Wizard World Chicago 2008 (part the second)

With one prominent and distinctly sad exception that occurred, which I’ll elaborate a bit on later, everyone at the show seemed to be having such a great time all weekend. The vibe coming from the crowd just felt especially positive this year, I’m not sure why. Every day was a little different and distinct.

Preview Night on Thursday was all about reunions. Friday the reunions continued, new friends were made instantaneously. The crowd wasn’t huge, but still seemed fairly big and active , from my viewpoint behind the table. I was tired the first half the day, having been up until 3:45 the previous morning. I’ll talk about a bit of that later. I didn’t eat more than a granola bar until 4pm on Friday. Then I enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly, which became my lunchtime staple for me and Pat each day. I need my pb&j’s made fresh, so I packed a cooler with a jar of each and the whole loaf of wheat and put together the sandwiches at the table. Those things saved my life. I think I got up once from behind the table that day. Saturday was extremely busy. The floor seemed packed and the crowd hyped up to a faster rate. I started Saturday a little late, mistaken in my assumption that the floor opened at 10 instead of actually at 9. So I was a little late. I fretted over this and about being behind on the sketch commissions for a little while. Having good talks with people relaxed me and the rest of the day was very active, but smooth. Sunday was all about finishing up. I got a couple hours to finally get out on the floor and see some things, and meet some folks who were camped behind their tables much of the time like me. These things go by too damn fast. There’s never as much time as I’d like to spend with everybody. I bought a Gene Colan Daredevil print from the Hero Initiative booth and a couple of books from the Ape Entertainment booth and that’s about it. I’m never much of a shopper at conventions, and I was an especially poor one this time around. Gotta save this money to pay for San Diego!

Did I mention that everybody, every single one of the people I met this weekend made a positive experience for me? People I know from past conventions, both attendees and those who have shared the exhibitor experience, the once faceless personalities from the internet made real coming from places like The CGS board, The Bendis Board, The Around Comics forums, Marvel Noise and the crazy gang over at 11O’Clock Comics, professionals who, despite their busy schedules, always surprise me with their humility and generosity of time, the parents with their kids, and those with the bravery and bravado to wear an outlandish costume, it’s all these people that create the con experience. Here’s just a few of them in picture format:

(I really need to get better at having the new camera ready.)

Steve Bryant, creator/artist of Athena Voltaire and Ursula Wilde. I always look forward to hanging out with Steve:

Chris Neseman, podcast dean of Around COmics. A good Chicago buddy:

Bram Stoker award winning author Mike Oliveri:

Dustin Drase as Doc Strange:

Mike “The Pamp” Pampinella, Evil Money Studios. Gotta love The Pamp:

Mark Beaty, owner of Darktower COmics, uses his experience as a bouncer to throw me out of his booth:

Andy Jewett, fellow Dial R-er(?). missed ya behind the table Andy, but great to hang out nonetheless!