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Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con 2012

An annual science fiction/comic/pop culture convention in New Orleans, LA

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The Big Easy Goes Bigger With Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con 2012

  • Feb 2, 2012
  • by
Rating:
+4
The second annual Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con was bigger, much bigger, than it's predecessor was in 2011.  There was a longer list of celebrity guests, more comic artists, and, at least in my opinion, more vendors as well. 

The event took place on Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.  This was the second visit that Wizard World made to the Crescent City, and they pulled no punches this time around.  Once again I was there as a representative of BayouCon, a fan convention in Lake Charles, LA, and our little group put on Sci-Fi Jeopardy on Saturday.  I have to give kudos to the Wizard World staff and volunteers for helping us make the set-up for our game easy and as pain-free as possible.  The game was well received and we were actually asked to put it on at other conventions in the area.

The convention itself featured a litany of popular comic artists that included George Perez, Jesus Merino, Tyler Kirkham, and Stan Lee.....yep, THAT Stan Lee!  

Lee had a line of fans that rivaled another guest of the convention, Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner.  The list of celebrity guests also included James Marsters, Lou Ferrigno, Mary McDonnell, Sean Patrick Flanery (Boondock Saints), Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints, The Walking Dead), Adam Baldwin, Ted DiBiase, Diora Baird, Adrianne Curry, and many others.

I was personally excited to get to meet Doug Jones, who portrayed Abe Sapien in the Hellboy films and the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four:  Rise of the Silver Surfer.  He has portrayed a number of other characters over the years, primarily draped in masks, latex, or paint.  I talked with him for a very long time about how much fun Abe was.  I also asked him if it was easier to portray characters behind a mask instead of with your own face on display.  He said that having to sit in a chair for five hours to get "into character" behind a mask was no easy task, but when the cameras come on, it's easier to become the character. 

I grabbed an autographed photo from him and he gave me a huge hug and patted me on the head, jokingly saying, "Be a good boy now, Kendall."  He now tops the list of friendliest celebrities that I've met.


I also met Michael Biehn of Aliens and The Terminator fame, but I wanted to talk to him specifically about his role of Johnny Ringo from Tombstone.  I asked him if he had any theories on how Ringo actually died.  He shrugged a bit and told me that no one really knows.  We bounced back and forth on the actual man who the character is based on and Mr. Biehn summed up the little discussion by saying, "The only thing I know for sure is that he didn't die like he did in the movie and he didn't shoot no priest."  We talked a bit longer about the film and I found out that Ringo was Biehn's favorite bad guy to portray.  He came off as a very cerebral fellow and I enjoyed my time with him.  I got an autograph from him and happily headed on to the next celeb on my list, Peter Mayhew.


In all honesty, I had no plans to purchse three autographs.  I knew right away that I was going to get one from Doug Jones, but I struggled with who to get a second one from.  Thankfully I managed to budget quite a bit of surplus cash for this trip and had enough to buy an autograph and get a photo with the man in the Wookiee suit, Peter Mayhew.  My encounter with Mr. Mayhew was brief.  I shook his hand, he smiled politely, signed the autograph and then quickly posed for a photo with me.  


Of course, meeting celebrities is only one piece of the puzzle that is Wizard World.  Another excellent aspect of events such as this is getting to see some brilliant costumes and catching up with old friends  Sometimes friends and great costumes combine into one entity.  I've been a part of "convention culture" long enough  to have gained quite a few friends and many of them were at the convention and I kept my eye out for one particular friend whom I hadn't seen in awhile.  He had recently been posting photos of himself as Darth Maul on his Facebook page and I was desperate to see the costume in person.  It looked brilliant when I finally saw it.  


 After chatting with him for a bit, I moved on to other friends and snapped photos of them and their costumes and made a few new friends as well.

Representatives for Ghost Rider:  Spirit Of Vengeance, the newest Underworld film, a new Disney film entitled The Secret World of Arriety, and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo were also on hand and were giving out goodies left and right.  I snagged a free Ghost Rider shirt for my daughter and a movie poster as well.  The Disney crew gave me a movie poster and a ton of coloring sheets for my son and daughter.  I won a The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo beanie.  One of my friends managed to get an Underworld t-shirt also.

As the convention began to wind down, I visited a few vendors and grabbed some buttons (yet one more thing I don't need to collect but do anyway) featuring Doctor Who, Star Wars, The Big Bang Theory, and other things that I enjoy.

