Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2014 Report! (Including an Interview with Lou Ferrigno)

It is a truth universally acknowledged . . . No. Let me rephrase. Waiting sucks.

I was in line at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. Shoulders smarting, back stiff as a statute, legs wobbly like a wooden easel, I was waiting for Josh Peck, a guest at this year’s (August 21-24) Chicago Wizard World Con. Josh is best known for starring opposite Drake Bell in the Nicklodeon show Drake & Josh. My daughter loved that show, and I was standing in line for her.

Josh finally arrived, and a great cheer went up–until he realized neither he nor his handler had any photos for him to sign. So we waited another 20 minutes. Chatted him up (his take on appearing in the remake of Red Dawn: “Awesome.”). Someone asked if he would yell “Megan!”, his signature line from Drake & Josh; he politely declined. Oh, and I got a selfie.

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(OK, it wasn’t a selfie; I asked someone to take the pic. Shows you how superannuated I am.)

Josh was friendly but ill-at-ease. You could tell he was a convention novice, as opposed to, say, Lou Ferrigno. A regular at Wizard World cons, Lou is best known for his role as the Hulk in the 1978 CBS television series. I got a chance to talk to him for a few minutes.

Me: How did you get started doing conventions?

Lou: I was out with a friend of mine one time, and I went to a place in Hollywood where they had a convention. I walked around, and they kept telling me I ought to do a convention because the fans really want my autograph. I’m so used to giving autographs, and I thought, why not have a table? That’s how it started. It’s a good living.

Me: How long have you been doing conventions?

Lou: About 15 years.

Me: What are some crazy fan stories you can share?

Lou: I had a woman one time who came to me about a year ago, and she had a Hulk tattoo on her leg, and she had my signature tattooed on her leg. She had both legs done, and she wanted to take a picture, and her husband is standing there looking like, every morning I have to get up and look at my wife’s legs with your signature and the Hulk’s picture.

Me: I guess we saw where her loyalties lie. How did you get into character to play the Hulk?

Lou: It came naturally to me. I use pantomiming, acting without speaking, and they just loved it. I used the sensitive part of me to become the character.

Me: You have talked a lot about an actual actor playing the Hulk versus CGI. You’ve said people have told you they preferred your version.

Lou: Over 90% of the people have said that.

Me: Why do you think that is?

Lou: CGI cannot compete with a human Hulk. There is no sensitivity. The Hulk, the character I created, with his vulnerability and sensitivity—it can never be replaced.

Me: When I was growing up, my mother didn’t let me watch the Hulk because she said he was “vulgar.” Did you ever get negative comments from people who didn’t like the character?

Lou: The only negative was a lot of mothers hated me because their sons ripped their shirts and walked around the house that way.

hulk

Another headliner was Stan Lee, whose first autograph session was scheduled for 5:00pm on Friday. I had paid online for an autograph ($80!), and though the ticket was good all weekend, I thought going the first day would help me eschew half-day lines. At 4:00, I strolled to his booth, saw about 20 people standing there, and got in line. Wonderful! I thought. Then: this doesn’t seem right. Next, I noticed three things in the span of 10 seconds:

  1. The Stan Lee VIP badges around the necks of the people in front of me;
  2. To my left, a separate line of proletariat-looking people, where I clearly belonged; and
  3. A con staffer walking toward me.

Once I was moved to the correct line, I waited about an hour, which isn’t bad. At one point, someone said Stan Lee was somewhere in the exhibit hall posing for pictures FREE. I found him, took this picture, and noticed something strange. Do you see it too?

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Five points to Gryffindor if you recognize that this person isn’t Stan Lee. I don’t know whether he was a cosplayer, a doppleganger, or something else, but I later got a candid (read: surreptitious) pic of the real deal.

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Stan was terrific, charming and humble, and his line managers took a bend-but-don’t-break approach that I appreciated. In fact, all the crowds were well managed. One helpful feature was a signing schedule at every celebrity’s booth, like this one at Josh Peck’s.

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Despite being the biggest event in the Wizard World portfolio, Chicago was a delight. I did a lot of waiting, but that is unavoidable, and I passed the time gawking at some world-class cosplayers. The rooms were laid out well, prices were clearly advertised, most things happened on time, and I saw little tension among staff or attendees. CGC was doing comic book grading on site, and that also went well, probably because Stan Lee had his own booth.

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If you go to only one Wizard World con ever, make it Chicago. You’ll have a ball. Here are a few more pics to show you why.

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No, this isn’t security removing an unruly attendee; it’s just a cadre of cosplayers.

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The long and short of it.

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Doin’ the Cybertron shuffle.

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Looking forward to the Ant Man movie in 2015.

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Even the queen had a good time hanging with a few (dis)loyal subjects.

