Last week, I had the opportunity to go to WizardWorld Chicago, the first in person WizardWorld convention to take place since COVID first hit the United States. Since I was fully vaccinated and was willing to wear a mask for the time I was indoors and in public, I felt safe enough to attend. I. Had. A. BLAST. Besides seeing incredible cosplaying for the first time in a year and a half, I also had the chance to meet a few great celebrities. Now that I’ve finally had a chance to unpack (literally) what I picked up at the convention, I thought I’d share with you some of my haul, as well as some of the photos I took while at the convention.
First of all, I got to stand next to Michael FUCKING Rooker! He was actually the main reason I wanted to go to WizardWorld Chicago as I am a big fan of his work in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and the Walking Dead TV series. Michael Rooker is also just an incredible person who loves his fans and it’s amazing that he still does these conventions.
I also had the chance to meet one of my favorite voice actors. You know him as Donatello. You know him as Raphael. You know him as Arthur. You know him as Carl. You know him as Yakko Warner. You know him as Pinky. Heck, you know him as a lot of voices.
I also caught Rob Paulsen’s Q&A panel before his photo shoot, and the man is incredibly lovely and laid back. Rob knows the effect his voice(s) has had on generations of people, and he appreciates how much his fans appreciate him and his work.
But there was one more person who I was able to meet last weekend. Fresh off his recent trip TO SPACE(!), and at the young age of 90, William Shatner came to this convention to talk about his experiences and give fans a chance to meet him.
Since William Shatner only came to the convention on Sunday and I wanted to get home at a decent hour, I only stayed for the autograph session. Fortunately, my VIP pass allowed me to bypass the throngs of fans and make this wish come true.
During the convention on Saturday, I was able to check out a live recording of the Women’s’ Sports Matter podcast, hosted by Gianna Belcastro. This was perfect timing for Gianna as the Chicago Sky were playing at home that night to win the 2021 WNBA championship. Gianna talked about a lot of subjects in women’s sports, and she talked about her WizardWorld experience on a recent episode. You can listen to it here.
While I was wandering the convention floor on Saturday, I met a creator and writer from the Chicago area who was presenting some of his works. Onrie Kompan is a fiction writer who has ventured into both comics and Korean history with his Yi Soon Shin series. I purchased the first two graphic novels compiling the first 8 issues from the series, as well as Marx, a story Kompan wrote about his grandfather’s history and legacy after he passed away. I fell off the comics reading wagon earlier this year, so this is a great opportunity for me to get back into it and support an independent comics artist.
Finally, as promised, here are some of the great cosplayers I saw at WizardWorld Chicago.