Simply Nerdy Mom: Wizard World Philadelphia

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wizard World Philadelphia



We frequent quite a few conventions and recently had the opportunity to check out Wizard World Philadelphia. This annual Comic/Pop Culture Convention is known for it's big name stars they book as guests as well as massive vendor areas and various artists.



The line up is usually pretty impressive. As you can see above, this years Convention nabbed some big name stars. Norman Reedus always seems to be a regular as well as many other stars of the hit AMC show The Walking Dead. 

This, and many other Wizard World locations draws thousands of people each year. Many of them come dressed as their favorite characters and there's even a costume contest as well as movie screenings and celebrity panels. 

Basically our story goes like this:

We woke up at about 3am because we had to be on the road by 5 as we live 5 hours away and the convention started at 10. Of course we had to make a few stops for gas and to get some grub and stretch our legs. 

We were making good time and as hot as it was, we were still stoked to be on our way to Philly. As we got 15 miles from the Convention center, we got a flat tire. Luckily, our guys were able to change it pretty quickly and we were off in no time, still excited about the experience that lay ahead of us. Our parking was pretty far away, although thank goodness it wasn't farther because we had one heck of a walk, in layers of clothing (we all cosplayed), on the first day of summer, which also happened to be in the 80's temp wise. But still, we were beyond excited. We finally found the convention center, which was no simple task as there were no signs directing us. As we stand outside, about to enter the center, a group of boys come out and tell us that apparently we were entering the wrong doors and that there was a business convention on that side. Once again, no signs. But that didn't bring us down, we just walked 3 quarters of the building until we finally found a staffer who pointed us in the right direction. We enter the convention center thinking, "This is it!" and were once again confused as there were no signs pointing us to where the actual convention was held. The only thing to do was follow the massive amount of cosplayers and hope they knew the way as they were going in every direction. FINALLY we find the convention and as we entered the doors, it was like entering the heavenly gate. We were both overwhelmed and excited at what stood before us. The place was huge. We decided to get a feel of the place before diving into any activities so we split from my brother-in-law and his wife and went in different directions to get the lay of the land. We weren't in the door a mere 5 minutes when we were bombarded with people wanting pictures. The rockstar experience comes with the cosplay. 

My husband and I made our way to the celebrity signing booths, but most of them were out for photo ops or lunch so we perused the vendor area. There was a pretty large selection of artists and beyond that were the sellers. You would think for it being a comic book convention, that there would be all kinds of comics. Not so much. There were maybe 5 comic vendors and none of them had much of a selection. We didn't buy much. That's probably a good thing since we had already spent $125 on tickets just to get in and by the end of the day, probably close to $200 on autographs. Then you factor in food and drinks and the few things we did purchase souvenir wise, and it adds up. 

The first person on my agenda to meet was Eddie McClintock who played Pete on Warehouse 13. His line was virtually non existent, which was sad because the fan experience was absolutely outstanding! 

Eddie was hamming it up for the fans before he went on lunch


He was the only celebrity who wasn't stuck behind his table and was out on the floor walking around and interacting with the fans. As I walked up to him, he gave me a huge hug and we handed him our copy of Season 4 for him to sign, he chatted with us a bit, asking our names and what-not. We then asked him what he thought of the series finale and he chatted with us about it for about 10 minutes and then chatted with us for a bit about our costumes.
Unlike other celeb meetings, where I normally clam up and can't talk, I somehow found my voice and chatted with him like it was no big deal. I even flirted with him. I know, I'm pathetic, but he was so sweet and so easy to talk to. I then asked if we could get a pic and he was super stoked about it and agreed to it. That's when I got hug number two and as you can see from the look on my face, I was on cloud 9! 


We thanked him for the photos (hubs got one as well and Eddie asked to hold his Cobra Commander helmet) and he pulled me in for a third hug and said, "See ya later, Doll!" 

*Insert over dramatic fan-girling here* 



Next, we walked down to see three stars of the AMC series Comic Book Men. If you haven't watched this show, I highly suggest it! It's produced by Kevin Smith (it's about his comic book shop, after all) and is on immediately after The Walking Dead.


Photos with these guys were pretty pricey (although nothing compared to the other guests). This is why we don't have any photos of them. The hubs did get Bryan Johnson to sign a comic he had that was written by him and Walt Flanagan (another one of the Comic Book Men). While we were in line, people on the other side of the barriers were snapping photos and Mike Zapcic would hold up signs calling them cheap asses. It was pretty hilarious. As you can see here:

This was taken by another con goer by the name of Joshua Tobiansky

I then tried to nab some photos of Norman Reedus, but that proved to be a gigantic fail as we were yelled at by staffers to "Keep moving!" 

Here's a photo from the Wizard World Flickr page, though:

Just look at this hot piece!

Not nearly as exciting as snapping the photo myself, but It'll have to do, I guess. 

The next person I had actually bought an advanced autograph ticket for was Evan Peters of American Horror Story. He wasn't at his booth for most of the day because he was stuck in photo ops. So we just went and got comics signed until he came back. 

His line was where we experienced a very small taste of how unorganized the entire convention was. I was able to snap a few photos while we were standing in line, however, wasn't able to get any as we were in front of him because we were told there were no pictures allowed. Although, quite honestly, That was a staff member who told folks that and not his policy because others throughout the day were able to chat and get photos with him. I'm rather disappointed that by the time we were able to get to him, that staff members were limiting the interactions with him. It made for a crummy experience to say the least. 

I can't be too upset though, because look at this adorable face!





And I did manage to get a free photo with my purchase of an autograph ticket! I chose this one:


I probably could have had him sign this one in addition to the AHS Season one dvd, but didn't think of it until after we were through the line. 

This was as far as my "conventioning" went. I was exhausted and I hurt in every possible place on my body. So for the last hour I sat and watched others. At 7pm, the hubs and I went to get something to eat since I hadn't had anything to eat at all and was severely dehydrated as well. We tried out a little Italian joint across from the convention center called Jake's Pizza. 



And of course, you can't go to Philadelphia, PA and NOT get a world famous Philly Cheese Steak!

Totally worth it!! Heaven in my mouth!

We ended up sitting at the tables outside of Jake's from 7pm until about 11pm while my brother-in-law and his wife went through the agonizing fiasco that was the Norman Reedus signings. Which in my honest opinion was poorly executed by staffers and organizers for the convention. But that's not my story to tell. If you want to read about their con experience, be sure to follow the Mom Next Door's facebook page for the link.  

At any rate, we got back to the hotel pretty late and thank the stars it was only 5 miles from the Convention Center because we were all extremely sore and extremely exhausted. 

I'm not sure that the con itself was really worth the money we spent to get into the place. I did enjoy the interaction I did get to have, and the meeting I had with Eddie was by far the highlight of my day if not my entire life! That being said, I think the only way I would go back to a Wizard World convention would be strictly for celeb meetings. Even at that, it would be best to make it a two day ordeal as to not run into time constraints. I think for now, though, that we will stick to more local conventions. Sure, the celebs aren't as "big named", but it's more put together and ran a lot smoother. 

1 comment:

  1. So jealous Lol. I can never get hubby to go to any comic con. But he's a huge comic book collector. I don't get it Lol.

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