2018 was a great year for the comic convention and entertainment industry as a whole and I am happy that I got to witness many of the events. Raging from the big movies such as Avengers: Infinity War and A Quiet Place to the great seasons of our favorite television shows, and the headlines that made the majority of the audience react on social media and on a platform such as YouTube, we are in an age of information that can be shared and watched by millions. In that same time, the comic convention scene has become bigger in a larger scale and it has drawn many attendees of different fandoms all packed into one giant building. I have covered many of them over the years and last year was the most I have covered in one year as part of the media. Here are five that I will write about on my experience in the convention scene.
The biggest show in Chicago every year and they do not disappoint at all. C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) takes place at the McCormick Center in Chicago and you will have to take a bus to go to the center. When I went there in 2017, It was very warm the day that I went there. In 2018, the weather was a little cold and I would recommend to wear a jacket when you go there because the convention center itself is near a body of ocean. The show is great and there are two floors of the show and they are very large and it is filled up by different vendors and artists and gaming areas. Of all the conventions I have went to, this one is floor friendly the most as you would not feel lost or cramped in areas at all. The panels I have attended that week featured Guardians of the Galaxy, Tom Kenny of Spongebob Squarepants, and Khary Payton of The Walking Dead. I have also interviewed the cast of Daphne and Velma as well and we all had a blast talking. Call me weird, but as a guy from New York, I prefer Chicago style pizza and I love it!
Wizard World Philadelphia
Up next, is Philadelphia and Wizard World’s biggest show is in Philadelphia and the best part of the location is that it is right across the street from the Reading Terminal Market. You would not have to scatter around the convention center to figure out what food that you want to get since the market has a huge amount of options that you can choose. Wizard World itself is usually a great show with a great amount of celebrities that you can meet. I wanted to meet Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones, but I did not have the time at all since I was covering the show. I did got the chance to interview Erica Schroeder in which we talked about her role in Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon and The panels I have attended featured Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher of Justice League, Sebastain Stan, and the voices of Overwatch. The cosplay over there was actually great too with some mind blowing ones that caught my attention that I still do remember to this day.
San Diego Comic Con
I have not been to SDCC since 2012 and when I went there to cover it in 2018, It has changed and I was amazed with the huge presence over there. This was not like other conventions where only parts of the city were comic con themed, The ENTIRE area of San Diego was comic con themed from the minute you walk out of the airport and onward. I even seen it on taxi cabs, buildings, The Trolleys and theaters, and even the line of the Conan tapings that week. It was massive to see how big it has become since I was last there and there are also offsite events related to comic con for the press and attendees for everyone to enjoy such as the Jack Ryan escape room experience, Amazon TV’s museum, The Walking Dead’s showcase, South Park escape room, and much more. This is all outside of the convention center and they are at different parts of San Diego even though a few of the events are across the street of the convention center. Speaking of the convention center, you cannot even go to the sidewalk of the convention center unless you have a badge and that is a great move to prevent scalpers from trying to rip people off. The building itself is very huge and when I was there on preview night when there were a small amount of people there, It took me a whole fifteen minutes to walk from one side of the building to another. Imagine being there when there is a huge amount of attendees. The show itself was great and the media interviews I have been part of was The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Better Call Saul, and much more. I did however seen the dreaded Hall H line and I was stunned to see how many people were on the line that camped out for a few days. Hall H is where the bigger panels take place for television and movies and even surviving the line is a task. I have never went inside Hall H and I do not think I can put my body through it. All in all, SDCC I highly recommend for you to go once in your life.
Keystone Comic Con
The newest one of the convention scene is Keystone Comic Con and it is also in Philadelphia as well. Every convention has something unique and this one is the first comic con to have a wrestling ring with wrestling matches from Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore. I was not surprised to see that there was a large crowd each day of the matches that took place there and it actually turned out very well. There were wrestling legends there such as Tommy Dreamer, Bully Ray, Jim Cornette, and Jerry Lawler with a few new faces such as Lance Anaoi. Speaking of wrestling, Me and my girlfriend got the chance to not only meet WWE Superstar Nikki Bella, but we spoken to her for nearly ten minutes about different topics. There was also a large gaming area in one of the rooms and there were set up by different eras of gaming consoles. There was also a costume contest that I enjoyed and different vendors of comics as well. I hope in 2019 I can cover it again!
New York Comic Con
I have covered NYCC every year since 2012 and each year I love it more than the previous year. New York is a flooded city where it does not sleep but what did sleep this year, was the MTA as the 7 Train was not running the entire time during NYCC weekend and that frustrated me a lot. Other than that, I bought a large amount of comics at this show this year other than interviewing celebrities.But the day before NYCC began, I was invited to attend the red carpet event of DC’s Titans along with a screening of the first two episodes. Also, E! Network had a truck outside where they were giving away free donuts to attendees after they place their vote on the upcoming awards show at the time. I have went to that truck at least five times per day during that week. Celebrities I have interviewed ranged from shows such as Batman:The Animated Series, The Gifted, Legacies, Lore, and The Man in The High Castle. I also did my 200th episode of my podcast there with guests Jason Solomon of The Solomonster Sound’s Off, Jon Draper of Wrestling Soup, and Ray Flook of BleedingCool.com. I also ran into Brandon Davis of Comicbook.com and Kirsten of Insider many times during the week as we talked about various news about the show. If you are in New York, NYCC is the place to be during the fall.
My first show that I will cover will be C2E2 2019 so I will report from there
Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content and subscribe to The Wrestling Court as we talk about the latest in pro wrestling, pop culture, and comics along with our live watch reactions to past matches.