WWE’s The Wyatt Family and Stars from The Walking Dead to Appear at Wizard World Ohio Comic Con 2014

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Press Release:

WWE® Superstars The Wyatt Family™, Sean Astin, Giancarlo Esposito, ‘The Walking Dead’ Stars Alanna Masterson, Andrew J. West, Jon Bernthal, Top Comics Creators At Pop Culture Festival At Greater Columbus Convention Center.

COLUMBUS, Ohio, August 28, 2014 – Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Emily Kinney, Alanna Masterson, Andrew J. West and Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead,” Karl Urban (Star Trek, The Bourne Supremacy), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and WWE® Superstars The Wyatt Family™ are among the celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World Ohio Comic Con, October 31-November 2 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. It is the 14th of 16 events scheduled in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

Yeun, Reedus, Kinney, Masterson, West, Urban and Englund will appear on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1-2; the WWE stars (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper) will attend on Saturday only; Bernthal is scheduled for all three days.

Other notables scheduled include Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Rudy), Giancarlo Esposito (“Once Upon a Time,” “Breaking Bad”), the “Charmed” trio of Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Brian Krause, Manu Bennett (The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey, “Arrow”), Eric Roberts (“Doctor Who,” The Dark Knight), Jason David Frank (“Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”), Josh Gates (“Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter”), Verne Troyer (Austin Powers, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) and Steve Gonsalves (“Ghost Hunters”).

Superstar comics creators scheduled to attend include Patrick and Shelly Block (“Donald Duck,” “Uncle Scrooge”), Michael Golden (“Hulk,” “Star Wars”), Kevin Maguire (“Justice League,” “Batman Confidential”), James O’Barr (“The Crow”), Barry Kitson (“Thor,” “Spider-Man”), Joanna Estep (“The Fantastic Four,” “Bravest Warriors”), Renee Witterstaetter (“She Hulk,” “Avengers”) and Rob Prior (“Heavy Metal,” “Spawn the Impaler”).

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, cosplay, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Ohio Comic Con show hours are Friday, Oct. 31, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place all three days at the event, with celebrity Q&A’s, the Wizard World Film Festival, comics-themed sessions, costume contest, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Sunday, Nov. 2, is also Kids Day, with an array of activities and programming specially designed for the younger Wizard World fans.

Ohio Comic Con is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor, often stopping by the Show Stage, the ideal place to see and be seen.

For more on the 2014 Wizard World Ohio Comic Con, visit http://wizd.me/OhioPR.

About Wizard World:

Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at http://www.wizd.me/PR.

 

Programming for Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2014 Includes Bruce Campbell, David Boreanaz

Bruce Campbell

Press Release:

‘Guardians Of The Galaxy,’ David Boreanaz Q&A’s, Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival, Creator Sessions, TV & Film Screenings Headline Programming At Wizard World Chicago Comic Con

‘Gotham’ Screening, ‘Star Trek: TNG,’ Reunion, ‘Doctor Who,’ John Barrowman, Karl Urban, Stan Lee Sessions, Game Show, Leonard Nimoy Via Skype, Speed Dating, Film Festival Among 150+ Hours Of Panels At Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, August 21-24


ROSEMONT, Ill., August 13, 2014
 – In its largest and most diverse programming schedule to date, Wizard World Chicago Comic Con will feature more than 150 hours of Q&A’s, movie and TV screenings, special events, creator sessions, meet and greets, parties, fan-driven panels and more over four full days at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Thursday through Sunday, August 21-24Most programming is included as part of the standard event admission.

Sure to be among the most popular panels are the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival (13 film screenings and several themed panels) and exclusive screening of the highly anticipated new Fox drama series “Gotham” (Sat., 1 p.m.). Q&A’s featuring Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy standouts Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Karen Gillan (Nebula) and Michael Rooker (Yondu) (Saturday, 5:15 p.m.), “Doctor Who” stars Matt Smith and Gillan(Sunday, 10 a.m, requires additional ticket), David Boreanaz (“Bones,” “Angel”) (Saturday, 2 p.m.), John Barrowman (“Torchwood,” “Arrow”) (Saturday, 4 p.m.), James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Caprica”) (Friday, 1:30 p.m.), Karl Urban (“Buffy,” “Angel”) (Saturday, 11 a.m.), Stan Lee (Sunday, 11 a.m.), a Skype session with Leonard Nimoy (“Star Trek”) (Sunday, 2:30 p.m.) and other celebrities are also big fan favorites. “Bruce Campbell vs. the Audience” (Sat., 6:30 p.m.) as well as Wizard World Presents: Bruce Campbell’s Fanatic’s Face-Off, a frenetic game show (Friday, 7 p.m.) are among the offerings hosted by the inimitable star.

