Wizard World, better known as Comic Con, is in Minneapolis for the first time ever! Comic Con is a very popular fan convention. It attracts people from all walks of life who enjoy comics, cartoons, science fiction, gaming, fantasy, Dr. Who and more. Lots of people come in costume; lots of people don’t. Some costumes seem like a good excuse to go skimpy, others are scary and other are I don’t know what. It is a good place to take a nine year old with a Tardis hat.
The event takes place at the Minneapolis Convection Convention Center. At first glimpse, it looks disappointingly similar to many of the other conventions I have attended there – although to be fair I work in the tech field. There is probably a healthy cross-over population. There are booths set up selling stuff. We did end up buying a micro-drone with a mounted camera and a range of about 200 yards. (The nerd inside me is pretty tech-focused.) You could also buy comic books — old or new. You could commission an artist to do a drawing on the fly. You can get regalia related to just about any super hero known to man. There are costumes to fit all tastes and sizes. And there’s sci-fi speed dating!
We happened to be there for the opening ceremony and cutting of the tape. It was a great chance to take a picture of many of the big name stars and it was fun to see Mayor Betsy Hodges read the official proclamation for the event.
A big draw is the meet and greet with lots of stars related to action and science fiction work. Some of the bigger names there were Lou Ferigno, Matt Smith (sadly for my Dr. Who super-fan, he was not there on Friday night), William Shatner, Ralph Macchio, Dean Cain and plenty of others. Most have a niche following, so while it’s super-exciting to someone that each person is there, to the uninitiated (like me), it’s easy to get lost in the list.
Turns out the attendees really are the stars. As I mentioned earlier there are all sorts of costumes and most people seem happy to get the picture taken, from a distance, up close, with you, with your kid, with another costumed super hero. It’s funny to see worlds collide, like when three Dr. Who iterations are all trying to chat up Danger Prone Daphne from Scooby Doo. Or Spiderman sits with Hello Kitty. There’s just something a little voyeuristic about watching the interactions from the sideline in your civvies and yet something potentially expensive about dressing up. I suspect the event is more fun if you dress up. It’s worth the experience. If the ticket in seems high to you, yet people-watching sounds compelling, you could just hang around the Convention Center. Pretend your sister is dancing in the Showbiz Dance Talent Contest downstairs. (Yes – the two events happening in the same place. It was worth a walk through just to see the snickering on both side of that cultural divide!)