For the most part, Wizard World was about three things: Meeting celebrities, buying stuff and cosplay.
The first happened largely at the booths where folks lined up for handshakes, selfies and autographs—be it Draco Malfoy, Hercules, “The Governor” or Elvira, Mistress of the Dark aka Cassandra Peterson—who is old enough to have been a showgirl at the Dunes, but looks younger than me. I’m going to assume it’s the blood-drinking.
But at the opening-night party, one could get even closer, which is how I found myself riding the High Roller with the Hulk, a Boondock Saint and a Power Ranger. Lou Ferrigno—the original, TV, non-CGI Hulk—Sean Patrick Flannery and “Green Ranger” Tommy Oliver. Flannery joked around, photobombed and Skyped; Oliver got interviewed by a Muppet (well, a guy holding a Muppet) and Ferrigno showed that he is truly a gentle giant. Even before we got on, he noticed that one of the passengers was trembling from a fear of heights and, even as he was being interviewed and photographed, kept checking that she was okay, even gently leading her over to the window for a look at the lights of Las Vegas. Sometimes that dude who plays a hero is pretty heroic even without the green makeup on.
The Wizard World convention floor was a good place to drop a paycheck … or two. Along with the expected racks of comics and towers of action figures, there were posters, prints and plaques. For clothes, you could spend $20 on a T-shirt or drop a few Benjamins on custom corsetry. For the home, Millennium Falcon rugs and Superman beer tankards. Prefer a permanent memento? There were about a dozen tattoo artists inking people up with the Iron Giant or Pennywise or R2-D2 and C-3PO. And, even if you only had pocket change, there was an array of Dr. Who car decals or a pair of Han Solo-encased-in-Carbonite earrings.
Of course, the main event at Wizard World was the cosplay. Sure there were contests and workshops, but mainly it was just the everyday surrealism of watching Mace Windu wander past the Nathan’s hot dog stand or Spider-Man and the Mad Hatter playing Shrek Uno in the gaming zone. Some couples coordinated their looks, like the several sets of Jokers and Harley Quinns, but then there were those who flew their own separate freak flags, like the hand-holding Xena and Deadpool. While some outfits were Halloween-level, others clearly had sunk significant amounts of time, money and effort into their looks—and some of those oversized Ghostbusters proton packs looked like they would require some extra gym time as well. If you need proof that the geeks are taking over the world, Las Vegas’ first Wizard World provided plenty.
Photos by Joe Fury/SPYONvegas
See photos from Wizard World Comic Con Las Vegas at SPYONvegas.com.