Wizard World Chicago Comic Con returns this week for another Thursday through Sunday run at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Along with C2E2, which is held each April, it’s an annual gathering of self-professed nerds and anyone into sci-fi, graphic novels, and other off-the-beaten-path areas of modern culture. A mix of major corporate and independent vendors offer comic books, t shirts, action figures, and an amazing range of artifacts. Some of which you’ll probably never have seen before.
A huge marketplace called Artists Alley gives up-and-coming artists a chance to compete for attention. Even the financiers on Shark Tank would find some worthy projects to bankroll from these entertaining salespeople. Throughout Wizard World, there’s a fun, masquerade party atmosphere as people dress up in superhero or villain costumes, and are usually up for posing for photos. Where else are you going to see Batman and Princess Leia sipping 32-oz Cokes together?
Another good reason to check out Wizard World Chicago Comic Con is the opportunity to meet celebrities. This year’s guests include comic book icon Stan Lee; Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead, Summer Glau, Alan Tudyk & Morena Baccarin from Firefly/Serenity; John Barrowman, who has been on Doctor Who and Torchwood, and has a regular gig as The Dark Archer on Green Arrow; James Marsters and Juliet Landau from Buffy The Vampire Slayer; Verne Troyer from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; and Star Trek: The Next Generation cast member and good sport Wil Wheaton, who has been very funny in cameo appearances on The Big Bang Theory. There are lesser-known but still interesting media personalities to be found seated at rows of tables in the convention hall.