Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con | 04.07-09.17

There were noticeably less vendors this year and a lot more space in between, but Wizard World made up for it with their heavy hitting celebrity lineup.

America’s Center | St. Louis

Doesn’t matter what age you are, hearing those two little words “comic con” is guaranteed to make most sci-fi and fantasy fans smile. It’s that one time a year when all your favorite comic book artists, television and film actors, and vendors from all over the world make the pilgrimage to your city to see you, the fan. That was never so evident as it was this year.

In the weeks leading up to the convention, guests were added in what was surely the most dramatic build up to a St. Louis comic con ever. Some of the guests who were in attendance this weekend include Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries, Lost), returning guest James Marsters along with co-star Charisma Carpenter (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), WWE wrestler Randy Orton, Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), James and Oliver Phelps (the Harry Potter films), Evan Peters (American Horror Story), Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things), Gene Simmons (KISS), Kevin Conroy (voice of Batman), as well as Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz (The Monkees). Michael C. Hall and James Remar (Dexter), Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), and Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show) were all canceled due to filming and scheduling conflicts.

There were noticeably less vendors this year and a lot more space in between, but Wizard World made up for it with their heavy hitting celebrity lineup. I was really looking forward to seeing a large portion of the Dexter cast all together here in St. Louis, like in larger cities, but sadly by convention day they were down to just Jennifer Carpenter, who was still worth the trip. It was also nice to see well-known actors from various decades, from both nostalgic television shows as well as present big names series. As a smaller city, St. Louis residents often feel like we’re not a big enough city to draw the big names in entertainment. It was nice to see that wasn’t true.

One thing that was noticeably missing was last year’s big gaming area, whose big screen greeted you at the entrance to the convention. This year, it was moved to the back of the convention center and the other areas appeared to take precedence. Another aspect that seemed to lose out this year were the vendors. There didn’t appear to be nearly as many as last year and some vendors had absolutely nothing to do with sci-fi or fantasy at all, which felt a bit out of place. Other than that, I was happy to see the large number of comic artists with their beautiful display of artwork, and the more open setup for the celebrity autographs and photos ops area. It gave the celebrity guests more freedom to interact with their fans in general, not just the ones who were lucky enough to afford an autograph or photo. Michael Rooker took every opportunity to say hello to his fans, many of whom were watching from outside the designated meet and greet area, and even entertained them with his impromptu martial arts moves while waiting for photo ops to begin. During his down time, he often reached out to people who were watching from afar, asking them over so as to say hi. Unlike the characters he plays on the screen, Rooker was extremely welcoming and often went out of his way to make sure nobody went home empty handed. | Jennifer Manjarez

Wizard World photos by Jennifer Manjarez

          

 

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