Wizard World Review; Philly 2016 CONvention

Written By: Johnny

20160603_124506Between June 2nd and June 5th the Philadelphia Convention Center, located a few blocks northeast of City Hall, was overrun with comic book nerds, celebrities, and cosplayers for Wizard World Philadelphia. I had the pleasure of attending Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; and I had so much fun! This is the last blog of three, leading up to our Podcast episode covering the event on Thursday (DOAT Ep 75)

Wizard World is a convention circuit that travels year round, bringing fans, artists, creators, and celebrities together. In 2014, Wizard World was the first con I ever attended; and I got to meet some pretty cool people then. This year, Tim and Brandon went to Wizard World on Saturday with me, and this was their first con experience as well. Brandon had this to say about his first Con:

20160604_085419As the executive producer of Dork of All Trade Podcast and a fellow nerd, I got to experience my first ever Comic Con this past weekend. I dressed up “casually” as my favorite DC superhero, Aquaman, and joined my friends as we ventured down to the Convention Center for Wizard World Comic Con. Overall, I was mesmerized by the different booths and exhibits on the floor, and felt like a child on Christmas morning, eagerly excited with everyone going on in front of and around me. The 2 panels we sat through were absolutely my favorite part. During the first one, I got to see Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie and hear their different viewpoints and opinions of the Marvel universe in person. The second panel, featuring Stephen Amell, was also great seeing as I am a fan of Arrow. I thought he interacted well with the audience. He also gave a powerful message at the end to us fans that I feel is important, he said “whether you love a show or a hate a show; a fans opinion is appreciated. Unless, of course, if you attack an actor for their portrayal of a character, then you’re not a real fan and you don’t know what you are talking about.”   Amell was great, but what truly made the experience of going to my first Con amazing was going down and spending the day with my friends; and I look forward to going to many more!

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Saturday Selfie at the Crypt TV panel

Brandon enjoyed Saturday; and because of great friends, I also  had fun Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday the con floor had a lot of energy, Saturday it was really busy with a lot of people, and Sunday was a lot more relaxed. We talk about panels and events on Episode 75 of the podcast, so I won’t go too far into it here. I can’t describe how much fun I had this weekend, but I think it is important to compare pros and cons for Wizard World to see if this is a con you would enjoy.

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An Amazing Group we found in Artist Alley; QueersPlay Cosplay was founded in 2014 to challenge the toxic masculinity, homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, and transmisogyny that often runs rampant in convention culture

Con Pros: There are plenty of opportunities to meet celebrities, get autographs, and photos. There is a wide variety of handmade art, clothing, and decorations to add to your nerd shelf. The Cosplay contest is a lot of fun, and cosplayers are a huge part of the culture that is apart of enjoying walking around the Floor. The unofficial events after the show are a lot of fun and there are plenty of things to do in the area after hours.

Con Cons: The Con is expensive; a 1 day pass on Saturday is $55 plus fees. Since the con floor and panels start at 10:00 AM, and close at 7:00;YES! That Neal Adams you’re basically spending $6.10 every hour you’re there. If you’re there to meet celebrities or find cool nerdy merch, Prices are a premium; last year we took a photo with Stephen Amell (Arrow, TMNT: Out of the Shadows) and spent $40 to do so, this year the same photo would cost you $100. The last few years has shown a decrease in higher caliber artists and cosplayers; in 2014 I got to meet Neal Adams (YES! That Neal Adams) at his booth and he was amazing. I am not trying to knock independent publishers or artists but the Absence of Marvel and DC booths is obvious. Finally, I want to mention about schedule delays, cancellations, and waiting in lines; which is a huge problem I had with Wizard World in 2014, and apparently things have not gotten better. The following is an excerpt from the You Fancy Me Mad Blog posted on Monday, June 2nd titled Dear Wizard World & Celeb Photo Ops

… When will you learn to not only treat the fans who are paying you a lot of money for your event with respect, but the talent as well? A celebrity shouldn’t have to miss a flight or sign until the lights go out because you overbooked everything. Like you always do. I understand that things can run behind but when photos are an hour, or two, or hell even more, late that is a huge problem. When someone misses a photo op by mere seconds because the schedule board isn’t updated and everything is late to begin with, that isn’t their fault. It’s yours. When your talent is saying “Why is everyone yelling?” during a photo op set up, you know you have a problem. I heard fans mention that they were going to miss flights home. I heard a staff member tell someone that they’ve waited 4 hours, what’s 5 more minutes? Really? Are you fucking kidding me? …

-Barb

There were many rumors as to why photos were delayed, one rumor claimed that Chris Evans was kissed by a fan and had to stop photo ops because of an anxiety attack, these rumors were later denied by Evans, via twitter. 

20160603_173041Con Takeaways: If you have never been to a con, and can afford the overpriced money grab that is a Wizard World Convention; I suggest you go. You can get a feel for what a massive convention like San Diego or New York Comic Con is like, on a slightly smaller scale. What is missing is the intimacy and sense of community you get from smaller local comic and anime conventions, but having the opportunity to meet your favorite movie star may outweigh that need for some. Lastly, this convention is great for kids, your kids can meet they’re favorite heroes (in cosplay) and there is usually a number of panels oriented for children (especially on Sunday). 

 

 

 

AND NOW, all of the other Photos that I couldn’t fit between the margins of this Blog.

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Stephen Amell Panel
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Civil War Panel
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Amazing Nerdy themed Period Panties (Front)
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Amazing Nerdy Themed Period Panties (Back)
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WWE’s Sheamus’ Panel

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Sean Patrick Flanery Panel
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Brett and Demi on PHL17
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Harley (Anya) and Me
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WWE’s The Bella Twins

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**(We were not asked nor invited to promote, endorse, or review this convention; but as fans of nerd culture and as a media outlet we felt it was our duty to share these amazing people who love the things we love. To get to share their art, work, costume or story with the world inspires us to be more, to grow both as creators and humans… Thank You)

Cosplays of Wizard World Philly 2016

Between June 2nd – June 5th the Philadelphia Convention Center, located a few blocks northeast of City Hall, was overrun with comic book nerds, celebrities, and cosplayers for Wizard World Philadelphia. I had the pleasure of attending Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; and I had so much fun! This is the second blog of three, leading up to our Podcast episode covering the event on Thursday (DOAT Ep 75)

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Captain Cosplay was one of the best Cosplayers I have ever met. and Brett as Winter Soldier.

  Wizard World has a large variety of events, attractions and fun things to do throughout the weekend. By far one of my favorite things to do is Cosplay. We talk about Cosplay (and famous cosplayers) on Ep 33, but We barely touch on how awesome all of these fairly unknown cosplayers who go to cons week in week out.  Here are my favorite Cosplays I’ve seen this weekend.   Friday:

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This Cosplayer (as Shane from TWD) was working the Zombified Photo Booth, Bless his Genes, because on Sat/Sun he cosplayed as Jon Bernthal’s Punisher.
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Rufio… Rufio… Ru.. Fi.. OOOOO This total badass actually screamed BANGARANG! after I took this picture, which was followed by a round of Crowing between Him, myself, and others on the Con Floor. (10th Doctor Photobomb)

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A Fantastic Lara Croft asked to get a picture with Demi (Wonder Woman) and Brett (Winter Soldier)
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Amazing concept of Darth Vader, If Anakin was burned during the Battle with Obi Wan while wearing his Darth Vader armor
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Jason Voorhees stalked the con, he snuck up on everyone and scared the shit out of me multiple times

 

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We talk about Michael Mulligan (Captain Cosplay) on this weeks episode. an absolute inspiration on social media and in real life.

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The Best Cosplay on Friday, Battle Damaged Winter Soldier

Saturday:

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Brandon, Anya and Johnny Cosplayed as Aquaman, Black Canary, and Green Arrow

Anya and I were asked to join the the DC Cosplayer Meet up. COSPlEASE

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lydia and Beetlejuice stayed in character all day long and even won an honorable mention in the Official Cosplay Contest
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Super Friends!
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John Green Arrow, and Aquaman!
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Speedy and The Green Arrow @ the DC Meet Up
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Wings out
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Wings In! Awesome Cosplay by Ivy Star!
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Cap and Friends; Brett and the girls from Queersplay Cosplay
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Some guy pretending to be Hugh Jackman and Demi
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Two Ivys? Double the Trouble, Double the fun
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Brett and goddamn Hugo Weaving
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Cosplay Contest! lego Bat Family
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Demi as Poison Ivy; and Groot!
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Brett as the Winter Soldier; Best Winter Soldier in the Official Wizard World Cosplay Contest! if only that was a real award
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Drag Queen Rita and the Power Rangers!

Sunday:

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Sunday was a very awesome, relaxed day. we took it Easy

 

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Classy Ivy and Harley. right after the Sean Patrick Flannery Panel
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Flame Empress Armor Erza. I love Fairy Tail!
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Anya (Harley Quinn) was super excited to meet Philly Jesus
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After 3 days we finally found the wall. it was a great con. Had a lot of fun.

There was some amazing cosplayers that we got to meet this weekend. We could only feature so much, but we look forward to seeing more amazing cosplays in any con we get to attend.

UPDATE: Shortly after posting this Blog, Wizard World Officials posted the following message in regards to the Cosplay Contest on Saturday.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/wwprogramming/

The Wizard World Programming team wishes to apologize to our Wizard World Philadelphia costume contestants entered into the “Best Anime Character” category.

We have since been notified that the cosplayer who won the category, while amazing, was not a character that qualified for this award.

We sincerely apologize to the contestants who took hours, days, weeks, or months working on their anime-based costumes just to see their work overshadowed by an out-of-category winner. This is obviously not our intention and we will make sure to avoid this mistake moving forward at future events.

Everyone looked incredible this weekend and nobody should feel otherwise because our selected winner was chosen for the incorrect category. This was unintentional and NOT a sign of potentially bad costumes in the Anime category. Quite the contrary. The Anime category commonly wows us with the craftsmanship put in and Philly’s was no different.

We appreciate your understanding and hope you’ll forgive us for this mistake.

Although I was at the Wizard World Cosplay Contest, I did not wait to see the judges results. It is unfortunate to hear that all of the amazing anime cosplays I saw during the contest were overshadowed.

 

**(We were not asked nor invited to promote, endorse, or review this convention; but as fans of nerd culture and as a media outlet we felt it was our duty to share these amazing people who love the things we love. To get to share their art, work, costume or story with the world inspires us to be more, to grow both as creators and humans… Thank You)