If Balticon can be described as a big family, then Wizard World is gathering every family’s idiot cousins and putting them in one very confined room. I’d looked forward to Wizard World for a while. I always wanted to go, but I always seemed to miss it. So my intrepid editor, Skott, got me a press pass with the simple instruction of have fun and write about it later.
That’s where my reference to idiot family members comes in. The people who run this little shindig tried to have a semblance of order by having volunteers yell at people who go in through the out door (guilty), having a copious amount of lines with no sense of purpose and having as few people as possible to help out at the ticket lines. People with express tickets sat in the same line as people who bought regular tickets. I almost went off on the people at the registration desk when they couldn’t find my name or the name of this wonderful little site on their list. Until they looked under “The Nerd Signal”. Lo and behold there I was! Then I got to stand in a line for an hour as they opened the doors 20 minutes late.
Does it sound like I am having fun yet Skott?
Ok, enough sniping. In spite of organizational skills that would make a group of chimps proud I did enjoy myself. To a point. Too many people in such a surprisingly small space made me feel cramped. The floor layout managed to waste the most amount of open area imaginable. Oh, and I almost managed to knock over Walter Koenig while trying to get through the autograph booths (mad props to him for coming out after suffering a terrible loss, you truly are the man).
They had actors from some of the greatest sci-fi franchises around. There were a few we had to Google to figure out who they were, but they were mostly recognizable names like Ernie “Ghostbusters” Hudson, Gil “Buck Rogers” Gerard, Patrick Stewart, and Johnny Fairplay. Whoa, back up. Johnny Fairplay? That tool from Survivor who lied about his grandmother dying? Sure enough there were several reality “stars” there. I vomit a little when I use the term star to describe them. Peter Brady, or whatever his name is, was there with his wife Adrianne Curry who has to be twice as annoying in person as she is on TV. They had no business being there. So why were they? As a consolation almost no one visited their booths. Sad, but sci-fi fans aren’t so easily fooled. Except by the cosplay women offering half-hearted massages for $10 a pop.
I am amazed how many talented artists there are that I have never heard of. Men and women who I watched bang out fantastic pieces of work (with a pen!) in under a few minutes. I was impressed. Some not so much, but they were few and far between. There were even two girls who couldn’t have been more than high school age who created very impressive manga. The pros would be proud to know their art form is in capable hands.
One major thing lacking this year was the fact there were few panels. Skott recommended I see James Marsters. Good call. He was funny, honest, and knew how to work a crowd. And I hate to admit I thought he was British! Now that is acting. I wanted to go to TNG panel, but I was spent by that point. Bruce Campbell’s was impossible to even get near. The rest I had very little interest in seeing.
And now for the real heroes of the day: people who spend countless hours coming up with amazing costumes. This is one time of the year where they can be a star. Considering how much work went into their costumes I gladly gave it to them. They earned it big time. From The steampunk crew, to the roaming Dalek, and even a Transformer. I even got a hug from Rorschach. He was holding up a sign offering free hugs. How could I resist? I tip my hat to you guys. You are awesome. That right there made the day worthwhile. My fellow geeks going all out for something they enjoy.