Long before Austin desired to keep itself weird, New Orleans, LA was welcoming freaks, geeks, and outcasts with open arms. Wizard World, seeing a cash cow, started having annual comic conventions in the Big Easy, and each one has been better than the last. Wizard World 2014 was no exception. In fact, it was the best convention I've ever had the joy of attending.
Comic artists such as Neal Adams, Arthur Suydam, and the legendary Stan Lee descended upon the Crescent City this year, and brought with them a whole host of celebrities from science fiction, fantasy, and horror that included Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street), and everybody's favorite pilot, Alan Tudyk (Firefly). There were many other comic artists and celebrities, but there are much to many to list here.
The convention lasted three days, February 7-9, and featured multiple panels and activities for convention goers to take part in. There were also many fan groups there such as the 501st Legion, the Southwest Louisiana Browncoats, the USS Lafitte, the USS Neptune, the Krewe of Chewbacchus, and the lovely ladies of Orion's Envy.
Some of the events included Sci-Fi speed dating, Shoot-A-Trooper (501st Charity), a huge after party, photo ops, LEGO panels, and a whole lot more.
I was there as a representative of the USS Lafitte and CyPhaCon, a convention held annually in Lake Charles, LA. Myself and a few friends handed out over 700 flyers to promote our convention and were well received. We met tons of new and interesting people and hung out with some great friends. All three days of the convention were packed, which is odd for most conventions as Sunday is usually a pretty dead day.
While the convention itself was excellent, the night life was pretty awesome as well. On the first night of the convention, myself and a friend dressed as Batman headed over to the Howlin' Wolf to check out a costume contest, three science fiction based rock and metal bands, and Orion's Envy. While not officially a part of the convention, it was loaded with con goers. The bands, Space Metal, C.O.G., and Sci-fried, were all excellent. Orion's Envy danced their hearts out as usual (they are dear friends of mine, so I'll promote them all I can).
When the curtain closed on events at the Howlin' Wolf, we hit the streets of New Orleans. Not only did we get invited to a bar mitzvah (a first for me), we also got a little celebrity treatment on Bourbon Street, as everyone wanted to take pics with Batman. He even got tipped a few times.
Saturday was packed with more fun. I met Sara Jean Underwood (G4's Attack of the Show) and Zach Galligan (Billy from Gremlins). Ms. Underwood was nice, but Zach Galligan stole the show. He was a truly nice guy and I'm glad I got the chance to meet him.
On Sunday the convention was packed once again. On this day I managed to get an autograph and photo from Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead. He was a very friendly guy, but he looked completely worn out from signing autographs, taking photos, and shaking hands all weekend long. Our meeting was brief, but fun.
Wizard World 2014 has set the bar high for 2015's event. If they top it, I'll consider Wizard World a true success.
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