Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con | 04.01-03.16

It’s the one place everybody can let their freak flag fly.

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The Dome at America’s Center

For someone who has never attended a comic convention in her life, this past weekend’s Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con was a good place to start. With roughly 50,000 attendees all raring to get their geek on, the convention held something for not only the hardcore and traditional comic book collectors but also the more mainstream television-based fans like myself.

Wizard World kept the attendees hopping with a list of nonstop panels and presentations, including interviews with some of this year’s celebrity guests: James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel); William Shatner (Star Trek and Boston Legal); Charlie Cox and Elden Henson (Daredevil); and David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Billie Piper (Doctor Who), to name a few. Pictures and autographs were to be had for those willing to pay the price. Sadly, I didn’t see any of this year’s headliners walking the convention floor to mingle with fans. As a newbie, one of the most interesting draws to any comic convention is the hope of running into one of your idols for an up close and personal one on one with them. Luckily, when autograph and photo op time came, you could still see past the fans to get a glimpse of your favorite actor or actress for a moment of pure geeky glee.

Every summer during the San Diego Comic Con fans can live vicariously through all the attendees (fans and celebrities) via Instagram and Twitter. The social media outlets are all abuzz during this time of year, comic con is trending, and it’s as close as one can get to being there. The same could be said about St. Louis Comic Con this past weekend, but on a smaller scale. After posting some of my own pictures on Twitter from the convention this past weekend I received a follow from Juliet Landau, the actress who played Drusilla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer—and, of course, James Marsters’ costar.

And then there were costumes. Some were so consuming you couldn’t identify the wearer, and others didn’t consume enough. There were wookiees, fairies, and Deadpools; a Funko pop doll; a custom Iron Man donned in Cardinals gear; and even a vendor dressed as Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. All in all, that’s exactly what comic con is about: the unique, the whimsical, and the odd. It’s the one place everybody can let their freak flag fly.

Without a doubt, two of the heaviest hitters at the convention were Doctor Who and Sherlock. A few of the vendors I spoke with commented that they didn’t realize how many people in St. Louis are fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As a huge fan of the show myself, as well as True Blood, I have to admit that some television series never die. Luckily, if there is a place for them to breathe their eternal life, it is at Comic Con. Not only can a nerd be a nerd, but a cult classic can rise from the dead, if only for a weekend. | Jennifer Manjarez

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