Over this past weekend, the Wizard World Comic Con made its latest stop in Austin, Texas. The convention attracted thousands of comic book, movie, and TV lovers from all over Texas, who flocked to the Austin Convention Center to be a part of Wizard World’s fantastic event. I was lucky enough to be a part of all of the madness, and see some great costumes, celebrities, and comic book/movie related merchandise.
Although Friday convention goers were mostly comprised of fans looking to shop around at stations set up by local vendors, the Saturday crowd, for the most part, were people looking for autographs and pictures with their favorite TV and Movie personalities. Among the guests on Saturday were: Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, CM Punk, Lou Ferrigno, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, and Patrick Stewart. Though I probably shouldn’t have been, I was absolutely amazed at how many Trekkies showed up. It was overwhelming how many people weren’t there for the comic related attractions, but for the meet and greet and panel with the Star Trek cast.
As I said earlier, Friday seemed to draw more of the comic book crowd, as local vendors were already set up, and the TV personalities hadn’t come yet. Perhaps the two biggest comic artists that showed up were Neal Adams (Batman, X-Men), and Will Conrad (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, X-Men). Both were there gladly talking with fans, and signing copies and original prints that were displayed at their section of the floor. I was lucky enough to have Neal Adams sign a print for me, and talk with him for a brief moment. During our conversation he told me that he is currently working on the next edition of The First X-Men.
I have to vent about something, and that is the fact that some stores still set up shop at comic cons not willing to bargain with costumers. To me it is ridiculous for stores to show up to a comic convention with all of their merchandise set up and when somebody wants to purchase items in bulk, they cross their arms and say, “It’s priced as marked.” I understand that in some cases, the marked price is as low as you can go. However, when a vendor says the same thing to every costumer, on every piece of merchandise, and their prices aren’t even marked down at all, I think that’s garbage.
Something that surprised me was the lack of horror movie related merchandise. Not only was it advertised on the convention website that there would be horror merchandise, but being as close to Halloween as the convention was, I figured that the inclusion of it would be a given. Never-the-less, horror movie and TV merchandise was kept to a bare minimum, which in the end was completely over-shadowed by the excess of everything else. There was an over-abundance of comic related shirts, action figures, and books, which was the main draw for most convention goers anyway.
One thing that you can always count on at a comic convention, no matter what time of the year, is that you’re going to see costumes. This weekend’s comic con being so close to Halloween was no exception, as hundreds of people came in dressed as characters from their favorite comic books, movies, and TV shows. Although most costumes were either related to Batman or Star Trek, a few comic fans creatively strayed from the path by showing up in some off the wall apparel (IE: the Terrence and Phillip pic above).
Overall Wizard World put on an amazing comic convention in Austin. The amount of different ground they covered from local vendors, artists, and various celebrities was extremely vast. Dates have already been posted for some of the Wizard World Conventions for 2013, and they will be at various locations throughout the U.S. If you find yourself anywhere near the convention sites within the next year, be sure to check it out all the great attractions that Wizard World has to offer.