The Pullbox Crew was at Wizard World Chicago 2021!

In a last huzzah before switching over to the FanExpo banner, Wizard World Chicago had a bit of a hill to climb. Fresh out of that pandemic you might have heard about, the event moved forward with all precautions and restrictions in place. The list of celebrities was noticeably smaller and fans might not have shown up in the numbers seen in the past, but the weekend seemed to have been enjoyed by all attending. That did include myself, Andy, & Grand Poobah Eric as we stormed the beach to represent thePullbox on this fine Sunday.

Greeting us on said beach was a live band performing some very enthusiastic covers… It took a second to see the theme, but the band was in full cosplay mode in honor of the Wizard World atmosphere. Check out Pickle Rick on the drums.

The first booth to catch our eye (that’s the back of Eric’s head, there) was for a pretty ambitious production from the folks of Aeonian Dawn called Eden Skye. Encompassing both a comic series in production and a television show being shopped around, these folks are just looking to get eyes on their work. Their website has this to say about their story…

At its core, our story chronicles the life’s journey of a young woman named Lyra, her journey home, and the vast expanse of what it means to belong. Shown through the eyes of our jaded heroine and far off-planet Darius, Eden Skye explores the extent of our moral extremes, the lengths we go to for truth, and the passion for something more that we all seek, and few of us ever find.

Five issues into the comic series, available here, and with a shiny trailer for an upcoming feature out in the world, fans could be looking at the future thing. Or at least a thing to look at until the next thing. In the future. At the very least, and to paraphrase Eric, “you have to respect their ambition.”

As always, my favorite part of wandering a Con is checking out Artist Alley. Although I was trying to avoid picking up any artwork, I couldn’t help but snag a few indie press comics that caught my eye. Check ’em out…

Another great part of my day was getting the chance to get some old comics signed by some personal favorite artists & writers. It’s always great when someone whose work you admire is able to take the time for some chitchat, and I learned a few thing…

Writer & artist Mike Grell, the pencil and pen behind classics like Green Arrow: Longbow Hunters, The Warlord, and John Sable, gave me a great anecdote while he was signing an issue from his Green Arrow run, featuring a guest appearance by one of my childhood favorites- the Warlord. He told me that when Dan Jurgens pitched the idea to him, he never thought it would work. At all. But then once he got into the idea and started working on the arc, Mr. Grell said that it turned out to be a “lot of fun to work on”.

Peter David, writer of comics & novels aplenty (Star Trek: New Frontier is a fantastic series!), was able to confirm a story I’d heard years ago when I was reading his original title, Fallen Angel, for DC Comics. Mr. David had been working on a fairly popular run of Supergirl at the time, a run that was taking the young Woman of Steel in new directions, but found out that the title was being canceled before his story was finished. So he pitched a totally new title, which the powers that be seemed to like. The result, Fallen Angel, was actually the continuation of his Supergirl story, with the names and places changed to protect the innocent.

Finally, I was sad to find that Matt Hawkins had sold out of his first trade paperback for Postal, a purchase I was planning to add to my bookshelf. However, Matt took the time to direct my attention to some of his other titles. When I told him that I was already a fan, of his series Think Tank in particular, he was more than happy to let me in on an upcoming project from him and the people at Top Cow…

It’s not much of a “scoop” since it’s over on Instagram, but it was great news to me…

All in all, the shortened one-day stint at Wizard World might not have been as grand as some con-goers might like, it brought me no shortage of great experiences. That’s why we go to cons, isn’t it? We get to hang out with like-minded individuals who believe that the world of comics, in all its forms, is one to be shared. And for the older fans like myself (not speaking for Eric or Andy here), getting the chance to talk to the creators who shaped our fandom is still pretty mind-blowing.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes with the joining of forces with FanExpo in the future. As my very first comic convention, back when I was starting to write for thePullbox, I want to give props to the folks at Wizard World. Thanks for all of the great memories!

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