This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Philadelphia’s premiere comic book convention, Wizard World Philadelphia. I’ve been going to this con since I was a kid, but this year was the first time I’d be attending as a professional, and I can tell you that I was beyond ecstatic when I found out that my press credentials had been approved. With very good reason too because this year’s con was packed with fun and exciting programming. And for the benefit of you, the ScienceFiction.com audience, I made sure to wake up super early to get down to the Philadelphia Convention Center so that I could cover as much of it as possible.
Wizard World Philly 2012 also boasted the appearance of all five captains from the various television incarnations of ‘Star Trek’ for the first time in history! Trekkies came from far and wide to see Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, Patrick Stewart, and William Shatner take the stage in a once in a lifetime panel discussion on Saturday.
An excellent assortment of artists and creators inhabited Artist Alley this year. Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams, Eisner Award winner George Perez, Mike Deodato Jr., Carlo Pagulayan, Stephen Segovia, Harvey Tolibao, and Greg Horn, superstar artist and the man responsible for the recent cover of The Situation’s comic book, were just a few of the amazing artists that took some time to draw up some commissions and sell prints to the droves of fans that came to visit them.
In terms of programming, things kicked off on Thursday with a Superhero Pub Crawl around the city. Convention goers over the age of 21 roamed the streets of Philadelphia dressed as their favorite heroes and made their way from bar to bar while enjoying the super company (pun intended) and the looks from the regular barflies. A few friends and I partook in said pub crawl and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves while dressed as Captain America, New 52 Superman, and The Black Canary.
On Friday, I spent my day exploring the floor and checking out the lay of the land, where I encountered some incredible cosplayers and so many comics and toys that I would have bought if I had the money. I also participated in Sci-Fi Speed Dating, as seen on TLC’s ‘Geek Love’ to see what the hype was about. You can find out how that went on in my upcoming article later this week.
On Saturday, I was panel hopping all morning. From Stan Lee to Chris Hemsworth to the five Star Trek captains to Bruce Campbell to CM Punk, I sat in on them all and even got to ask a few questions myself. I talked to Stan Lee! That was probably the highlight of my entire weeknd. I may have been very far from where he was sitting on the stage in the humungous Grand Ballroom, but I still talked to him! After the long day of panels and more exploration of the floor, Geeknation, Zenescope, and our pals at SuperHeroStuff.com hosted a party at Field House where fans that attended Wizard World were able to mingle with some of the celebrities appearing at the show. Thanks to Brian Welch, the owner/director of marketing and operations of SuperHeroStuff.com, I got to mingle in the VIP section of the party, where celebrities such as Clare Kramer, Amber Benson, Mark Metcalf, Charlie O’Connell, David Della Rocco, Sean Patrick Flanery, and Norman Reedus were spotted letting off some steam after a great day of meeting fans.
On Sunday, I dropped by the panel of Kevin Smith and AMC’s ‘Comic Book Men‘ where Ming Chen and Mike Zapcic shared some stories from the set, what’s coming up for season two, and how they never want to see another issue of ‘Death of Superman’ ever again. Later in the day, I met up with them again after interviewing some big names in sci-fi to chat further about a wide range of things including how many times Ming has been confused for ‘The Walking Dead’ actor Steven Yeun.
Overall, as tiring as it all was, the amount of sleep that I lost because of Wizard World Philly 2012 was well worth it. The programmers never fail to disappoint when it comes to guests and events, so this con is always one of the yearly highlights here in the City of Brotherly Love, so if you missed out this year, then mark your calendar for next year’s con during the weekend of May 30th, 2013!
For some more detailed looks into the panels that I went to, the people that I interviewed from the world of science fiction, and my experience while speed dating, check out the articles that are coming up throughout this week right here on ScienceFiction.com!