At my convention's fan table, I signed autographs as "Jacob Black," "Edward Cullen," and "Bella Swann" on some promotional posters we were given as promotional items.  I did the autograph thing in an attempt to get people to actually take the posters (which we've had for over two years now and can't seem to get rid of).  Most of my "autographs" included lines like "Do you smell a wet dog? Love, Jacob" and "I'm cold, dead, and lonely.  Call me! Love, Edward."  Many people got a huge kick out of the autographs and they would seek out their friends and direct them to our table. 

At one point my autographs had become so popular that a few people who came to the table while I was on a break would ask when I was coming back so that they could get an autograph specifically from me even though other members of our group offered to sign the posters.  It made me feel good to be quite honest.

According to a friend of mine who works closely with Wizard World, last year's convention had 4000 pre-sale tickets and this year's convention had 12000 pre-sale tickets.  That's an increase of three times last year's sales!  This caused major traffic jams at a few points during the convention, but overall the volunteers handled crowd control quite well.

Overall, Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con 2012 was a huge success.  There was so much going on that the weekend seemed to fly by.  I've already blocked out the end of January for 2013 and have plans to return again next year already. 

If you plan on coming to Comic Con in New Orleans next year, get in touch with me.  I'd be happy to go a bit more in-depth with the convention as a whole and also share a few tips on getting around New Orleans as well.
Myself with Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) Getting an autograph from the brilliant Doug Jones Sci Fi Jeopardy presented by BayouCon. Mistaken for Brad Pitt again! But why upset them?

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February 06, 2012
Very cool pics! Is this in a different location than last year?
February 06, 2012
BTW, I love that this is held in NOLA :)
February 07, 2012
Nope, this was held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center just like last year. That place is actually pretty big. If you ever go there for anything, plan to do a LOT of walking! It's a very long building.
 
February 06, 2012
Did you actually meet Stan?
February 06, 2012
Nope. I was there working for the convention I'm a part of, so a two-hour wait to meet Stan Lee was out of the question. His line was long and he appeared to be at least chatting with everyone in line, but he couldn't talk for long in order to keep the line moving. I didn't even glimpse Shatner due to the size of his line.
 
February 06, 2012
Great write-up! Wondercon is not in San Fran this year so no conventions for me! :)
 
February 03, 2012
Wow, this looks like a blast and a half! Great pictures, too. My hubby would be so jealous of the pic with you and Darth Maul (that's his favorite character!).
February 03, 2012
I'm actually pretty good friends with that guy. He's done a Clone Trooper costume, a Starbuck costume, a Rebel pilot costume, and a Starkiller (Force Unleashed) costume as well. His Darth Maul is my favorite. He looks a whole lot like the actual character.
February 03, 2012
Yes, he does!
 
February 02, 2012
Looks like you had a great time there. As for Doug Jones, I remember the old Universal monster films where Jack Pierce did the makeup. I think Boris Karloff and others had to sit in the chair a lot longer than 5 hours and had to act in not the best of conditions with all that heavy make-up on.
February 03, 2012
Yep, I watched a documentary on the classic Doctor Who series about all of the creatures and aliens on that show, and one of the guys who played a Cyberman from the 80's had a deep bleeding gash on the side of his head from turning left and right in order to see out of the mask. He troopered on, despite having a puddle of blood filling up in his boots.
 
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Quick Tip by . December 12, 2011
It looks like Wizard World is pulling out all the stops for the second annul New Orleans Comic Con. Not only will comics god, Stan Lee, be in attendance, so will William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Mary McDonnell, Adam Baldwin, and a number of other celebrities as well. Personally, I'm excited to get a chance to meet Doug Jones of "Hellboy" fame! I promise to review the 2012 version of the convention as soon as I return from it in late January.
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Wiki


New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70130

Join tens of thousands of fellow fans as they converge at New Orleans Comic Con to celebrate the best in pop culture. New Orleans Comic Con brings it all - Movies, Comics, Toys, Video Gaming, Games, TV, Horror, Wrestling, MMA, Original Art, Collectibles, Anime, Manga & More! This is Louisiana's best new Comic Con! **All show tickets will be e-mailed AND available as a pdf file after purchase.**

Show Hours:
Saturday, January 28, 2012 - 10am - 7pm
Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 10am - 5pm
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