Some of the other Wizard World Chicago Comic Con programming highlights include the following:

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation” Reunion Event, hosted by William Shatner and featuring series stars Sir Patrick StewartJonathan FrakesLevar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner and Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”) (Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Rd., Sunday, 5 p.m. requires additional ticket)

  • Arrow” stars Katie Cassidy and Michael Jai White in a discussion of all things Starling City (Sat., 5 p.m.); and “How to Survive a Killer TV Show” with Sarah Wayne Callies and Scott Wilson(Sun., noon)

  • FILM:CON Presents Special Guest Kevin Conroy, the animated voice of Batman in dozens of films and shows, includes screening of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and discussion (Saturday, 6 p.m.)

  • Individual Q&A’s with Josh Peck (Fri., 3 p.m.), J. August Richards (Fri., 4:30 p.m.), Erica Durance (Sat., noon), Jason David Frank (Sat., 3:30 p.m.), Nicole Behaire (“Sat., 4 p.m.), Peter Criss(Fri., 5 pm.), “Elvira” Cassandra Peterson (Sun., 1 p.m) and others.

  • Informative discussions with noted comics creators Marv Wolfman, Tom Richmond, Jason Yungbluth, Danny Fingeroth, Dan Mishkin, Alan J. Porter, Gillian Porter, Michael Golden, Jenn Blake, Leinil Yu, Kevin West and more

  • Screening of The Crow (Saturday, 7 p.m., preceded by 6:30 p.m. “Creating the Crow with James O’Barr”) as well as exclusive viewing of the pilot of “Scorpion” (Sat., 3 p.m.)

  • Evening Events including “Wizard World Game Night” (Thurs., 8:30 p.m., Five Roses Pub, 5509 Park Place) (21+ only); “Creator Pro Am: Drink & Draw, (Fri., 8:30 p.m., Five Roses Pub) (21+ only); Wizard World After Party (Sat., 8:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 Bryn Mawr) (21+ only)

  • Con Radio Live” with host Mo Lightning and Aaron Sagers, with special guest Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Saturday, 4:30 p.m.)

  • Costume contests for adults (Saturday, 7:15 p.m.) and kids (Sunday, 2:30 p.m.), plus cosplay-themed sessions with featured cosplayer Eric “The Smoke” Moran and others

  • Wizard World Comic Con Film Festival, featuring selected shorts and music videos (Thurs., 3-8 p.m., Fri. noon-5 p.m., Sat., 10-11:30 a.m., Sun., 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)

  • Sci-Fi Speed Dating (Thurs., 5 p.m.; Fri., 2 p.m.5 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.2 p.m.4 p.m..; Sun., 11 a.m.2 p.m.), 90-minute sessions

  • Meet-and-greets with Jason David Frank (Fri., 11:30 a.m.; Sat., 9:30 a.m.; Sun., 10:30 a.m.) (paid events) and Joel Hodgson (Sat., 3 p.m.)

  • Kids Day (Sunday), with an array of kids and family activities designed just for the younger set, highlighted by the Half-Hour Of Power With The Green Power Ranger (1:45 p.m.)

Unless noted, programming events take place in the designated General Programming Rooms at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. VIP tickets or additional costs may apply to ensure access to select activities, as noted. (*Note: Frank and Hodgson Meet & Greets, “Doctor Who” panel with Smith and Gillan, “Star Trek: TNG” Reunion require separate respective tickets.)

A full list of Wizard World Chicago Comic Con programming is available at http://www.wizardworld.com/programming-ch.html (subjects, guests, times and rooms subject to change).

Wizard World Chicago is the 10th of 16 events scheduled in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions. For more on the event, visit http://www.wizd.me/ChicagoPR.

About Wizard World:

Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at http://www.wizd.me/PR.

Michael Golden to Debut Dangerous Curves at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2014

August 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Comic Books, Convention News, Illinois

Press Release:

“Dangerous Curves” Around the Bend at Wizard Chicago! (Thanks to artist Michael Golden)

Dangerous CurvesChicago– Fresh off the presses, the new hardcover, deluxe format, full color sketchbook by Michael Golden will debut at the upcoming Wizard World Chicago show, Aug. 21-24, at his table in the Featured Artist section of this year’s show.

“Michel Golden: Dangerous Curves” is a lush book, at 48 pages, full of powerful pieces by this renowned artist and storyteller.

But why call it “Dangerous Curves?”

Because the name is multi-layered. Golden is known for his strong female characters with their piercing eyes (and yes, curves). And indeed, Michael always says that the first thing he draws for any female character IS the eyes–the window to the soul. And each of Golden’s women express their own strength and individuality on every page, drawn in an authentic and complimentary style.

But “Dangerous Curves” also features other characters–those that lurk around the corner as well as those that seek adventure–providing a good sampling of familiar characters, human and otherwise, providing the drama and/or confronting it.

