Wizard World LA

Despite the fact that Wizard World LA was an overpriced, underattended bust of a show, we did go to part of it, and had a lot of fun. It was after all, at its heart, no matter the size, a comic book show with fun, funny, and fun-loving people.

As I wrote in an earlier post, on Friday we’d gone to LA’s disappointing science museum, the California ScienCenter. Their special exhibition was Bodyworlds, a show which I swear has been stalking me though science museums down the Pacific Coast. When we were OMSI members, it was on there. Last year, it was at the Tech Museum in San Jose. And now, at the one time in my entire life I’ve gone to the California ScienCenter, it was on there. And I still don’t want to see it, especially since I think my young children are more likely to be traumatized by seeing skinned human corpses than to actually be fascinated by anatomy. Besides, Wizard World had its own version for free.

The 3Mac booth had a severed head on its table:

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After they put candy around it, Kelly had no qualms about touching it.

And LA’s Golden Apple comic book/pop culture store was promoting the movie Pathology with this booth:

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The staff has better uniforms than the people at the California ScienCenter, so who cares that this exhibit doesn’t even pretend to have educational value?

On Sunday, we’d actually planned to just park at the LA Convention Center and take the wonderful DASH busses back to Expo Park and see the large and intriguing natural history museum, but we got caught up in the comic book show. Several of the booths had candy dishes, which was entertaining enough for Kelly. As it turned out, she became a full-on swag magnet without trying. Among other things, she was given a set of baby Wildstorm figures (which she declared to be her new favorite toy), a CGC-slabbed Supergirl comic, and a pin that she’d admired. I fear she’ll become the comic book show fan we dread: the one who goes from booth to booth just looking for free stuff.

However, for much of the time, she was also fully entertained at a kids’ corner booth Wizard had set up. She spun for a prize (a sticky hand), colored a lot and won a prize in the coloring contest, played with Play-Dough, got her face painted (twice), and got a temporary Supergirl tattoo on her hand.

Later, we got to meet some of our favorite superheroes from Who Wants to Be a Superhero? Here Kelly’s going after Fat Momma’s (fake) donuts:

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We also joked with Hygena when she showed us her figurine, which looked nothing like her except that it had a similar costume.

Neil, Peter and Joe (and an anonymous bass player) jammed on Rock Band, which was set up for a later competition at the show:

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And one of the best things about the shows were its excellent cosplayers, which I suppose you should expect from a place like LA. We’d missed the full-on costume contest on Saturday, but a group who’d dressed up as Gears of War were still impressing everyone, and I saw more than one woman (Asian or Asian at heart) dressed as the white witch from the upcoming Forbidden Kingdom movie. The 501st Legion also contributed to the show’s energy with their own promotion, giving lottery tickets for prizes to anyone approached by one of their stormtroopers. I don’t know if this group was part of the legion, or just cosplayers, but they stopped in the kids’ booth for pictures:

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By 3:30 pm on Sunday, the show was really closing down. Many of the booths, including the one for children, had started packing up. I was having a late lunch with Kelly when Lou Ferrigno, who’d had a booth at the show, walked past us, carrying a rolled up poster, and pulling a small trolley. No fawning entourage, no lackeys, and I have to say when I saw him at his booth (though I was afraid to talk to him without intending to buy an autographed picture), he was doggedly trying to hide his boredom with the slow show. It struck me that to the rest of the world, you may be a celebrity, but in LA, you’re just yet another guy trying to make a living in the entertainment industry.

Kelly and I strolled around the floor one more time, largely watching people quietly pack up whatever they could before the official closing time, and waited for 5 pm to come (by which time several of the smallest vendors were already gone). Then we packed up, and Joe and Mark took our gear back home, while Peter and I and the children headed south for a day at Legoland.

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