Long live Wizard World Philly?
It's been a month since Wizard World Philly 2009, but I have to write about it. Someone has to mark its death knell.
I started going to conventions in 2006, when I was lucky enough to be hired as a volunteer at the Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. I've been to New York Comic Con twice, and plan on going yearly, because it's a great con, and I live in NYC, so it doesn't require airfare or hotel expenses. Over the years, as I've listened to fellow geeks make me jealous with tales of all the conventions they somehow find the time and money to go to, Wizard World Philly was always mentioned as a natural, desired stop in their convention circuit. So I was excited when I saw a chance to go to WWP as a volunteer. Finally, I'd get to see what all the fuss was about!
Turns out it's not about very much, not anymore, and I wasn't the only one who thought so. Being a volunteer, one hears the gossip amongst the vendors. This is the worst Wizard World Philly in years they said. No one is here! they panicked. The "exhibition floor" looked more like a PTA swap meet in a school gym. Nothing caught the eye, and the floor was only about half full. The cast of Battlestar Galactica was signing autographs, which was amazing...but Lou Ferrigno and Peter Mayhew? Really? No disrespect intended, but are they the best that WWP has to offer? The programming schedule also left a lot to be desired. There were one or two interesting panels, which I'll write about another time, but for the most part...well, they'll have to invent a new word for boring to capture how boring this convention was. I mean, I didn't even take any pictures, it was so boring.
Wizard World seems to have been the victim of convention over-saturation. HeroesCon was going on the same weekend, and lots of people chose that instead. I would have, too, if I could have afforded to fly to Charlotte! Brian Michael Bendis was there! As was Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, Tony Harris, and other powerhouses in the comics industry from both mainstream comics as well as indie comics. It's only natural that with the increase in conventions some will fall by the wayside. Sadly, though Wizard World Philly is happening in 2010, it seems to be on the way out. Which is a shame for East Coasters like me who can't afford to fly across the country to get our geek on. Ah, well. There's always New York Comic Con!