Review: Wizard Con
Your intrepid reporters, tin lizzy and gigglebyte recently wandered around Wizard Con for an evening with hopes of bringing back exciting tales of sci-fi related panel discussions.1 Okay, fine, we thought maybe we’d get to meet Gillian Anderson, because we didn’t read the fine print and realize that was some sort of special add-on wristband event only available on Saturday afternoon.
We did not meet Gillian Anderson. Nor did we attend any exciting sci-fi related panel discussions. What we did do was shop. A lot.
Now, we are not newbies to the Con attending experience, although we are woefully limited in our exposure. We have attended CONvergence and Gaylaxicon, both of which were immensely enjoyable and so we went to Wizard Con expecting a similar experience.
And, Wizard Con was certainly enjoyable, but it was very different from both CONvergence and Gaylaxicon. We have to assume that this is because of the mighty weight of the Comic-Con organization that underwrites Wizard Con. The entire affair felt a little less home-grown and a lot more corporate sponsorship-y. And total double thumbs up to that – with its fancy banners and widespread acceptance of credit cards there is no doubt that it is a comfortable environment for those just wading into fandom. But somehow, it also sucked the money directly out of our pockets as we gave our money to every vendor along the way. Maybe because the action all happened in a large convention hall while the panels were off to the side? Whatever, who knows.
You may be asking yourselves, what did you do other than shop? Well, we did have exciting cos-play experiences.
As you can see, we travelled back to the future and rode hoverboards.
And yes, we may have paid good money to sit in a Delorean, but we also felt good about that decision, because the money goes to ToTheFuture.org – a charity dedicated to curing Parkinsons.
We also did a bit of ghostbusting. Yep, that’s right, there we are. We don’t have uniforms because we didn’t make the cut after we ran shrieking from the ghosts.
Oh! And we escaped the clutches of this awesome Weeping Angel. That’s right, we knew better than to blink.
We could have met some famous people. But, this raises a question: what the hell do you say to said famous person? For example, we are both quite enamoured with the television show Star Trek. You may have heard of it, that man who does the Priceline commercials was in the original series? At Wizard Con we were able to pay a small fee to meet Brent Spiner, also known as the excellent android Data in Star Trek: TNG.
This would be exciting if you perhaps collect autographs. We do not. And so, we are left torn: we like Brent Spiner as an actor and appreciate his attendance at the event. But, outside of saying – hey, we are really into that show you were in 25 years ago2 we don’t really have anything else to discuss with Brent. Also, he had to sit at a little table in a roped off area, so it’s not like you can be all, “Hey Brent, let us buy you a beer and you can tell us all your on set stories about Star Trek?” It was weird. Made weirder by our own awkwardness which left us standing awkwardly near the empty rope line wondering if we should or should not pay money to say “Thanks for being an awesome actor Brent Spiner.”3
For all you possible would-be Wizard Con attendees: you should go. It’s a definite A1+ experience. But don’t go with the expectation of meeting a new gaming group or having an intellectual discussion about the perils of time travel. Think more, Starbucks than Indie Coffee House.
Final decision? Wizard Con is a Double Thumbs Up Experience.
Yeah, that’s right we’re pseudonym-ing it, that’s how we roll when we’re fan-girling ↩
holy shit Star Trek: TNG is old ↩
Also, a moment of realization that the reason Data got killed dead in the last Star Trek: TNG based movie was because Brent is not an android and therefore ages. We feel that this messiness could have been avoided with a storyline discussing how Data felt that he needed to age to fully appreciate the human experience. Dammit, Jim, that was the whole thrust of the Data story arc anyway, so it’s not like it would have been a stretch. Anyway. ↩