The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago Illinois holds a special event each year and I was given the opportunity to attend such an event thanks to Wikia. What event am I speaking of? Why Wizard Word Chicago Comic Con of course! For those of you who don't know of Comic Con, it is a number of annual events held across the word each year in which fans of entertainment genres gather to see new comics, upcoming films and tv shows, cosplayers, and even celebrities.
While it is one of the smaller cons held throughout the year, that still did not detract from its scale. I mean this event held thousands of people, from little kids to the elderly, it didn't matter. It was a center of fandom!
The first day for us consisted of getting the "lay of the land" as we walked around the convention to see the hundreds of comics that were laid out around us for collectors or first time buyers. I myself am not a collector of comics but like most people I am a big fan of Marvel and DC comics and it was pretty amazing to see them all around ready to be taken home. The convention even held comics or pieces of art from new artists/writers who were there to show off their work. Better yet it held many some classic cars from notable works such as the car from Mad Max, the 1966 Batmobile, or even the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo; all there for the purpose of catering for the fans.
What would a Comic Con convention be without celebrities from your favorite shows, and man there were dozens. Stephen Amell from Arrow, Jeremy Renner from Marvels Avengers, Jason David Frank from Power Rangers, Norman Reedus and Scott Wilson from the Walking Dead, Brett Dalton from Marvel's Agents of Shield, Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead, Benjamin McKenzie from Gotham, WWE Superstars Undertaker, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Diva Paige, as well as many other celebrities. I'll delve into them later.
The main events of the convention, however, are the dozens of panels. The first one we attended, the Secrets of Joining the Video Game Industry was a result of meeting some of the people who headed the panel at their both. I am speaking of Eric Kierson Davis and Genese Davis who held a booth to promote Genese's book, the Holder's Dominion. Genese's father was at the booth and was avid in getting us to take a look at the book which sparked our interest and got us to buy the book. Their panel held invaluable information for joining the industry and you can find out more by following the link to my blog.
After that we walked around the convention a little bit longer until it was time to go to WWE Daniel Bryan's panel. Now as some of you may know, he is currently inactive on the roster due to head injuries he had sustained in the past. The panel was a Questions and Answers panel, meaning fans could line up and personally ask Daniel any questions and depending on whether or not he could answer them, he would. I was able to take a small video of the panel which I have posted here. One notable question that was asked was if Daniel liked his t-shirts that were being sold by the WWE. Daniel, however, responded that he liked them but would rather his fans actually not buy them at all, leading to major scrunity by the WWE days afterwards. Due to being from a poor family growing up, Daniel felt that the best shirt his fans could wear would be ones that they made themselves instead of paying $20 for a shirt to support him. Overall though the panel was a great experience to see this guy be himself and cater to his fans.
All in all Day 1 was a great kick starter to the convention and only a faction of what was to come.
Day 2 was much smoother in getting around the convention and knowing where to go. As before, we took the time to stroll around the convention where we found that some booths had actually been changed out, offering more content for us to see. We also found that there was ALOT more cosplay then before, with characters like Slender Man, Goku, or Darth Vader scattering about the show floor.
There were some memorable moments like me buying a mysterious mystery box from a guy dressed up as Riddler from Batman. It held a chance to win a game console, tv, or something else but in the end I lucked out on it, though it was still entertaining. Watching cosplayers get into character throughout the day was also enjoyable.
Genese Davis and her crew from the day before had yet another panel over the synergy of video games, films, and books and obviously we attended it. It told us even more about the industry and how each person's job affects the other. They also gave more advice on how to join the industry and be successful in it as well as their own experiences. It was great.
The WWE topped off the night again with WWE Diva Paige at a Q&A Panel like with Daniel Bryan. A fun and carismatic person, Paige gave a lot of advice to younger fans on becoming a Diva as well as telling us her ups and downs with wrestling and her favorite moments. For those who don't know, Paige is originally from the United Kingdom and is from a family of wrestlers herself, having wrestled for titles many times with her own mom and to hear her tell of her experiences wresting her family as well as their support was inspiring to the possible future superstars and divas that were in the room.
I awoke on Day 3 to an awesome email sent to me by Wizard Word telling me that I had a special gift awaiting me at the press booth at the convention, much to my curiosity. After we got ready and made it to the booth, I was surprised to find that my gift was an exclusive photo op with Stephen Amell, the star of the Arrow TV series, later that day as well as front row seat to his panel! I was completely blown away by it and it was a once in a lifetime experience. Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead also made our day as he walked by us while we waited for the photo op poking fun at Stephen, saying he wouldn't come (he did). The Arrow panel with Amell was great, as he talked about some of the cool things that season 4 would have in store as well as his match at WWE Summerslam the next day and his role as Casey Jones in TMNT2.
Immediately afterwards, I had front row seats to the exclusive screaming of the pilot episode of the new Supergirl TV series. It found it pretty entertaining though I did feel that it was too rushed for being a pilot episode. I mean she overcame her fear of being unable to embrace herself, became established as a heroine, made an enemy and defeated him, etc. ALL IN ONE EPISODE!??. I mean come on CW!
After that I went over to the panel of the Green Mightly Morphin Power Ranger Jason David Frank. While I haven't watched the show since I was small, I vividly remember this guy in the show so it was great to see him greet his fans and answer questions in person. There was a point where he got a little kid in a power ranger suit, who could not have been 3 years old at most, up on stage where he gave him some inspiring words and said he could be a real power ranger as well as anything he wanted. I mean this guy has always catered to his fans and it was just inspiring to see him in action in person.
This great panel was followed by another one hosted by Brett Dalton who plays Grant Ward in Marvel's Agents of Shield as well as one of the main characters in the Until Dawn video game. Seeing this guy in Agents of Shield you would think he's kinda a dick but in reality NONE OF THAT IS TRUE. He is a charismatic and enjoyable guy to be around as he constantly cracked jokes and answered questions to the best of his ability and told of future plans for himself and his show. It was also entertaining to hear him say over and over that "Hydra is rebranding, cookies included" throughout the panel. For those who don't know, Dalton's character Ward is the leader of the infamous criminal organization Hydra in the show and the fact that he was advertising it in such a laid back way was hilarious!
With that we ended the day at Bruce Campbell's Evil Dead Reunion panel. There Bruce Campbell and his typical charm and humor showed us the past cast of the Evil Dead film series and had each of them retell stories from the set on show as well as answer any questions. Campbell also showed us the trailer and exclusive behind the scenes footage of his new show Ash vs Evil Dead which is a new series that takes place after the last Evil Dead movie however many years ago. Like everything else that happened that day, GREAT, FANTASTIC EVEN!