The realms of Comic Books, Science Fiction and Pop Culture once again merged for four days of fun and entertainment at the annual Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con which took place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on June 19th-22nd.
While this year Star Wars registered only a mere blip on the four-day program, franchises like Doctor WHO, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Walking Dead took center stage and drew fans and collectors in by the bus loads. For fans who collect autographs or love to rub shoulders with their favorite stars in photo opportunities, the guest list was as long and it was talent laden. Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor) and Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) from Doctor WHO were on hand as were Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie from this year's Marvel box office smash "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". Marvel movie fans were also treated to two of the stars from the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie in WWE wrestler/actor Dave Bautista (Drax) and, pulling double duty, Karen Gillan (Nebula). Also pressing the flesh and welcoming long lines of fans were Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori), Scott Wilson (Hershel), Jon Bernthal (Shane), and the Dixon boys Michael Rooker (Merle) and Norman Reedus (Daryl) from AMC's hit series 'The Walking Dead'.
Rounding out the list of invited guests were Whoopi Goldberg, Christopher Lloyd, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, WWE Superstar John Cena, Sean Astin, Ralph Macchio and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel' stars James Marsters, Eliza Dushku and David Boreanaz.
In addition to their autograph and photo sessions most of the celebrity guests also took the time out of their day to hold question and answer sessions with the die-hard fans who packed the auditoriums, often lining up hours in advance for the chance to get up close and personal with their favorite actors in hopes of getting to ask them a question.
In addition to the movie and television stars, the main floor of the convention was packed with some of the most talented artists in the comic book industry. From portfolio reviews to limited edition prints to personal sketch cards, there was a lot happening and available for purchase down Artists Alley. A huge thanks goes out to Dave Perillo, Andrew Heath, Shane Michell, Al AbbaziaErich Adie, Mike Maydak who spent some time with us talking about their artwork and letting us shoot some of it as part of our convention coverage.
And there were also vendors…vendors as far as the eye could see. The team from Ultra Sabers was there showing their fantastic line of lightsabers which they bill as "The Brightest Blades and the Toughest Sabers" on the market. 3D scanning and printing was definitely one of the big attractions at the show. There were a handful of companies there scanning cosplayers and regular attendees in order to create one-of-a-kind, 3D figurines as the ultimate take-home souvenir from the show. Marvel was also there with a photo booth that allowed their fans to have themselves digitally added to the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie poster which they could then take home with them. also on the scene was publishing company QuirkBooks who is responsible for the 'William Shakespeare's Star Wars' series of books. in addition to book signings, they also gave away large posters of the two 'Star Wars' follow-up books, 'The Empire Striketh Back' and the upcoming 'The Jedi Doth Return'. Add to the the numerous amount of dealers selling anything and everything from comic books to vintage toys and you had a situation where a majority of the attendees left the convention center with full arms and empty wallets.
This was my third year making the drive down to cover this show and once again I had a blast. The volunteers and Wizard World staff did another amazing job making the the entire weekend as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Everyone inside the center appeared to be having as great a time as I had, if not better. This is one Scruffy Nerfherder who is already looking forward to the 2015 edition of the show.
And with that, I wrap up my report from the 2014 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. Remember, if there is a convention in your area that you would like to see covered here at the Cantina, let us know and we will do our best to work it into our schedule. Until next time, this is Scruffy signing off for CollectorsCantina.com.