Being the master storyteller that Michael is, known for his work on “G.I. Joe,” “Spawn,” “Bucky O’Hare,” “The ‘Nam” and much more, of course each piece in this book tells a story of it’s own on each page, with a solid and substantial art style that roots them firmly in your imagination.

In addition to the new book making it’s debut at the show, with the artist in attendance to sign it, all VIP packages for the show will include a free Michael Golden poster in a limited edition. Ask for details on the Wizard World convention website!

“Michael Golden: Dangerous Curves” is limited to 1,000 copies. So, if you haven’t ordered yours from Diamond Distribution, you can still order one while supplies last from evaink@aol.com

For more information on the artist or for ordering, contact evaink@aol.com

Steven Yeun, Dave Bautista Headline Celebrity Guests At Inaugural Wizard World Richmond Comic Con

Drax

Press Release:

Steven Yeun, Dave Bautista, Manu Bennett, James Marsters Headline Celebrity Guests At Inaugural Wizard World Richmond Comic Con, September 12-14

WWE® Hall of Famer Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat™, Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Tudyk, Eliza Dushku, Michael Madsen, Jon Bernthal, Michael Rooker, Top Comics Creators At Pop Culture Festival At Greater Richmond Convention Center

RICHMOND, Va., July 7, 2014 – Steven Yeun, Michael Rooker and Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead,” Adam West and Burt Ward of “Batman”, Manu Bennett (The Hobbit, “Arrow”), Dave Bautista (a.k.a. WWE® Superstar Batista™, also starring in the summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy), WWE® Hall of Famer Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat™ and James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Torchwood”) are among the celebrities scheduled to attend the inaugural Wizard World Richmond Comic Con, September 12-14 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. It is the 11th of 16 events scheduled in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

Yeun will appear on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13-14; the WWE stars will attend on Saturday only; the others are scheduled for all three days.

Other notables scheduled include Eliza Dushku (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Once Upon a Time,” “Breaking Bad”), Alan Tudyk (“Firefly,” Wreck-It Ralph), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, “24”), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, “Heroes”), Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk,” “The King of Queens”), Jason David Frank (“Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”), Sara Underwood (“Attack of the Show”) and the Boondock Saints duo of Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco.

Superstar comics creators scheduled to attend include Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams (“Batman,” “X-Men”), Ethan Van Sciver (“Green Lantern,” “Flash”), Kevin Eastman (Co-Creator, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”), Kevin Maguire (“Justice League,” “Batman Confidential”), John Tyler Christopher (“Amazing Spider-Man,” “X-Men”), Michael Golden (“Hulk,” “Star Wars”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”) and Greg Horn (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Avengers”).

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, cosplay, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Richmond Comic Con show hours are Friday, Sept. 12, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place all three days at the event, with celebrity Q&A’s, the Wizard World Film Festival, comics-themed sessions, costume contest, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Sunday, Sept. 14, is also Kids Day, with an array of activities and programming specially designed for the younger Wizard World fans.

Richmond Comic Con is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor, often stopping by the Show Stage, the ideal place to see and be seen.

For more on the 2014 Wizard World Richmond Comic Con, visit http://www.wizardworld.com/home-richmond.html.

About Wizard World:

Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

Wizard World 2014 Schedule
January 24-26 – Wizard World Portland Comic Con
February 7-9 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con
March 7-9 – Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con
March 28-30 – Wizard World Louisville Comic Con
April 4-6 – Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con
May 2-4 – Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con
May 30-June 1 – Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con
June 19-22 – Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
August 1-3 – Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con
August 21-24 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
September 12-14 – Wizard World Richmond Comic Con
September 26-28 – Wizard World Nashville Comic Con
October 2-4 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con
October 31-November 2 – Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
November 7-9 – Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con
November 21-23 – Wizard World Reno Comic Con

Minneapolis Wizard World Con Report!

My feet were hurting. Throbbing, in fact. With blisters on each ball and heel, even short walks delivered a four square of pain. Ever had a pebble trapped in your shoe? How about a shuriken? Watching me walk, people must have thought, “The poor man. Must have forgotten his crutches. How can he get around on two broken legs?”

I was in this predicament thanks to walking twenty-seven miles in one weekend, mostly around the latest Wizard World Comic Con, which was held May 2-4 in Minneapolis. It was that city’s first-ever Wizard World con, and everything from guests to vendors to venue—the 87-room, 475,000-square-foot downtown convention center—was spectacular.

