For the first time since this lifelong Cleveland visitor can remember, the stars of pop culture came to town and the fans turned out by the thousands to welcome them with open arms.
Wizard World brought their popular Comic Con franchise to the north-coast this weekend and while Mother Nature did her best to throw a damper on things (Winter Storm Warning – 8 inches of snow – below zero wind chills) the hearty folks of Northeast Ohio paid no attention and showed the show promoters what we are made of.
Sporting a stellar line up that featured Bruce Campbell, William Shatner, Corey Feldman and a bevy of other fan favorites the show kicked off on Friday night and ran full force until late in the afternoon on Sunday. Also on hand were an army of artists, authors and dealers, so many that is was actually pretty much impossible to see everything.
Before I go any further I want to make sure and say – Wizard World puts on a first class event. From the minute you walk in the front door of the hall you are greeted with smiles and helpful employees hell bent on making you feel comfortable and letting you know that you are among friends. Easy admission and before you know it, you are standing in a virtual shopping mall of genre themed coolness. I have been in many dealer sections at many different conventions but this was by far one of the most diverse and well-stocked floors I’ve come across, and it seemed folks were buying, lengthy but fast moving lines abounded.
The big reasons most were there of course was a chance to meet and hang out with some celebrities, and they were plentiful. Bruce Campbell and William Shatner headlined but there was a wealth of other talent on hand and once again, lines were long but fast moving and organized.
My grandson made the trip with me, he’s all of five years old and his world pretty much revolves around the Power Rangers, Batman, The Avengers, etc. When he heard that the green Power Ranger Jason David Frank was in town, there was no way I was leaving the house without him and what better way to be able to report on the treatment of attendees then to be out among the masses. The end result?
Everyone and I do mean everyone involved from celebrities to security guards were kind, helpful, friendly and honestly seemed pleased and excited to be there and that made all of us, the fans glad to be there as well.
It was/is great to see downtown Cleveland a buzz with genre fans and as I am writing this event report the good news has arrived that next years event is already in the books. Northeast Ohio, grab yourself a 2016 calendar and pencil in the dates Feb. 26th – 28th. Wizard World will in deed be returning and this is one fan that could not be happier.
by: Dave Dreher