Fans of comics, science fiction, and pop culture were given a special treat from November 30-December 2 in New Orleans, LA. With the prospect of college bowl games, a potential playoff run for the New Orleans Saints (which quickly dissolved), and Mardi Gras parties and parades, Wizard World decided to bump the 2013 New Orleans Wizard World Comic Con up a couple of months in order to avoid any competition. The result was two Wizard World conventions in one year in the Big Easy!
The first convention was big, featuring celebrities like William Shatner, Stan Lee, and Adam Baldwin. It also featured some great comic artists, a lot of vendors, and a ton of fan groups.
Initially, New Orleans Wizard World Fall 2012 looked to be just as big, if not bigger. Slated to appear were the entire core cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame, Dean Cain of Lois & Clark, and a few other celebrities. Stan Lee was also slated to return. As the event drew nearer, though, many celebs cancelled.
Patrick Stewart was unable to attend due to filming. Gillian Anderson cancelled for unknown reasons. Dean Cain also had to miss the event. Things were looking a bit glum, but Wizard World pulled together some great guests to replace those who had to cancel their appearance. Norman Reedus, Michael Rooker, and Jon Bernthal (all of The Walking Dead), the core cast of Star Trek: TNG, Stan Lee, Adrienne Curry, Michael Madsen, Jason David Frank, Amy Dumas (Lita of WWE), and a number of other wrestling divas showed up for the convention.
Also in attendance were some brilliant artists, including my friend, Vo Nguyen, whom I snagged an exclusive print and a Nightcrawler piece from, as well as some great vendors, the 501st, the Rebel Legion, and regional fan groups and conventions like CyphaCon, CoastCon, Krewe du Who, and the Redstick Rebellion.
As I mentioned in an earlier review, I've freed myself of the baggage of being a part of a convention board, so I was able to roam the con floor freely, take tons of photos, sit in on panels, and generally enjoy myself. Krewe du Who, a Doctor Who fan group, had a TARDIS available for photos and put on an excellent panel that gave brief talks on all of the Doctor's incarnations. There were trivia panels and panels featuring the celebs as well.
There were quite a few cosplayers roaming the con floor, and I took photos of them and with a few. I met up with a few of my old cosplaying friends, took my traditional photo with my friend who cosplays as the Predator, and met a few celebs as well.
As far as meeting the celebrities went, most of them were excellent. I waited nearly an hour in line to meet Michael Rooker. It was well worth it, though, as he joked with everybody in the line. He refused to smile in the photos he took with people. His excuse for doing this was that he was doing Merle's smile from The Walking Dead. I actually got two photos with him, as I closed my eyes in the first one. When the young lady taking photos said she needed to retake the photo, he faked being angry and started yelling at me, "No retakes. One photo, that's all! You're killing my business here!"
After meeting Rooker, I lined up to meet Jon Bernthal (Shane from The Walkind Dead). I was prepared to meet a somewhat cocky and brash man, but Mr. Bernthal was brilliant. He seemed genuinely surprised that people wanted to take photos with him and hang out with him. He was a great guy.
I did not get to meet Norman Reedus, as his line was massive. Instead, I opted to meet a few of the Star Trek: TNG cast. First on my list was my personal favorite, LeVar Burton. Of all of the Star Trek actors out there, Burton is my favorite. He was a big influence in my life thanks to Reading Rainbow. I talked briefly with him, but it was great to meet him. After meeting Burton, I headed over to Brent Spiner's table. He autographed a photo twice for me, since the photo featured Data and his brother, Lore.
The final celebrity I met was Michael Dorn. I was a bit disappointed with Mr. Dorn. There was no one in his line and yet he acted as if he didn't really care if I bought an autograph from him or not. He hardly said anything to me and, to be honest, I felt a bit blown off by the guy. I wish I would have picked Jonathan Frakes or Gates McFaddin for an autograph instead.
Overall, New Orleans Wizard World Fall 2012 was a great experience. The uninterested Michael Dorn aside, everyone I talked to and met was nice. I can't wait for Wizard World to return to New Orleans in 2014!
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