Lily, The Pullbox Intern, recent enjoy the WCC – check out her adventure!
Recently, I was able to attend the 2019 Wisconsin Comic Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Over the past few years I have had to opportunity to go to many comic cons ranging from smaller conventions like this, to others that are much larger like Star Wars Celebration. Each of these events has provided me with new opportunities and introduced me to a wide range of different people including vendors and fellow fans/ cosplayers, and WCC provided me with the rare and chance to meet a celebrity. There were people from different realms of pop culture including shows like Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Others in the star studded lineup included Ryan Hurst (starring as Beta on the Walking Dead), Ray Park (best known for his role as Darth Maul in the Star Wars prequels), Nichelle Nichols (who played Lieutenant Uhura aboard Star Trek’s USS Enterprise on the Star Trek TV show), and last but not least, Sean Astin (known for his leading roles in the Goonies, Rudy, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and most recently for his role as Bob Newby in Netflix’s Stranger Things). On the last day of the con, I had a blast getting to meet one of my idols, Sean Astin, for a Photo-Op.
One of the reasons that I typically don’t meet guests at cons is that it is too much on an expense to get a ticket and/or they sell out too fast. However, I found that WCC had very reasonable prices and a large enough venue to meet the needs of all of the fans that wanted to see him. For example, I had recently been to a few cons where Ray Park was a guest and the price to see him was double the cost it was in Milwaukee. In addition to the lower price, the line was manageable (unlike that at C2E2 2018) and everything was very orderly. I got into the line early and only had to wait around 15 minutes total, which was a cake walk compared to previous lines I have had to wait in at cons. I have enjoyed his work for years and it was truly a surreal moment to get a photo with him.
As a Funko Pop! Collector (a Funactic if you will) I always have an eye for deals on rare/ exclusive Pop!s. I was actually able to find a rare Freddy Funko exclusive Pop! at a cost well below the average asking price, and was able to complete a series in my collection. I was happy to find it at a vendor I had not yet discovered, and was grateful to have met some new Funko fans in the process. There were dozens of vendors selling a variety of series and other Funko products (both homemade and manufactured). I also ran into a few booths that I had bought from before, and I hope to visit the new ones at another nearby con soon.
Vendors from all over Wisconsin and the midwest had gotten booths to sell their products and show off their talent. From my favorite t-shirt vendors TeeTurtle, to Tim Jacobus (the talented illustrator of my favorite childhood book series Goosebumps), artists of all types had booths packed with their love of pop culture. Other artists who had booths at this year’s WCC included Icypanther’s Art Shop (mainly anime art), Bob Camp (the creator of the Ren & Stimpy Show), Marissa’s Corner (t-shirts, buttons, jewelry, and prints of original pop culture designs), Ghoulish Bunny Studios AKA Dina Levin Art (mainly dark black and white paranormal prints and original paintings), and Terry Huddleston (a pop culture artist). Perhaps one of the most unique booths that I came across was one that I have not seen before was The Chalk Girl. The Chalk Girl creates life-like portraits of celebrities using nothing but chalk and her hands. It was truly amazing to see how much talent and dedication went into each piece of artwork she made. At the con, she and her team worked all day creating a John Wick rendition on the show floor for all attendees to see. There were hundreds of amazing and unique booths throughout the convention that showcased Wisconsin’s love of the con culture. As an artist, getting see other geeky art and meeting some amazing people who share my interests make going to cons worth the effort.
Meeting Sean Astin was the highlight was the con, and although there were a lot of amazing vendors and cosplays, the rest of the convention experience was not as great as I would have wanted for the cost of admission. Due to poor planning on the part of the convention, the last day of the convention (Sunday) was during a Brewers game and Summerfest. So, the audience was low and most vendors were closed, left early, or were planning on leaving early by midday. This was not the fault of vendors making little to no money, but walking into a half empty con was not what I was hoping for. Attendees could only pay for guests with cash, so I didn’t have the chance to order my photo-ops ahead of time, and I was happy I didn’t. Along with lack of vendors, many of the other celebrity guests I had hoped to meet left early or canceled their appearances. I also found out that the remaining guests had time that overlapped with each other, so I had to choose between them and Sean Astin. Overall, my experience was not ideal, but being able to meet one of my heroes made it worth it. I plan to go back next year if the celebrity line-up is as good as this year, but hopefully the dates are better planned.
Wisconsin Comic Convention 2019 Photos