We’ve all heard of San Diego Comic-Con. It’s the big event every year where thousands of our kind scour the halls of a convention center, catching glimpses of celebrities, new movies, and so much more. Now, around the rest of the world, there are smaller versions of this, and I’m here to relay my experience at the most recent Wizard World Comic-Con in Richmond, VA.
The event lasted three days, starting on a Friday and ending Sunday. I arrived about halfway through the first day, and the room was rather energetic. The main floor, filled with vendors and artists, was bubbling with guests, all looking at shirts, toys, art, and so much more. I was impressed by how many different vendors were around the main floor. Each one offering a different set of merchandise, ranging from simple T-shirts, all the way to a Supernatural booth selling rock salt, holy water, and dead man’s blood. Needless to say, I grabbed a few trinkets to ward off any demons. The idea that something like this can be sold is the real treat of a convention like this. Superhero merchandise of all kinds was available and freely flowing. The first day was mostly spent walking the main floor, surveying these stands and taking in the first few cosplays that I saw.
Saturday was where the real con experience began. I arrived bright and early and the floor was already packed with people. I saw every manner of cosplay there. I saw Ghostbusters, Deadpools of every gender, and even a mech suit that stood about 8 feet tall. The effort people put into these outfits is commendable and always lovely to see. Knowing that other people care so much about these heroes/villains that they go out of their way to dress as them all in one place really makes me proud to be a fan.
With the busy main floor, I decided to check out some panels. I saw several comic writers discuss character building, as well as several other celebrity Q&A’s, which were all a blast. Due to high attendance, I spent most panels standing, so if you do ever go, get there early. However, seeing those you’ve seen on TV or finally putting faces to the names on comic books is an unforgettable experience. The rest of the day was spent bouncing around the artist’s alley, which featured artists of every level of fame. This is always great for lesser known artists who want to get good exposure.
The final day was not unlike the rest. After a night of cavorting, I admit, I was rather tired. However, I still managed to get in a couple of great conversations with guests and vendors. But really, I had conversations with fans. That’s the key to a convention like this. No matter why someone is there, they are, at heart, a fan. And that is why this con was one of the most fun times I have had. Being around such passion and enjoyment for three days was exhausting, but in the best way. I got to interact with people who shared my interests and got to find new comics, shows, and art that I have a new appreciation for. Conventions are a must-try, even if it is just once. For me though, I’ll be finding myself back at another as soon as I can.
Have you been to any cons? What has your experience been like? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!