Fancy meeting some WWE wrestlers, cast members of The Flash, Walking Dead, and Avengers plus the iconic host of Taradise? Then, congratulations, you can at Wizard World St. Louis! May 22nd–24th will be a nerd holiday for anyone in the Midwest who belongs to a fandom or enjoys meeting celebrities (that would be ME). My first Wizard World experience in Nashville was quite fun, if not a little overwhelming, and I WILL BE BACK FOR STL. This time, I am extremely excited to meet all of the random assortment of celebrities and to stock up on some cool merch for sale from the vendors.
If you’re looking for a good con to start out on, Wizard World is the best one. Read on for my picks for best events, celebrities and fandoms to be on the lookout for while you’re at the con.
ELVIRA (CASSANDRA PETERSON)
I mean come on, now. Show some respect. Elvira should be at the top of everyone’s list. She’s the queen (er, mistress) of pure camp and Halloween was practically invented because of her. If you haven’t watched one of her glorious 80s movies YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED. Elvira is still appearing in scores of TV shows, and producing her own films like 13 Nights of Elvira for Hulu. She also has some great records available from Jack White’s Third Mann and I plan on having her sign one.
This one is pretty awesome. George is like the grandfather of horror films and he’s directed some bad-ass ones. Most iconic would be his film Night Of The Living Dead, which has spawned hundreds of similar TV shows and films. As stated in his biography, “Beginning with his first feature, “Night of the Living Dead” (1968), Romero not only upped the ante on explicit screen violence and gore, but also offered a satirical critique of American society that reflected the cultural upheavals of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most importantly, Romero ushered in a fascination with zombies and spawned numerous imitators over the ensuing decades.”
If you’re a fan of the new Avengers flick Age of the Ultron, then Haley Atwell’s appearance at Wizard World will definitely be of interest to you. Joss Whedon wrote the role of young Peggy Carter specifically for her, and when she’s not in a hugely epic action film she’s starring in the spin-off TV series Agent Carter. VIP passes are available for Haley’s appearance which guarantee you a photo, autograph and front row seat at her panel.
WWE SUPERSTAR SETH ROLLINS
I really know nothing about wrestling other than it’s fantastically trashy, campy and fun to watch. Seth Rollins, nicknamed The Shield, has wrestled against all of the biggest names in the WWE from Randy Orton to John Cena and the bouts are pretty brutal. Seth’s appearance at Wizard World comes with the following schedule:
WWE® Superstar Seth Rollins™’s Schedule:
5:30PM ─ Photo Ops – VIP’s 1st then General Admission
6:15PM ─ Autograph Signing – VIP’s 1st then General Admission
8:00PM ─ Q&A Panel in Room TBD
VIP tickets can be purchased here
90s bombshell, 00s party girl and 10s star of Sharknado can all be used to describe Tara Reid. She’s had a fantastic career of American Pie, Josie and the Pussycats, My Bosses’ Daughter and E!’s hilariously awful series Taradise. No one really knows what Tara Reid is doing now beyond starring in Sharknado and originally being terrified it would ruin her career until it actually brought back some relevance to it…… but she will be at Wizard World STL signing autographs, posing for pictures and generally being a queen.
Rick is a Zimbabwe native who moved to Australia to study at QUT and now lives in the US. According to his biography, Rick’s work began in theatre but quickly spread to film and TV. He’s even done some producing. Rick is a relatively new face in the fandom/ acting world but you definitely know him if you watch The Flash where he plays Eddie Thawne or Vampire Diaries where he first became known as Dr. Wes Maxfield.
Ohhh, cons where fandoms all unite under one cause: going batshit crazy. Here are just a few you might encounter while you are heading through the convention.
Probably the one fandom that will have the biggest presence and notoriety is the Bronies. When I first entered Nashville’s Comic Con I was stopped by a Bronie delivering the good word. “Do you like My Little Pony?”, he asked nicely. I said I had no real opinion of it, but I enjoyed hearing about the fandom. He explained that the fandom gets a lot of flack but they are actually kind people. And this particular fan was also selling My Little Pony bags and blankets for the very cheap prince of $20. Bronies are EVERYWHERE at cons–this is the one spot they can feel loved–so please be on the lookout for them. They are a national treasure.
THE DISNEY FANS
I met one fan in Nashville who makes his living selling Disney pins that he buys at Disney World every year. The man had a booth that was covered from wall to wall with pins and they were being sold like crazy. This man told me that he regularly goes to Disney World about five times a year to buy more pins and then goes on the road with Wizard World and other conventions selling them. There are many, many Disney fans at Comic Cons and Frozen seems to be the hot item for many of them. They are less annoying than other fandoms but just as prevalent.
They are at an all time high with Avengers: Age of the Ultron just being released, and nearly every kind of Marvel merchandise will be available. They will be ransacking booths selling comic books, action figures and tshirts in search of their favorite character.
DOCTOR WHO FANS
AKA fans who fetishize British culture and take pictures inside the Doctor phonebooth for $10. Stay away from them. They’re too much
CREEPY OLD MEN WHO ARE HERE FOR THE HOT YOUNG ACTRESSES
You find this at every event that hosts young actresses meeting their fans. They travel far and wide to speak to them for five minutes about their knowledge on said actress’s illustrious career. They usually are dressed like a 50 year old dad (probably because they are) and they can’t help but make some sort of remark on how “beautiful and talented” the girls are. They usually pop up most heavily at panels open to any ticket holder because they don’t have to pay extra to talk into a mic for an ungodly long amount of time.
Some of them will cosplay like their favorite Pokemon character, most of them will have a PokeBall ready to throw or will be in search of a collectable Pikachu to buy. They’re harmless and usually in art school. On lulls in the convention you’ll probably find them at a table or in a corner playing Pokemon Blue.
~SOME GENERAL THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND~
-Meeting a celebrity will last all of thirty seconds. You are there to get an autograph or have a photo taken, not become best friends with them though we would all like to. I know every year fans are pissed off that they didn’t get to spend a longer time chatting with a celebrity but there’s a line, hunty, so move along.
-Bring A LOT OF MONEY. Everything at Wizard World costs money. If you want an autograph it’s generally $45, if you want a picture its around $50 (and can be split between two people), if you want merch it can add up real fast. Also add in food if you’re staying for the whole day. Then add in money for weird trivial things you may want to do like getting your picture taken in the Doctor Who telephone booth.
-There’s a lot of cosplaying going on and THEY LOVE HAVING THEIR PICTURE TAKEN. Take as many as you want. They get almost as much attention as the celebrities themselves.
-It doesn’t matter what time you get there because the “box office” will always be open. The long lines are really not that bad and at most you’ll wait ten minutes.
-Enjoy being in a weird world where it’s celebrated to be a nerd and to spend a lot of money on things normal people~ will raise their eyebrow at. Embrace your inner nerd.
AS FOR THE OTHER THINGS LIKE PANELS… I’ll be updating them as the con gets closer and a list is posted! So please check back to this post in about a week!