Wizard World St. Louis Comic-Con 2014 - Show Report Part 2
Doctor Who Strong At The Con With Matt Smith & Karen Gillian Appearances...
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-- by Ken Rodriguez
Hello everybody, welcome to the 2014 St. Louis Wizard World Comic Con. Ken here, and I was just traveling in my "borrowed" T.A.R.D.I.S. over Indiana when the controls started going in automatic mode again. My search for another incarnation of the Doctor has brought me here to St. Louis but it appears one day before his arrival. I was in the dark as to which incarnation may be here until I discovered a well placed clue; ok so a huge 8 foot by 4 foot sign was hanging with the name "MATT SMITH"! Yes, the Eleventh Doctor is set to arrive on Saturday. This is a rare honor to have a Doctor touring with Wizard World. What I gathered thus far, this is his second Wizard World to participate in and his last one as of this writing! St. Louis is lucky indeed.
To "kill" some time I decided to walk a bit and see what this convention had to offer as this is only the second time it has come to St. Louis. Entering Hall 4 you'll noticed right away a major change. The convention floor is on the St. Louis Rams playing field! How cool is that? The bleacher seats are all around us as the celebrities and exhibitors are smack dab on the playing field. Asking one of the Wizard World employees they said this is the first that they know of Wizard World doing this. Usually they are held inside giant meeting spaces or expo centers, but not on a professional sporting arena.
This year's convention was beautifully put together by John Macaluso (Wizard World CEO) and Jerry Milani (Head of Marketing/ PR), not to mention hundreds of dedicated Wizard World Staff and volunteers. I had the honor to meet Jerry as well as other staff members and I discovered a common theme with them: they are here to help and want to make sure everyone has a great time. Truly a great team effort here at St. Louis Wizard World.
Friday's opening ceremonies was fantastic as the office of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay proclaimed Friday April 4th as "Batman and Robin Day", with special guest Adam West and Burt Ward, Tv's original Batman and Robin! Many appeared to help celebrate the occasion and between Adam cracking jokes and Burt using his over the top voice to say hello. It was a successful event that every fanboy and fangirl would cherish these two iconic actors.
As I continued to check out all of the exhibitors, I came across a unique item..... a first public look of Toynami's 30th Anniversary Voltron action figure (Voltron was created here in St. Louis). I was informed that the toys are literally on a boat from China heading this way. The figure sells around the $250 price range. In the pictures you'll notice the glowing eyes... a very cool figure with a solid base as well.
All around me I noticed an increasing number of cosplayers both as individual and as families. Danny Fingeroth (writer and editor at Marvel) was conducting an interview, they had cars from Dukes of Hazzards, Breaking Bad, and of course BumbleBee. Even came across Neal Adams looking over a page of art.
Then came the "Darkness," St. Louis's very own "America's Best Haunted House". I talked to Jeremy Tucker who is a set designer as well as the makeup artist/ actor manager/ and actor known as Bobo the Evil Klown. He informed me that the Darkness has been ranked in their industry as the number one scariest haunted house with 3D effects and state of the art technology. He mentioned that if they get so many people to like their facebook page then they will open a behind-the-scenes free for the public to look at this massive undertaking known as The Darkness. Scarefest is the next big event coming on Septermber 19, 2014. Scarefest.com will have more details. Looking at the various items they had at their exhibit, I can see why they're #1 in all things scary.
On Saturday, Matt Smith who played the 11th Doctor and Karen Gillian who played his companion Amelia Pond, both were on hand to meet fans. The Matt Smith photo lines were extremely long as literally hundreds showed for the opportunity to meet the 11th Doctor. As many people know, Karen had to get rid of her long red hair in order to play Nebula in the upcoming Marvel movie "Guardians of the Galaxy". Many commented on how good she looked with the short red hair. Plenty of fans attended. Absolutely two fantastic events that no Whovian should have missed. This was by far the best convention ever in St. Louis that had a Doctor Who theme to it.
Truly a special occasion here at the St. Louis Wizard World, but time now to travel back home in my borrowed TARDIS. G E R O M I N O !!!!
Story and Photos by Ken Rodriguez