It was that time of year again. The joy that is Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con was upon us. This year Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con took place on May 7-10 at it’s usual home in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The weather might have been unseasonably warm and humid, but the goodies inside more than made up for it.
This year’s Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con was huge, taking up much more floor space than previous years. Makes sense considering the amount of people attending the Con continues to grow every year. Why wouldn’t it since it looks like the Wizard World staff keeps trying to one up the previous year. This year’s floor plan, as massive as it was, was simple to navigate due to the well thought out design. As I walked onto the Show Floor, the first exhibit that drew my attention was for Weta Workshop. Seriously, people. It’s Weta Workshop! If you attend a Comic Con and there’s a Weta Workshop exhibit, you have to stop by and take a look. It’s almost a universal law. This year, Warren Dion Smith (The Hobbit, King Kong, Chappie) was on hand to not only run a panel (“Weta Workshop: Character Creation Through Prosthetics, Hair And Makeup), but you could also get your own Hobbit Ears applied by the expert himself. How sweet is that?! You could also see Prosthetics that have been worn by the actors of The Hobbit and other awesomeness.
As I continued to walk the Show Floor, I stopped by to check out the CON TV booth. They not only have awesome shows and original programming available, but they also live-streamed some of the Panels, like the David Tennant & Billie Piper Panel. Check them out at www.CONTV.com.
By now, many of you are familiar with the whole mail-order/subscription boxes business that has been growing lately. Well, I got to stop by and speak with the new kid in town, Comic Con Box. As of this writing, there has only been one box sent out, with the second one preparing for launch. With all the exclusive content only available through Comic Con Box, I expect great things from them.
Like I normally do every year, I walk the entire Show Floor first before I make my more thorough walkthrough. As I made my way through the Celebrity Autographs section, I stumbled upon one name that was a huge part of my childhood. If you don’t know who this is (checkout my live-tweeting of Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con from Saturday), then your childhood wasn’t as awesome as mine.
When I took over NerdSpan earlier this year, I decided to not only increase our overall coverage of Books, Comics, Gaming, and Movies, but I also added Music and TV. This meant increasing our coverage of the major outlets, but I also wanted to give more focus to the Indie labels and Artists. Just as Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con gave them a place to show off their passion, I wanted to give them a place to spotlight their work. So, here are just some of the many talented people I met during my walkthrough of the Artists & Creators section.
My first stop was at The Living Corpse Crew booth. Now, don’t let that name fool you. These guys are very lively and very passionate about their work. I was able to meet Ken Haeser and Blair Smith who, as evidenced by the pic, are characters themselves. If you haven’t checked out The Living Corpse yet, give it a shot. I definitely plan on reading it and watching the DVD, The Amazing Adventures Of The Living Corpse. Check them out at Corpse-Crew.com and CorpseComic.com.
As I continued my way through, I stopped by and saw a familiar face and artwork. It was Bianca Roman-Stumpff. I met her at last year’s Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. She was as delightful now as she was when I first met her. If you ever see her at a Con, it is almost impossible not to get Prints or the Pokémon-level addictive Puff Monsters. Yes, you will want to catch’em all. Look for her on Facebook, “The Art Of Bianca Roman-Stumpff”, or her online store.
Continuing my journey around the Artists & Creators section, I stopped by the Zenescope Entertainment booth. It was great to see a home state (PA!) company being represented at Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. If you’ve seen or read Grimm Fairy Tales, then you know their work. The amount of titles they presented at their booth were great in number. From Wonderland to Oz, there was something for everyone. Seriously, I could’ve stayed there and read all day. This year marks their 10 Year Anniversary. I wish them all the best. Check them out at Zenescope.com.
Obviously, many of us attended Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con for our love of the art printed on paper, but what about art for your Body? Tattoos were available this year at the GeeksterInk booth, where several professional Tattoo Artists were on hand to take your favorite character/design from the page to the flesh. Honestly, if I had the money, I probably would’ve gotten one. The level of talent at this booth was amazing. I really hope they come back every year. The artists that I met briefly were Jeff Zalesak, Casey Baker, Josh Bodwell, and Kyler Shinn. The artists that I didn’t get to meet, but were listed for the event, were Chris 51, Kevin Becvar, Bill Atkinson, Brandon Sommers, James Mullin, Rick Meggison, Nate Cook, and Myles Kimball.
