From the moment the doors to the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Chicago opened on Thursday, August 18th to their close on Sunday, August 21st – a land of fantasy, superheroes, and pop culture took over the city. Everyone who walked in the doors put the sometimes hard to navigate trials of their day to day lives aside to enjoy the magic of Wizard World’s Comic Con. From cosplay and gaming to celebrities and panels; there was something for every fan who attended the convention and the look of awe on the faces of not just the convention-goers, but the stars and the staff went to prove that this run in Chicago was one of the most successful.
Each day of Wizard World’s Comic Con in Chicago brought with it new events, panels, and ways to spend hours surrounded by the best kind of fantasy world. There were photo ops with your favorite celebrities, appearances by superheroes and villains; sometimes meeting in the middle of the convention for epic (dance) battles, and lots of fun to be had for everyone.
We jumped right into the thick of it from start to finish each day and found ourselves not only experiencing pop culture from a totally hands-on perspective, we got to learn some behind the scenes information about what goes into things like your favorite superhero movies, television shows, and even comic books. There were vendors selling special merchandise relating to all things popular right now, artists selling their own incredible work, writers with books and comics, and booths filled with one of a kind merchandise; things you’d only see if you were lucky enough to get a ticket and make it to the convention.
Celebs like Norman Reedus, Tom Payne, Michael J. Fox, Lou Ferrigno, Christopher Lloyd, Danai Gurria, and Cerina Vincent – just to name a few – had tables set up around the convention where fans could not only meet them but get autographs and even have their photos taken. The celebrities were overwhelmed with gratitude as fans poured in with joy painted across their faces, sincerity in their composure as they anxiously awaited meeting their favorite heroes, and some of them even brought fan art and gifts to give to the celebrities – it was an incredible sight to see. Every celebrity in attendance felt blessed to be there and that only made the experience of the fans that much more special.
If you were interested in learning about what goes into the making of your favorite comic, how it feels to come up with a larger than life hero or villain, or the dedication and talent it takes to produce the art for books, film, and television; you could sit through a panel where discussion covered the above topics and then some. There were panels discussing the psychology behind Captain America vs Iron Man, the relationship between Rick Grimes and Michonne (TWD), about women in superhero roles, cosplay, gaming, and you could even take part in some sci-fi speed dating if it so struck your fancy.
In addition to all the fun centered around the fantasy larger than life characters, real heroes were honored in ceremonies through the weekend, proving that Wizard World is truly a convention not just for the fans, but one that takes an approach to bring forth the fact that heroes don’t only exist in pop culture. Heroes walk among us every day, and the city of Chicago was proud to honor heroes of their own. In an additional ceremony, Lou Ferrigno was honored by the city of Chicago as well and the look of pride on his face was unexplainable.
As fans made their way through the convention floors when they had spare time between events and panels, they could also see replicas of some of their favorite movie/television heroes and set pieces. There were dragons, dinosaurs, jeeps, vehicles and motorbikes, and even statues that looked exactly like the ones you see on the big screen. The incredible backdrops only enhanced the hundreds of cosplayers who made their way around the convention, looking so fierce you thought they’d just walked off of a set and into Wizard World.
At the end of the weekend, as people started to close up shop on Chicago’s leg of Wizard World, fans could be heard talking about their incredible experiences, best moments with their favorite celebrities, and how this convention stood out among others; and we have to agree. Wizard World brings the best of all fantasy worlds together while allowing fans to meet their heroes, honor citizens who deserve it, and find happiness among people just as passionate about pop culture as they are.
To find out when Wizard World will travel to your neck of the woods and secure your tickets to go, check out their website and keep up to date with us for more information on our experience too!