Headlining the event were Matt Smith and Karen Gillan from Doctor Who. Gillan, a former model, played traveling companion to Smith’s Doctor in series 5-7. I saw her on Saturday, smiling and chatting, her hair in a bun, amid a sea of fans. Smith showed up the next day, and the two had a joint photo op—the third time in North America that this had happened (the first two were the Louisville Comic Con and the St. Louis Comic Con). Other stars were William Shatner, Robert Englund, Ernie Hudson, Ralph Macchio, Neal Adams, Mike Grell, and Lou Ferrigno (my interview with Ferrigno will appear on ConventionScene in a few days). Other events included celebrity one-on-ones, panel discussions, a film festival, RPG tournaments, speed dating, at least 75 exhibitors, and a cosplay contest.

I caught most of Ralph Macchio’s one-on-one session on Saturday afternoon. Now 52 years old, Macchio delights in the Karate Kid franchise, though it used to bother him. In the early 90s, he said, he struggled to find acting work, and there were days he stayed hidden at home because he couldn’t face another “wax on, wax off” encounter. But film quotes were not all that fans said to him. Some told him how the movie had helped them deal with bullying, or it had changed their lives in other ways. When he thought about those people, he realized he would be “foolish” to reject his legacy. Ralph Macchio is a funny, humble guy who likes the Karate Kid re-make (though he doesn’t see it as “iconic”) and who is hoping his future includes more voice acting (he has done several episodes of Robot Chicken). And do his two kids understand their dad’s place in cinematic history? Macchio told the story of his son Daniel (hmm . . . coincidence?) coming across a trove of magazines and other memorabilia from the 80s. The boy raced into his sister’s bedroom and said, “Julia! Dad was huge and we missed it!”

Minneapolis was cold this May—unseasonably so, according to one native, which is just my luck—but the city was grand, the people welcoming, and the comic con a smash hit. If you weren’t there, browse the photos below to see what you missed. Next I am off to ConCarolinas (May 30-June 1) in the Queen City, Charlotte. Maybe I’ll see you!

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Day 1 of Minneapolis’s first-ever Wizard World

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Can’t wait to get in!

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I had trouble finding a parking spot, so . . .

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Robert Englund plans his next nightmare.

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Fabulous costumes!

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Deadpool! Get out of the picture!

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A couple of convention security officers.

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Minnesota isn’t quite the Caribbean, but this pirate didn’t mind.

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Look just under the poster of Karen Gillan to see the real Karen Gillan.

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My cell phone wasn’t working, so I asked this guy to call my wife. With his mind.

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Yes, it’s bigger on the inside, but how many licks does it take to get the Tootsie Roll center?

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I thought about asking this guy for directions but decided against it.

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Who scheduled a dance competition on the same weekend as Wizard World?!

William Shatner, Sean Astin, Robert Englund, Etc. Headline Inaugural Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con in May 2014

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Press Release:

William Shatner, Sean Astin, Robert Englund, Manu Bennett, Ralph Macchio Headline Celebrity Guests At Inaugural Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con, May 2-4

Gilbert Gottfried, Dean Cain, James Marsters, Laurie Holden, Michael Rooker, Top Comics Creators At Pop Culture Festival At Minneapolis Convention Center

MINNEAPOLIS, March 11, 2014 – William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker”), Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, Rudy), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Manu Bennett (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Arrow), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid, My Cousin Vinny), Gilbert Gottfried (Problem Child, Beverly Hills Cop II) and Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “Stars Earn Stripes”) are among the celebrities scheduled to attend the inaugural Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con, May 2-4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.It is the 6th of 16 events scheduled in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

Shatner will appear on Friday and Saturday, May 2-3; Astin will attend on Saturday and Sunday; the others are scheduled for all three days.

Other notables scheduled at press time include Laurie Holden, Jon Bernthal and Michael Rookerof “The Walking Dead,”James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Torchwood”), Jason David Frank (“Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”), James Hong (Blade Runner, Mulan), Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk,” “The King of Queens”), Ian Ziering (“Beverly Hills 90210,” Sharknado) and the Boondock Saints duo of Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco.

Among the superstar comics creators scheduled to attend are Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams (“Batman,” “X-Men”), Ethan Van Sciver (“Green Lantern,” “Flash”), Mike Grell (“Green Arrow,” “Warlord”), Bob Layton (“Iron Man,” “Uncanny X-Men”), Barry Kitson (“Thor,” “Spider-Man”) and Kevin Maguire (“Justice League,” “Batman Confidential”), with more talented writers and artists to be announced.

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, cosplay, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con show hours are Friday, May 2, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, May 3, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, May 4, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place all three days at the event, with celebrity Q&A’s, the Wizard World Film Festival, comics-themed sessions, costume contest, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Sunday, May 4, is also Kids Day, with an array of activities and programming specially designed for the younger Wizard World fans.

Minneapolis Comic Con is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor, often stopping by the Show Stage, the ideal place to see and be seen.

For more on the 2014 Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con, visit http://www.wizardworld.com/home-minneapolis.html.

