Photo by Karl Beck. See more in the gallery below.
America’s Center | 02.02-04.18
Comic conventions are one of the few places where it’s not just acceptable to be different, but encouraged as well. In fact, the more creative and eccentric you are, the better. Some fans spend the whole year creating a costume just for this particular weekend. It’s the one weekend in which fans get to meet their favorite comic artists, vendors, and celebrity guests for a one-on-one experience they won’t forget. It’s a weekend in which two worlds collide and the division between fans and their idols blur.
Previously, Wizard World Comic Con has taken place at the beginning of April. This year, the event was held the first weekend in February, making for a very wintry pilgrimage to the America’s Center in downtown St. Louis. The weather, however, definitely did not take away from the weekend, with fans mesmerized by the multiple vendors, artists, creators, star-studded panels, photo ops, autograph signings, and various other opportunities available throughout the three-day event. Serving as MC for the weekend was actor Kato Kaelin, who announced the opening of the convention and musical performances on the main stage, including a performance by actor Thomas Ian Nicholas. Nicholas entertained the crowd with an American Pie version of Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom” entitled “Stifler’s Mom.” Other celebrity guests included Sebastian Stan (Captain America), Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones), Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings), Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things 2), John Barrowman (Arrow, Torchwood, Doctor Who), Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Bonnie Wright (Harry Potter), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angle, Smallville), Charisma Carpenter (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie, Rookie of the Year), Holly Marie Combs (Charmed, Little Liars), Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), Lucy Davis (Wonder Woman), and James Frain (Gotham, True Blood). In addition to the many guests at Comic Con, a moment was taken by Martin Casas, Assistant to Mayor Lyda Krewson and LGBTQ Liaison, to declare February 2 Nichelle Nichols Day in St. Louis for her “tireless efforts to recruit women and minorities in the field of science, exploration, and arts.”
Included in the artist alley of the convention was celebrity artist Matthew Atchley, who recently announced his partnership with actor Sean Astin to create a series of political cartoons which were debuted at Wizard World. Also in attendance were artists like Phil Ortiz (The Simpsons, Bugs Bunny), Kyle Starks (Rick and Morty), and Steve Geiger (Spider-Man, Hulk, Punisher), to name a few. The great thing about the artist gallery is the ability to talk to your favorite artist without limitation. The celebrity guest area this year was a little more closed off than last year’s setup. The artist gallery, however, remained the same, with plenty of space to walk right up to your favorite artist’s table and talk to them without any sort of time restraints. If you missed this year’s event the good news is Wizard World is slated to return to the America’s Center next year (February 1-3, 2019) for what is sure to be another brisk, but amazing weekend in the Lou. | Jennifer Manjarez
Photos by Karl Beck. Click to view in the gallery.