I would put this in the paper forum, but the reality is that Wizard World is no longer a comic book event. DC and Marvel were not there and they seem to be aligning Comic-Con instead. So, without the big two there and Wizard only supplying mostly artists for signing, I passed on the comic side of the event and focused on the celebrities. The celebrities included Bruce Campbell, Patrick Stewart, James Marsters, Avery Brooks, Walter Koening and Ernie Hudson. All of which were awesome in person. Koening thanked people for expressing sympathy for his son's death and was cool with taking a picture with me at no charge. Avery Brooks signed a baseball I had that I may trying to get the DS9 crew to sign. Jake Sisko, Mr. Lofton, was also signing next to him and told me that someone stole Avery's baseball on the last day of shooting. It was the one thing that Avery wanted to keep from the show. We both agreed that it was ebayed.
James Masters' line was second only to Campbell and Stewart, he was flirting with all the girls which they enjoyed at least according to my friend's wife. When she was going through line, we heard a loud applause as Sir Patrick Stewart entered the room. The rumor was his line was out the building. So, my wife and I did our photos/autographs with Brent Spiner, Data, and John De Lancie, Q. Both were really cool, but De Lancie was fighting a cold and fist bumped instead of shaking hands. I was leaving when Bruce Campbell walked right past me. We exchanged hellos as he was whisked away like the President. The guy had ten people around him and I was pretty amazed he saw me and acknowledge my presence in that time. My wife was in line for her Bruce Campbell photo when I decided to see how bad the Patrick Stewart line. I got there to see only three people were in line. He was wearing an England shirt, I told him he was fairly confident about wearing that today. He laughed and said no, not really. I ran back to my friend to get his copy of Christmas Carol signed before Stewart left and while the line was short. I told him my friend enjoyed the movie and he said good. I thanked him for coming and said it was no problem. According to his press agent, Stewart was going to stay all day until every autograph was signed. As Stewart was leaving my friend and I almost ran into him. Bruce Campbell was cool with my wife and friend as well. He called my wife, baby and took a Superman stance photo with my friend who was wearing his S shirt. Another friend who I gave my ticket to get his autograph, said he was awesome to everyone in line.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of shopping. As well as a stop for a ride in the Delorean from Back to the Future. It was as cool as you can imagine, they even had the hoover board inside it. We took pictures in it for a donation to the Michael J. Fox foundation. We took our picture with Patrick Stewart at the end of the day who was again quite gracious and fun. As we were in line Adam West headed to the bathroom right next to us and did a skit with his hair when he came, he got a standing O. Sadly, West was the only one where I heard complaints due to his autograph being $60 and his photo only $40 which was a giant reverse of everyone else. Also, if I had known how small the line for his photo was I would have done it. All in all, the photos were some what disorganized thanks to little or no signs and having the bathroom right next to the photo shoot. The lines were fast to get through. The only bad part was we didn't get our Patrick Stewart photo as we left since the Bruce Campbell pictures were slowing things down. It was probably my greatest dork day to date. Also a special thanks to Ernie Hudson and Tara for being awesome to my wife while I was getting the Star Trek autographs.
I have been to Wizard World a few times in the last year and this was the best one. Thanks to how unorganized it was for the most part. No one knew where lines started or stopped, so it was fairly easy to get autographs. The fact that no one no showed when the event was going on was nice too. Too many times, people cancel or change days at the last minute like Alfred Molina, Mick Foley and Starbuck from the new Battlestar. Shatner canceled out a few weeks ago, as awesome of having the best three Captains in Starfleet under one roof would have been, it would caused more chaos plus I would have spent all day getting the autograph instead of doing everything else. He at least had some common courtesy to cancel before the event. Plus, his show getting picked up probably had more to do with then anything. Hopefully, Wizard World will follow Froggy photos example of pre-ordering tickets as well as moving a line along. Yet, they have gotten better over the years. So, if you can get to Philly, today, I highly recommend it.
My friend and I got a pic with Ernie Hudson, another friend and I paid the $10 to sit in the DeLorean (the $$ went to Michael J. Fox's Parkinsons research charity, which I thought was great).
It's interesting how the charging-for-autographs thing has gone through the roof. At one of the early Wizard World Philly events, I got a pic and autograph from Dante from Clerks for free. This year, the cigarette marketing guy who has ONE SCENE in Clerks was there charging $20 an autograph! Seriously?
Wrestlers in attendance: Iron Sheik & Volkoff of course, Val Venis, Bushwacker Luke, Virgil (he will be there until the end of time), Greg Valentine, Snitsky, Raven, Lilian Garcia & Tara (sharing a booth...my friend shelled out to get a pic w/them both). Ted DiBiase and Al Snow were advertised but no-showed.
It *is* more of a pop culture event than a comic con now...but the place was packed to the gills on Saturday. I miss getting the panels with DC/Marvel/etc. hyping upcoming stories and doing Q&A's...there was almost none of that this year, and Wizard's presence at their own con was anemic.
Marsters' and Stewart's Q&As were great though.
"Unless you did something unspeakable with a cactus, 'Shaqtus' is not a real word." - Santino Marella
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