About Wizard World:

Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

Wizard World 2014-15 Schedule
March 28-30 – Wizard World Louisville Comic Con
April 4-6 – Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con
May 2-4 – Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con
May 30-June 1 – Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con
June 19-22 – Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
August 1-3 – Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con
August 21-24 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
September 12-14 – Wizard World Richmond Comic Con
September 26-28 – Wizard World Nashville Comic Con
October 2-4 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con
October 31-November 2 – Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
November 7-9 – Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con
November 21-23 – Wizard World Reno Comic Con
January 9-11, 2015 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con
January 23-25, 2015 – Wizard World Portland Comic Con
June 19-21, 2015 – Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con

 

Hero Initiative Makes Its First Appearance at Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con in 2014

Daredevil 1

Press Release:

Hero Initiative makes its first ever appearance at Wizard World St. Louis!

LOS ANGELES, CA (March 24, 2014) Hero Initiative, the non-profit that aids comic creators in medical and financial need, is travelling to Wizard World St. Louis from April 4-6 at the America’s Center for the very first time!

Stop on by Hero’s booth, #1016, to check out all our great merchandise!

In addition, visit our Hero Initiative ambassadors throughout the con floor who will be collecting donations for our worthy cause! Creators include Cullen Bunn (C20), Mike Grell (1022), Jai Nitz (D21), Chris Samnee (D19), and Arthur Suydam (A20).

About The Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $500,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit www.heroinitiative.org or call 626-676-6354.

Q&A Sessions, 75th Anniversary of Batman, Highlight Programming at Wizard World Louisville Comic Con 2014

Karen Gilliam Nebula

Press Release:

Q&A Sessions With Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Jason Momoa, Sean Astin, Evening Parties, 75th Anniversary Of Batman, Costume Contests Highlight Programming At Inaugural Wizard World Louisville Comic Con

James Marsters, Summer Glau, Dean Cain, Michael Rooker, Jason David Frank, Other Celebrity Q&A’s, Comics Creator Sessions, Film Festival, Marvel Trivia, ‘Kids Day’ Among Full Three Days Of Panels And Events

LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 20, 2014 – Question-and-answer sessions with top celebrities like Matt Smith and Karen Gillan of “Doctor Who,” Jason Momoa, Sean Astin and James Marsters, meet-and-greets, adult and kids costume contests, a discussion on the historic 75th anniversary of Batman, the Wizard World Film Festival and an array of comics and pop culture themed panels comprise the robust featured programming schedule at the inaugural Wizard World Louisville Comic Con, April 4-6 at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Most programming is included as part of the standard event admission.

Some of the highlights of the schedule include:

Interactive Q&A sessions with Smith (Sat., 6:15 p.m.), Gillan (Fri., 8:15 p.m.), Momoa (Sat., 1:30 p.m.), Astin (Sat., noon), Marsters (Sat., 1 p.m.), Summer Glau (Sat., 4 p.m.), Dean Cain (Sat., 11:30 a.m.), Michael Rooker (Sat., 3 p.m.), Jason David Frank (Sat., 2:30 p.m.), Manu Bennett (Sun., 1 p.m.) and other celebrities

Informative discussions with noted comics creators Michael Golden (Sun., 11:30 a.m.), Danny Fingeroth and Miles Fuller (Sat., 1 p.m.), Rob Prior (Sat., 2 p.m.) and more

“Batman at 75,” a discussion on the Caped Crusader led by Fingeroth, Fuller and Marco Arnaudo

Evening parties on Friday (“Wizard World Creator Pro Am,” 8:30 p.m.); Saturday (“Wizard World Official After Party,” 8:30 p.m.)

Costume contests for adults (Saturday, 7:15 p.m.) and kids (Sunday, 2:30 p.m.)

The Mighty Marvel Trivia Contest (Friday, 5 p.m.) with experts Fingeroth and Jacob Rougemont

Humorist panel with Kentucky native and Fark.com creator Drew Curtis (Friday 7 p.m.)

Wizard World Comic Con Film Festival, featuring selected shorts and music videos (Fri., Sat.)

Meet-and-greets with Frank (Sat., 11 a.m.; Sun., 11:30 a.m.), (paid events)

Kids Day (Sunday), with an array of kids and family activities designed just for the younger set, highlighted by the Green Ranger Power Hour with Frank (1:30 p.m.)

Unless noted, programming events take place in the designated General Programming Rooms at the Kentucky International Convention Center. VIP tickets or additional costs may apply to ensure access to select activities, as noted.

