Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wizard World Philly 2010: A Cosplay Gallery

There was a dramatic change in tone at this year’s Wizard World Philadelphia. As is the case with many conventions, there had always been a strong multimedia component, but this year, the comic book end of the entertainment spectrum was severely curtailed. I don’t know whether it’s the economy or just competition from other venues, but neither of the Big Two had a presence at Wizard World.

Instead, there was a vastly expanded pool of celebrities for autographs, photos and Q&A. There were the usual pro wrestlers and aging Playboy bunnies, but there was also some serious geek cred. Patrick Stewart was there, surrounded by photographers. Every minute he was in his booth, the autograph line snaked around the room. Funny how Brent Spiner, Walter Koenig and Avery Brooks never had more than a few people waiting to talk to them. At one point they were advertising William Shatner as a guest, but I guess that fell through. I suspect having two Enterprise Captains in the same building would cause a collapse of the time/space continuum. Still, it was a Trekkie paradise. Even the guy who played the Gorn was there!

I’m a comic book geek, and I was there to talk to comic book people. There were no people from DC or Marvel editorial dishing dirt on upcoming projects, and there were no veterans from the old days telling stories about what jerks Murray Boltinoff and Martin Goodman were, but there were a couple of panels. I skipped the artist panels, but I did go to Raven Gregory’s panel on how to break in as a comics writer. The truth, as he immediately acknowledged, is that every writer has their own story of how they broke in, and there’s no One True Path. He shared his own story, and answered questions.
One of the first people to step to the mike to ask a question happened to be wearing a Mario Brothers shirt.
Gregory interrupted him to observe that it seemed like he should be speaking in a higher pitch, to match his shirt. The fan complied, throwing in an Italian accent for good measure. This is why I go to conventions, and this is why I went to this panel, despite having never heard of Raven Gregory or read any of his books. We geeks can make fun out of nothing, on demand. Subsequent questions were asked in a robot voice, a baby voice, as Popeye and Scooby Doo, and on and on until the panel ended. Gregory requested a voice, and most of the fans did their best to comply. I bet the fans at the Patrick Stewart Q&A didn’t have half as much fun!
Sadly, I had a family emergency at home, and couldn’t spend as much time at the Con as I’d have liked. I did a little shopping, talked to fans, cruised Artist’s Alley for new talent, and took pictures of as many people in costumes as I could. Abbreviated Con is still better than no Con at all!
One last thing I should point out, before I turn this over to all-picture format. I took lots of pictures of people in costumes, and cosplay is a big part of the Con experience for some. However, civilians should keep in mind that only a tiny fraction of attendees were in costume. If you talk to someone who goes to Cons, don’t ask who they dressed up as. Odds are, they dressed as themselves.
That includes me. Sad to say, I’m getting older, and can no longer fit into my thigh-high spike-heeled boots. And since I got my hair cut, the gold tiara just looks silly.


alex-ness said...

excellently done.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I've always loved the costume-clad geeks. Pinnacle of the art form. The fact they do it only for the ooohs and finger pointing from their fellow geeks makes it all the more epic.