Hello everyone! Megan Highwind here again and this time I am going to be giving you all a little insight into my time at Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con this past Saturday. For those of you who have been living under a rock in nerd culture and do not know, comic conventions are basically an excuse for lovers of all things nerdy to come together in one centralized location and discuss their love and fandom for the culture. This particular convention had some great stars attending including Sean Astin, Eliza Dushku, Matt Smith, and even William Shatner. I have been going to the anime convention near my house for a few years now, but this was my first time ever delving into the more open realm of Comic Con and believe me when I tell you it was an experience that I cannot wait to have again next year!
The first thing that I noticed about Comic Con were the cosplayers. It was awesome to get to see more than just the usual anime and video game cosplays. As much as I love them, it can get a little tedious seeing a hundred people dressed up as the same Final Fantasy character. Here, there were quite a few different characters! We saw a couple people dressed up like Thor, Captain America, Harley Quinn, the Joker, Loki, a zombie, and even Jack Sparrow, among others. My friend and I actually dressed up as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy and it was a blast. We had quite a few people ask for our pictures and got to take some pictures of the other fantastic cosplayers ourselves! It is so much fun to dress up because it allows you to wear things and look certain ways that you would never dream of in everyday life. In some ways, it is an excuse to dress as crazy as you want and embody the characters that you love without having to worry about getting funny looks, because everyone else is either dressed up or just as excited about you being dressed up as you are!
The next thing we came upon was the dealer’s room. It was massive. We ran into tons of different toys, decals, comics, and even some out of the box things that we would not necessarily expect to see at something like this such as a Sugar Glider(adorable and I want one, btw!) and a two in one flashlight and cell phone charger. According to some of my friends who went last year, the dealer’s room was slightly less impressive than last year in that they did not seem to have quite as many different options in terms of what people were selling as last year, but it was still quite good. I can only assume that as the con grows more and more each year in this city, so will the dealer’s room and the varied amount of sellers they can book to come in. In the same room towards the back, the guests of honor were given spaces in which to take pictures with people and sign autographs. It was pretty neat to get to see some actors that I have grown up loving up close. Our favorite was Sean Astin, since my friend and I have been fans of the Lord of the Rings for almost all of our lives and he did a fantastic job as Sam, but all of the other actors around were great to see too. The room that this huge group of sellers and artists were in was so big that we had to walk around four or five times just to make sure we did not miss anything or anyone.
Finally, the panels we got to attend were amazing. Since we were pretty distracted by the dealer’s room, we only got to go to two, but the two we did get a seat in were awesome. The first was a panel for Sean Astin in which he told us a little bit about the things that he had going on currently in terms of his career and then fans got to ask him questions in a fairly long Q and A session. It is always nice to get to see people who have reached some level of fame in a setting where they can be themselves. Conventions like this are the best place I have encountered as far as allowing for people to be who they are without fear or judgement and you can tell from the way that the actors correspond with the crowd that they feel just as comfortable as the attendees do. The other panel we saw was the costume contest. Now, if you have ever been to any sort of convention, you know that people are incredibly talented in what they are able to create. My friend and I had our makeup and costumes done by friends and I can tell you from just the experience of helping out with our costumes and makeup that the process of coming up with the entire cosplay from scratch is a long and tedious process and I have the utmost respect for the people who take the time and care to make themselves look as close to the person they are portraying as they can. As the contest was going on, the entrants would come out for a photo op and be judged and then go back stage until the other people got a chance to take their turn on stage. Everyone did a fantastic job on their costumes and I cannot wait to see what new ones these fans can come up with for next year! Jack Sparrow won the costume contest and as you can see in the picture below, he won for good reason. He looked almost exactly like the real Johnny Depp in costume!
If there is one thing I can leave you with about conventions, it is that you should take a chance and go to one if you have not already, and attend as many as you can if you have. They are all different experiences and each one that I have attended has been special and amazingly fun. I have friends that do not really enjoy crowds that feel overwhelmed after a short time at the con, but even those friends say that it is an experience unlike any other. This is one of the best places to be with other people who love the same things you do and not have to worry about judgement. Even if you do not care about what other people think, the chance to get to walk around and dress up, or not, with other people who have the same interests as you is an awesome experience. In everyday life, there are not nearly as many of these opportunities as I wish there was so trust me when I say you should go! You will not regret it! I will definitely be attending Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con again next year so if you attend and see me, be sure to say hi!
Until next time!
-Megan Highwind has left the party.