A full list of Wizard World Louisville Comic Con programming is below; further details on each at http://www.wizardworld.com/programming-louisville.html (subjects, guests, times and rooms subject to change):

Friday, March 28
5:00 – 5:45pm The Mighty Marvel Trivia Contest (Room 208)
5:00 – 8:00pm Wizard World Film Festival (Room 210)
6:00 – 6:45pm Costumes + Playing = Cosplay! So What Does That Actually Mean? (Room 208)
7:00 – 7:30pm Saving The World One Fake News Article At A Time With Drew Curtis (Room 208)
7:30 – 9:00pm Scream At The Screen (Room 208)
8:15 – 9:00pm Time-Traveling With Karen Gillan (Cascade B)
8:30 – 10:30pm Creator Pro Am: Drink And Draw (Maker’S Mark Bourbon House & Lounge, 446 S 4th St.) 21+ Only!

Saturday, March 29
11:00 – 11:45am Jason David Frank Meet And Greet – Paid Event (Room 206)
11:00 – 11:45am To Boldly Go: Star Trek: The Next Generation & Anthropology (Room 210)
11:00 – 11:45am The Strange World Of Abstract Comics (Room 213)
11:30 – 12:15pm One-On-One With The Man Of Steel: Dean Cain (Room 208)
12:00 – 12:45pm Out Of The Shire With Sean Astin (Cascade B)
12:00 – 12:45pm Vampire Lore And Other Urban Myths And Legends W/Dr. Rebecca Housel (Room 210)
12:00 – 12:45pm Superheroes, Psychology And Myth (Room 213)
12:30 – 1:15pm Dead Fans Walking (Room 208)
1:00 – 1:45pm One-On-One With James Marsters (Cascade B)
1:00 – 5:15pm The Wizard World Film Festival (Room 210)
1:00 – 1:45pm How To Write Comics With Danny Fingeroth And Miles Fuller (Room 213)
1:30 – 2:15pm One-On-One With A Dothraki Warlord: Jason Momoa (Room 208)
2:00 – 2:45pm How To Survive A Killer Tv Show (Cascade B)
2:00 – 2:45pm Mworld Creation With Rob Prior (Room 213)
2:30 – 3:15pm One-On-One With Jason David Frank: Power Ranger (Room 208)
3:00 – 3:30pm Michael Rooker Vs The Audience (Cascade B)
3:00 – 4:00pm Batman At 75 (Room 213)
4:00 – 4:30pm One-On-One With Summer Glau (Cascade B)
4:00 – 4:45pm All Things Pro Wrestling With Wrestlingaudio.Com (Room 208)
4:00-6:00pm Documentary Screening: “rude Dude: The Steve Rude Story” And Q & A With Director Ian Fischer (Room 213)
5:00 – 5:45pm Bigger On The Inside Doctor Who Fan Panel (Cascade B)
5:00 – 5:30pm One-On-One With Robert Hays (Room 208)
5:30 – 6:15pm Movie Match-Up (Room 210)
5:45 – 6:30pm Grimm Fairy Tales Animated (Room 208)
6:15 – 7:00pm One-On-One With The Doctor: Matt Smith (Cascade B)
7:00-7:45pm How To Roll Winning Numbers (Room 213)
7:15 – 9:15pm Wizard World Costume Contest (Cascade B)
8:30pm – Close Wizard World Official After Party (Howl At The Moon, 434 S 4th St) 21+ Only

Sunday, March 30
11:30 – 12:15pm Jason David Frank Meet And Greet – Paid Event (Room 206)
11:30am – 12:15pm Storytelling With Michael Golden (Room 210)
12:00 – 12:45pm Jon Heder Will Blow Your Mind (Room 208)
12:00 – 12:45pm Getting Respect: Comics Go To College(Room 213)
12:30 – 1:15pm Vampire Diaries/Originals Fan Panel (Room 210)
1:00-1:45pm One-On-One With Manu Bennett (Room 208)
1:00-1:45pm Another Kind Of Bat-Man: Comics And Baseball (Room 213)
1:30 – 2:30pm The Green Power Ranger Power Hour (Room 206)
1:30 – 2:15pm Super Power Beat Down (Room 210)
2:00 – 2:45pm One-On-Two With The Boondock Saints (Room 208)
2:00 – 2:45pm The Zombie Genre: Not Dead Yet (Room 213)
2:30 – 3:15pm Wizard World Kids Costume Contest (Room 210)

Seating for panels is strictly limited and available on a first served basis. We do not clear panel rooms unless you are seated in a section that is marked with a sign at the end of the row reading: ROW WILL BE CLEARED AT THE END OF EACH PANEL

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Louisville Comic Con show hours are Friday, March 28, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, March 29, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, March 30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place all three days at the event, with celebrity Q&A’s, the Wizard World Film Festival, comics-themed sessions, costume contest, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Sunday, March 30, is also Kids Day, with an array of activities and programming specially designed for the younger Wizard World fans.

