I Love going to Conventions! Of course I do, I'm a #GunGeek #UberGeek . I was filled with so much anticipation that I thought I was going to explode. As I walked through the doors and headed up the escalator, my heart was racing and I had goosebumps on my arms.
As I crest the top of the escalator people are everywhere! Fellow Geeks, Cos-Players, Fan Boys, Fan Girls; THESE ARE MY PEOPLES!!!
The very polite lady at the ticket counter greeted me with a smile as she mugged me and emptied my wallet with the ridiculously over priced admissions fee. $55 lighter, I take my limited edition, Wizard World EXCLUSIVE "Walking Dead" Comic Book and enter the Con.
David L. Lawrence Convention center is a gorgeous Venue. Right next to the Allegheny River, the ambiance offered is highly sought after by Convention goers. The place is bustling with geeks and cos-players alike, although not as many as I would have thought for a "Wizard World" Convention. I see mutual Geek Journalists from other Web-Sites and we automatically start the critique together. We try to be objective and this is hard as geek journalists! We're ALL FAN BOYS!
After a few laps, we all notice the same things. Vendors are WAY over priced (as is usual with most Cons), the food is lack luster, and people are going broke trying to get autographs and photos with the celebrities. There was something else though. A vibe, a kind of 'Forced Fun' aura. "You WILL HAVE FUN! THIS IS WIZARD WORLD! DO AS YOU'RE TOLD!" Everyone felt it. We stopped and chatted with vendors that we knew from other Conventions, we talked to Artist friends and a multitude of patrons. All said the same things.
A good friend of mine, fellow Geek and Army Journalist Veteran Kirk Wilson came up with a brilliant consensus and over view of the experience. He says:
"...Overall experience for the first Pittsburgh Wizard World was underwhelming. It's more like pop-con. Limited artists and comic dealers. The celebrities were a little better than the c/d list most local Pittsburgh cons get...but ohhh the prices. If you wanted 2 celebrities together, like the "Boondock saints", "Firefly", etc package, be ready to drop $$$...200+ for some...that's a picture, not even an autograph included!
It's about the same size as Steel city con, they only used half the top floor of the convention center. As one artist contracted with Wizard said, "it's saturated, too many cons." Now comics are cool, so more people go, but it's not about books and art as much. Didn't get many pics because my hands were full and celebrities weren't happy about you taking distance pictures even. All said, I'll still be going back next year and it was enjoyable..."
I agree with Kirk. Overall it was an alright experience, and I will probably go back next year. Pittsburgh is HEAVILY saturated with Conventions though. 3-Steel City Con's every year, Tekko-Con, Wizard World and SIBCON in Butler. It's a lot of strain to put on the patrons wallet. Especially with times as they are. All in All, For the 1st time being in Pittsburgh, Not too bad Wizard World. I give you a 'B'
On the Plus side, I GOT TO MEET JAMES MARSTERS!!!!! Yes! Spike from 'Buffy' and Spike from I.M.P. , side by side! WAS EPIC!!! Anyway, I put a fun little video together. Check it out below.
CEO Spike Bowan is the Pittsburgh based Actor/Director/ Author/ Creator of the Alternate History Genre/Fiction saga "War in the Backyard".
Grunt Geeks PODCAST!!!!
Friends of Ours!