The Philadelphia Wizard World Convention

Yesterday, my wife and I went to the Philadelphia Convention Center to the Wizard World Comic Con.  I am usually ‘can’t sleep the night before’ excited to go to a […]

Yesterday, my wife and I went to the Philadelphia Convention Center to the Wizard World Comic Con.  I am usually ‘can’t sleep the night before’ excited to go to a comic book convention and being that this was the first time I was going to the Philadelphia show, that excitement bubbled even more.

We jumped in to our Quinjet…which happens to be a 2009 Honda Accord. I was trying to build some excitement for my wife by calling it a Quinjet until I realized she had no clue what I was talking about so I peppered her with comic book lore like Quicksilver throwing punches at Thanos.  I was of the opinion she would have really been able to absorb all the show had to offer by slipping in to an Elektra or Pyslocke outfit but she opted to wear one of my Batman shirts and roll the dice.

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I’m no stranger to comic book conventions.  I go back to when they were held in conference rooms at Holiday Inns.  Back then it was a few tables lined with back issues and a handful of stands with the latest and hardest to get Kenner and Mattel toys.  They have obviously evolved into bigger than life events that now are sought out by the likes of Hollywood, Lego, video game makers, and novelty tees as far as your telescopic vision can see.

The Philly show did not disappoint.  While not as grand in scale as either New York or San Diego, the sights and sounds wandering the aisles are really no different.  Fanboys and fangirls in full cosplay regalia mix seamlessly with the crowd and our eager to strike a pose for a picture.  Multiple aisles of comic books, DVD’s with covers printed on bad color inkjet printers, toys new and old, Japanese magna and anime, a few zombies sprinkled in, comic artists ready to sign and sell their work, rows of celebrities smiling for the thousands of people coming to snap a pic of them, and tee shirts silk screened with every imaginable symbol possible.

I was only able to attend on Sunday although I heard from my friend and fellow Fanboy Factor contributor J-Man, that Friday and Saturday were jam packed.  Sunday was “kids” day at the show which meant parents and kids alike were dressed as Wolverines, tiny Jedi, Aquamen, Supermen, Captain Americas, and a few Japanese characters I didn’t recognize.  But what stood out for me as my wife and I navigated the aisles was how open the convention seemed.  In New York, you rub shoulder to shoulder with everyone from resized 2casual fans to middle aged overweight guys dressed in Spandex Cyclops outfits.  It is difficult to settle in to the show unless you go over the course of the entire weekend.  Philadelphia was different.  Sure there was some bumping in to folks as you picked through long boxes of back issues but for the most part, there was room and the show allowed you that feeling of settling in.  There was room to move around.  Room to stop and stare or pose with an X-Man and room to soak up the entire show during the course of the day because the last thing I wanted to do was to get in to a slap fight with a 16 year old that had a homemade Final Fantasy sword bigger than me.

The show had a dedicated area for celebrities like Andrew McCarthy, Sara Underwood, Dean Cain, Henry Winkler (yes, the Fonze was there), and three members of the Walking Dead cast (Norman Reedus commanded the longest lines).  There was Artist’s Alley which had impressive displays of art from creators like Bob Layton, Greg Horn, and Bob McLeod.  There were 9 aisles of exhibitors showing off their wares.  The Batmobile from the Batman television show was there, the Delorean from Back to the Future, framed artwork that cost a month’s salary, movie posters (not only did I buy a poster of the original Swamp Thing movie but I am going to do my best to hang it in my bedroom…probably on a day when my wife is at work), boxes of comic books, containers of toys, and a whole lot of Storm Troopers (thanks to the 501st).

What the Wizard World Comic Convention lacks in size, it makes up for in enjoyment.  We were able to get in close, stop and see resized 3everything, and not get bowled over by the guy sporting the Blue Beetle costume with the oversized Styrofoam beetle on his back as I dug through a bin of old Voltron toys.  My wife and I had a good time, she paid to get her picture with a few celebrities, posed with people dressed as characters she had no idea about, I enjoyed posing with the Deadpool and Pyslocke, spent too much money, and for a few hours, we were both able to revel in all that the Wizard World con had to offer.

In fact, we had such a good time, my wife told me she wanted to go with me next year which means I’m going to have to start working on her now if I expect her to wear that Elektra outfit.

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