‘Sup, folks! Paul from the Pullbox here, bringing you some highlights from my first day at this year’s Wizard World convention in Chicago, Illinois (the ‘s’ is silent… get that right, cuz people here hate that). If you were fortunate enough to be here firsthand, that’s outstanding! Sorry I missed you… However, if you weren’t lucky enough to be able to make it, don’t sweat it. I’ve got a pretty good sampling of some of the sights, found down at the tail end of this article. If you’re one of those people who jumps to the end of the book, go ahead and get that over with. I’ll be waiting for you in the next paragraph…
Okay, glad you actually came back to read the rest of this. Now, you’ve already seen some of the cosplay highlights (and lemme tell ya, what I was able to catch pics of is just a scratch on the surface), so I get to tell you a little bit about the convention, some of the other people I got to speak to, and some of the other loot I procured. First, the convention itself. This is only my third year coming to Chicago for Wizard World, and in those three relatively short years I’ve seen some pretty big improvements in both the set up and in the organization. It just seems to be laid out with more of an eye toward the amenities. There were more refreshment booths around the center, a few more sit down and take a load off areas, and it seemed like more of a fluid set up… no wading pools, just that the booths were organized so that a leisurely meander could take one through the whole convention.
On my meander, I spent quite a bit of time in Artist’s Alley. That’s been the highlight of my visits in the past, and this year was no exception. I’m a fan of the people who take their skills and bring them out for all to enjoy, so I tend to spend a little more time around them. I got to chat a little bit with a local fella who goes by the tag Jar of Comics, and picked up a pretty sweet print he’d done up on canvas. Another great artist that I got to talk with a for a bit was Bianca Roman-Stumpff, and picked up a couple adorable (also very cool…) prints for the missus. Finally, a very slick looking print from an artist named John Elliott with Zendustria Studios.
I didn’t stop with just picking up prints… no, no. Some of you may be aware that I have a soft spot for independent comics, and it just so happened that I ran across a couple creators putting their work out there into the world. I was impressed with two fellas working their booth, Robert Reyes & Mario Colao. They’ve created their own thing, a comic by the name of Evolusion, with some sharp looking art by Ryan Best (full review forthcoming). The other great title I got turned onto is Battle Cats from Mad Cave Studios, featuring eye catching art by Andy King (also, a review will be on the way…).
Today was just my first walk through. I’m looking forward to diving in again tomorrow, and hoping to catch some more great cosplay, and meet some more cool folk. See you out there?