Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wizard World Reno ComicCon

Our latest convention escapades took us to Reno, the Biggest Little City in the world.

For the first time ever, Reno hosted a Wizard World ComicCon Convention, and with a decent guest list, the show expected to have a pretty good turnout.


The Reno/Sparks Convention Center is conveniently located adjacent to the colorful Atlantis Hotel and Casino.  

The convention center isn’t terribly large, but it’s a nice-sized venue to house an event of this magnitude.

The guest lineup was pretty good initially with a few Star Trek alumni, a few B-listers and a smattering of wrestlers, but a few of the featured attractions canceled at the last minute, and some without notice, which took a bit of luster off the show, but didn’t completely douse the event.

There were a great many vendors selling merchandise ranging from air soft guns to Steampunk gear and everything in between. Mostly, the vendors had toys and comics for sale. Typically at Wizard World events, the prices are a bit inflated because (for whatever reason) the organizers charge more for table space, so vendors raise prices to compensate. Still, I was able to get a few deals here and there.

Towards the middle of the main event hall, the artists had their work on display. I’m a print collector, and I love perusing the artist section. One of my favorite small-time artists, Jamie Tyndall was in attendance, and I love his work, so I picked up a few prints.

I had planned on picking up some prints from cover artist extraordinaire Greg Horn and getting a few of his books signed, but prior commitments kept him from attending the show, so his staff gave deals on his prints.

Golden Age artists Neal Adams and Michael Golden were in attendance.

In the back-end of the center, the celebrities had their booths for autograph sessions and photo-ops. William Shatner received the Lion’s share of the attention, as usual, but Walter Koenig didn’t have a line for his autograph. I kind of felt bad for him, especially considering that their booths were next to each other.

Eliza Dushku is still all kinds of gorgeous. I kind of regret not making time to check out her panel, in addition to getting a photo with her.

Jewel Staite was looking good, although I’m not a fan of her with auburn red hair.

There were a great many cosplayers in attendance, and I’m not one to discourage cosplay, but are there enough Deadpools? Deadpool cosplay with an interesting, creative twist is great, but generic Deadpool cosplay has become a bit of an epidemic, and is often looked at as lazy cosplay, especially if the guy has the onesie on with Chuck Taylor sneakers or Vans.  

Thanks to Pedobears and dirty, old men, the “Cosplay is not consent” campaign was launched. In a nutshell, act like you have some sense, and keep your nasty hands to yourself.

I debuted a new costume at this show, Indigo Lantern John Stewart, and it got a pretty good reaction, which kind of shocked me. It’s a pretty obscure character reference, and only Green Lantern and hardcore DC fans would know who he is. Most people thought I was a character from Stargate Atlantis, and I don’t know who that is. At any rate, whether people knew who I was or not, they were still asking for photos, because it looked cool. Having a cool prop that lights up helped too.

Finding a Red Lantern was beyond cool!

I got great satisfaction from wearing this costume because it took MONTHS to prepare, assemble all the pieces and construct. Bringing it to Reno was just a trial run, and I have a good deal of updates I want to add to improve the outfit and staff.

For all the cosplay photos taken at the show by me and the crew, please see my Facebook page.

Overall, it was a good show, and we had a great time. The Bellas cancelling at the last minute kind of reeked, and Adam West, Burt Ward and Greg Horn not showing up didn’t do the show any favors, but the cosplay is what made the show fun, at least for me. I recently started to use these shows for networking within the cosplay community to learn new tips, tricks and gather information regarding upcoming shows. In addition, it’s insanely cool to be recognized at these shows by your peers. For example, one cosplayer recognized me from a Sneaky Zebra youtube video from San Diego and acknowledged it. I didn’t realize that people actually viewed those cosplay videos and paid attention.

In any event, it would have helped this show immensely if Wizard World booked some current comic artists and writers from Marvel, DC and Image to put the show over the top. Most of the artists at this show seemed to be local talent and not established talent. I want to see the "comic" put back in ComicCon, and having someone like Stan Lee or even Jim Lee would be a huge draw.

Hopefully, for future shows, they issue lanyards with actual badges as opposed to those cheap plastic wristbands that you have to keep on your wrist for the duration of the entire show. Those things annoy me, "like a splinter in my mind, driving me mad" and I want to gnaw it off after the first day.

After the show, on the way home to California, we were thinking about the next show and discussing possibilities, so if all goes well, this may be the start of a nation-wide tour, seeking out new adventures and new cosplayers… to boldly go where we’ve never gone before… or something like that. *Cue the Star Trek theme*