Louisville Comic Con is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor, often stopping by the Show Stage, the ideal place to see and be seen.

For more on the 2014 Wizard World Louisville Comic Con, visit http://www.wizardworld.com/home-louisville.html.

About Wizard World:

Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

Wizard World 2014 Schedule
January 24-26 – Wizard World Portland Comic Con
February 7-9 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con
March 7-9 – Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con
March 28-30 – Wizard World Louisville Comic Con
April 4-6 – Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con
May 2-4 – Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con
May 30-June 1 – Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con
June 19-22 – Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
August 1-3 – Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con
August 21-24 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
September 12-14 – Wizard World Richmond Comic Con
September 26-28 – Wizard World Nashville Comic Con
October 2-4 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con
October 31-November 2 – Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
November 7-9 – Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con
November 21-23 – Wizard World Reno Comic Con

Michael Golden Provides Dardevil Variant for Wizard World Louisville Comic Con 2014

Daredevil VariantPress Release:

Marvel Comics & Wizard World Reveal ‘Daredevil #1′ Exclusive Variant Cover By Michael Golden For Louisville Comic Con

VIP Attendees Receive Free Copy, March 28-30; Continues Year-long Series In Which Marvel Will Offer Exclusive Books At All 16 Wizard World Shows

NEW YORK, March 4, 2014 – Marvel Comics and Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) today revealed the latest edition of its 2014 series of exclusive variant covers of the best Marvel titles with the unveiling of Daredevil #1, drawn by veteran artist Michael Golden. VIP attendees at Wizard World Louisville Comic Con, March 28-30 at the Kentucky International Convention Center, will receive a free copy of the limited-edition book at registration.

Golden is scheduled to be on site at the event to sign copies (autograph fees may apply). Leading professional comic grader CGC will also be on hand to accept books for grading and Signature Series.

The colored version of Daredevil #1 will be limited to 3,000 copies and provided free at registration to all Wizard World Louisville Comic Con VIP attendees, including any celebrity VIP packages. The Black & White sketch version is limited to just 2,500 copies and will be available for sale at the Wizard World Store on the convention floor. Quantities per purchase may be limited.

Golden’s Daredevil #1 follows the first three entries, Miracleman #1 and Miracleman #2, both drawn by Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams for Wizard World Portland Comic Con (Jan. 24-26) and New Orleans Comic Con (Feb. 7-9), respectively, and Wolverine #1, illustrated by noted cover artist Greg Horn, for Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con (March 7-9). Artwork is also complete for Wolverine And The X-Men #1 by David Mack for Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con (April 4-6).

“Having the entire Eisner-Award Winning Daredevil creative team back to help bring the series into All-New Marvel NOW! has been a real treat for us,” says Marvel SVP, Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “We’re proud to partner with Wizard to commemorate the launch of this exciting new title by having the legendary Michael Golden contribute an exclusive variant.”

Golden, co-creator of the X-Men’s Rogue character, Spartan X and Bucky O’Hare, is known worldwide for his groundbreaking work on “The ‘Nam,” “Micronauts,” “G.I. Joe Yearbook,” and “Dr. Strange,” among many other works. He is counted as one of the best cover designers and storytellers in the business.

“Michael is one of the most popular artists to attend Wizard World Comic Con events, as evidenced by his very well-attended ‘Storytelling’ panels and the lines of fans at his table.” says John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO. “Daredevil #1 is a perfect addition to what has proven to be Marvel’s very successful series at our shows.”

Join Marvel’s fearless hero as he begins his most awe-inspiring adventure yet in the sunny city of San Francisco! Gifted with an imperceptible radar sense and a passion for justice, blind lawyer Matt Murdock—a.k.a. Daredevil—protects the Golden City’s streets from all manner of evil. But big changes are in store for Matt Murdock as old haunts and familiar faces rise to give the devil his due. Hold on tight, because here comes Daredevil…the Man Without Fear! Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Chris Samnee. 32 PGS./Rated T+

For more on the 2014 Wizard World Louisville Comic Con, go to http://www.wizardworld.com/home-louisville.html.

About Wizard World:

Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, cosplay, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

About Marvel Entertainment, LLC

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit marvel.com.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

Wizard World 2014-15 Schedule
March 7-9 – Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con
March 28-30 – Wizard World Louisville Comic Con
April 4-6 – Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con
May 2-4 – Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con
May 30-June 1 – Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con
June 19-22 – Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
August 1-3 – Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con
August 21-24 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
September 12-14 – Wizard World Richmond Comic Con
September 26-28 – Wizard World Nashville Comic Con
October 2-4 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con
October 31-November 2 – Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
November 7-9 – Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con
November 21-23 – Wizard World Reno Comic Con
January 9-11, 2015 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con
January 23-15, 2015 – Wizard World Portland Comic Con

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