This next booth I liked a lot because their message was great: “Comics Are For Everyone!” This booth was comprised of several creators of all-ages books. A perfect jump off point to get young children to not only read comic books, but to enjoy reading itself. I was only able to briefly speak with Charles Dowd, the creator of Lilith Dark. I wish him and the other creators of the “Comics Are For Everyone” booth all the best.
As my journey through the vastness that was the Show Floor continued, I walked by a booth that caused me to do a double take simply on the merit of the banner alone. Bubba The Redneck Werewolf. Seriously, how can you not want to find out what they were all about? I spoke with Mitch Hyman, creator of the comic and Executive Producer of the film, about this project. Oh, that’s right. There is a live-action film of Bubba The Redneck Werewolf. Just by listening to Mitch, you can sense the pride and love he has for Bubba. Check out Bubba The Redneck Werewolf.
Next stop was to the booth of Christopher Uminga, a talented artist with a style all his own. It’s not the first time that I stopped by his booth and it won’t be the last. His unique take on fan-favorite characters are collection worthy all on their own. As soon as I can get settled, I definitely plan on picking up & framing some large prints and hanging them on my walls. Check out some of his work on his Instagram (uminga720).
This next artist I met… I don’t even know how to explain his art, except that I want it on my walls. Jimmy Giegerich has taken some well known pop-culture and turned it on its Head or will put you on your Head with his original work. If what I saw playing at his booth was an animated version of his Executioner And Friend property, then I want to read it and watch it. Check out his work at jgillustration.com.
On top of my duties as Publisher & Editor-In-Chief, I am also still the Editor of the Movies section here at NerdSpan. So, when I come across a banner that reads “Help Support Independent Film!”, how can I not stop by. The booth belonged to Pulp Productions, whose Founder, Brian Naydol, is a dedicated film lover. How do I know he’s dedicated? When you visit their YouTube channel, watch Pizzodyessy. Full Monty + Pizza + $20 = Dedication.
Even though there were many more Artists that I hadn’t met yet, I decided on one more Artist. Well, more like she decided for me. How can I say no to an Artist waving their Art at me? Aneeka Richins, creator of the webcomic Not A Villain, shared with me some pages from the hardcopy version of Not A Villain. It was just enough to pique my interest to the point that I will read her comic from the first panel to the current one online. You can also check out her other work at aneekarichins.com.
It was now time to wander the rest of the Show Floor. While walking, some art caught my eye. I found myself at the booth of Alice Of Wonderland, who were selling some interesting and unique pieces. They work as a part of Alliance Autographing. Check out their site to see a full list of their clients and appearances.
Any proper Con will have Cosplayers. Group Cosplay requires commitment and a plan. When someone else has a similar idea and you run into each other, it can be magic. Thanks to LEGO, The Avengers can now hang with ’80s Spaceman. The LEGO Avengers were having their pictures taken when ’80s Spaceman appeared. Before I could give them my Business Card, they disassembled and disappeared. If you’re one of these LEGO heroes, please contact me so I can give you credit for bringing smiles to Con goer faces.
If you followed our Twitter feed leading up to Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con and during our live-tweeting of the event, you would know that I was doing a random giveaway. By random, I mean random. It got a little tiring carrying the prizes around, but it was worth it. Congratulations to Marty J. & Judy D., both from PA, for receiving their prizes.
This year’s Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con was as fun as always, especially when I meet up with friends. Good times are always had. Wizard World staff were professional and helpful to not only me, when I had questions, but also to the people I saw that interacted with them. I only had 2 issues at this year’s Con, but none of them were with Wizard World. First, I wish I had more money with me. There was so much stuff I wanted to buy. So much. Secondly, I wish the Pennsylvania Convention Center had cranked up the Air Conditioning. It got a little too warm for my tastes, but it didn’t stop the fun.
I don’t attend many Cons, but Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con is one of the ones I try my best to never miss. I recommend everyone go to one. You’ll go home with the happiest of memories.