store.

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. My son tagged along from 2003 until 2013 when he ventured off to college. From 2004 to 2011 we recounted our experiences online at length for a close circle of friends. From 2012 to the present we’ve presented our annual travelogues here on Midlife Crisis Crossover for You, the Viewers at Home, which I’m grateful includes some of those same friends. (For newcomers to the site, our complete road trip checklist will direct you to hundreds of previous entries covering our explorations, including remastered retellings of our pre-MCC outings in 2001, 2006, and 2011.

Every tradition begins somewhere. As longtime friends and readers might expect, ours began with a convention.

Right this way for a very special presentation starring our 1999 counterparts!

The Complete MCC Convention Photo-Op Jazz Hands Collection (so far)

John Barrowman!

One of many faves from Wizard World Chicago 2016: John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow), who’s game for just about any pose you suggest, several more that never would’ve occurred to you, and a few you’ll never live down.

Here in the doldrums of January, when not much is going on outside our humble abode, my wife Anne and I have already tentatively mapped out our 2017 convention plans, with room for additions if any wild opportunities come up in the months ahead. As an antidote to the soggy winter blues and the current political climate that has all but murdered my enjoyment of most of the internet lately, we’d like to take a look back at the actors we’ve met over the past three years with this very special photo compilation of one of our favorite convention activities: asking actors if they’ll join us in a bit of jazz hands.

Right this way for an easy-to-browse all-star gallery!

Wizard World Chicago 2016 Photos, Part 8 of 7: On the Occasion of Rosemont’s 60th

Rosemont 60th!

If you attended Wizard World Chicago 2016 and stayed at the Hyatt across the street, or at another nearby hotel linked through the same skybridge network, you missed this mural.

(Consider this entry the scene after the “Wizard World Chicago 2016 Photos” end credits.)

Though it’s named for the Windy City, Wizard World Chicago is held each year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in the suburb of Rosemont, which was incorporated January 20, 1956. We’ve done WWC eight times and still find something new in Rosemont every time we visit. That three-story mural in the lead photo adorned the free parking garage attached to our hotel for the weekend, known to WWC fans as “The Other Hyatt” — i.e., the one a mile north of the con and far away from all the good parties. It’s cheaper, quieter, and easy to make reservations there by accident if you don’t pay attention to the differing street addresses on Rosemont’s two Hyatts.

The Other Hyatt’s mural was our first notice about Rosemont’s 60th anniversary. On Saturday as we walked through the center corridor of the convention center parking garage, from the con over to MB Financial Park for dinner, we discovered another tribute to Rosemont’s 60th in the form of famous paintings brushed large but altered with homages to various Rosemont points of interest (some more interesting to the locals than to us out-of-towners). Anyone who didn’t walk the same walk, or who didn’t look closely while driving in our out, would’ve missed them easily. We caught a few of our favorites to share here for posterity as a sort of post-con epilogue. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Wizard World Chicago 2016 Photos, Part 7 of 7: Who We Met and What We Did

Wizard World Logo!

It’s time to watch the panels! It’s time to stroll the aisles! It’s time to meet the actors at Wizard World in style!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time of year again! Anne and I spent this weekend at Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we generally had a blast surrounded by fellow fans of comics and genre TV/movies even though parts of it resemble hard work and our feet feel battle-damaged after three days of endless walking, standing, lining up, shuffling forward in cattle-call formation, and scurrying toward exciting people and things.

Tonight’s episode: the miniseries finale! The panels we saw! The comics-related pros I met! Some light whining, but not too much! And more!

Right this way for photos, comics, stories, and one surprise actor cameo!

%d bloggers like this: