When a con HAS crap: Wizard World Chicago

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Wizard World Chicago was this weekend, a now four-day extravaganza of mostly nerdlebrity stuff, but still, and it’s said to be a great place to sell art to the midwest’s large and eager fan base. It’s also the show where nerdlebrities like tweeting pictures of themselves with other nerdlebrities!


Levar Burton made a pretty epic selfie with Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn and Brent Spiner while William Shatner looked on. You can see more of this kind of stuff in the official @wizardworld twitter feed.

Also, Stan Lee finally took the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS….but there is a surprise twist, which you may guess if you are alarmed by the idea of a 91-year-old man having a bucket of freezing water dumped on his Members Only jacket.

The Chicago Daily Herald has a photo gallery here; Bloody Disgusting a rather cursory report here.

The most interesting (to me anyway) write I found was this by Randall A. Golden who gives Wizard shows an overall good review, but explains that even when you have a ticket, getting a nerdlebrity autograph can be can involve a lot of juggling, especially with nerdlebity travel schedules getting tighter and tighter…one late flight and things can get dicey:

As celebrity vicissitudes and temperaments update minute by minute, so are the autograph/photo-op schedules sometimes changed accordingly to keep up. If the con is well run, attendees are informed as soon as possible so they can work within whatever opportunities are available. If the con isn’t well run, then you wind up with situations where a famous British actor is left in his hotel room waiting for a ride that never comes to bring him to a Q&A he can’t find on his own, while fans threaten to burn him in effigy because they have no idea what’s going on and assume it’s all his fault. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for others, that happened at some other con that Wizard World didn’t run and we didn’t attend.

[snip]
11:40 a.m.: The Evan Peters line has largely vanished, but he’s still not there. We join the autograph line for Famous Actor #2, whose first signing is scheduled for 12:30. We learn from the guy in front of us that Evan Peters’ flight was delayed. The showrunners were now expecting to arrive around
3:30. To those couple hundred disgruntled fans who’d been waiting in vain in his line since 10 a.m., WWC volunteers passed out numbered cards for them to bring back later and redeem for first dibs on Peters upon his arrival.

Meanwhile, Famous Actor #2 arrives a half-hour early for his signing in high-flying spirits. Advantage: us.

1 p.m.: Mandatory lunchtime.

1:30 p.m.: We join the autograph line for Hot New TV Actor, across the way from Evan Peters’ booth, whose front space is occupied by a few lonely wanderers. While we’re in line, the distant, overhead lights flicker as thunder roars outside. Adding two and two, we suspect in hindsight that weather may have affected Peters’ flight plan. TV Actor arrives half an hour late, but she’s cool with everyone in line.

 


As far as vicissitudes go, John Barrowman just plain overslept and missed his flight and made this very apologetic video. He surpassed even that later on though, with the PSA about the poopy potties of the Rosemont Convention Center

I used to go to Rosemont every year (although haven’t been in a decade) and I always found the toilets pretty clean and usually empty. So I dunno what is going on now—I hope this was a one time number two thing — just because you have to stand in line is no excuse not to flush the toilet.

Comments

  1. It’s time we accept that cons don’t especially care if you get your autograph or not…and I am neither trolling nor being difficult…every con I attend (and I attend quite a few) has the exact same information deficit when it comes to autograph signings.

    It’s 11am, where is X?
    Volunteer 1 – I don’t know
    Volunteer 2 – Supposed to be here by now
    Volunteer 3 – Not coming today
    Volunteer 4 – Late, going to arrive at 3pm

    And all of them are guessing…I’ve been told Karl Urban’s autos where sold out (they weren’t), Stan Lee was moments away from arriving (he didn’t show that day at all…4 friggin hours in line for that one, no apology) and on and on….

  2. @alex – what you say is absolutely true, as I’ve gone through similar situations of trying to get autos or sketches from someone only to find that they are either late, showing up later in the day (after waiting an hour or two to get this information) , or not showing up at all (which can be a real pain in the ass when you bring a few items to be signed, turns out you could have left those items at home instead of dragging them around with you all day for no good reason. look, i think we all know shit happens, car troubles, delayed , missed flights, sudden illness, hangovers. i don’t think it’s being too difficult to ask that fans be kept in the loop about delays and cancellations. really, in this day and age of instant communication, there isn’t a person in charge who can send someone to a line of people waiting to let them know if the celeb they are waiting for is gonna be late or just not show up at all. really?

  3. Torsten Adair says:

    The celebrities should be updating their social feeds as well.

    Ivy Doom Kitty posts selfies to Facebook, telling fans which show she is attending, and where to find her at the show.

    Celebs (or assistants) should be doing that multiple times a day, even possibly create a hashtag for the event so that fans can flog the experience online.

    That way, fans have another source of information in case anything goes awry.

  4. That is a bummer about John Barrowman. I saw him at MotorCity this year and he was great. Very patient and seemed to generally love interacting with the long line of fans.

  5. Every photo I’ve seen had really empty aisles. Was the show really empty this year?

  6. MBunge says:

    “Every photo I’ve seen had really empty aisles. Was the show really empty this year?”

    Wizard World, in its infinite wisdom, “sold out” of regular 4-day tickets a couple of months before Chicago. That means if you wanted to attend all 4 days you had to buy a VIP package or 4 individual tickets, which pushed the price sky high.

    There were still plenty of folks there, especially on Saturday, but it was definitely less of a madhouse and I’d guess the higher cost contributed to that.

    Mike

  7. Thanks Mike. After making it to 24 out of 25 years in a row, I stopped going last year because of the expense. I must be getting old because I keep hearing myself say, “It used to be….” (less expensive, free photos, free autographs, more about the hobby and less about the wrestling stars, etc.) The thing I missed most by not going was definitely artist alley.

    When the weekend pass when from $25 to $45 to $60 now $100, I decided I just had to take a stand and stay home. I’d rather spend that $100 + parking and everything else at my local comic shop. (Or save it for C2E2)

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