If you forgot to mark your calendar for June 19-21, then you missed quite an event at this year’s Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con 2015 being hosted at the Sacramento Convention Center on a very hot weekend.
There were artists. There were celebrities. There were toys. There were comic books. And there were comic book geeks – lots of them. And fortunately there was working air conditioning in the building to somewhat counteract the 100+-degree heat, which I think those wearing many-layered costumes were grateful for, and which probably explained why so few people lingered outside.
But enough about the inconvenient heat. Though I have gone to a few of these conventions already, I still found the initial entry overwhelming, since I never really know what to expect. Even seeing so many comic books and toys on display took my breath away. Then I look elsewhere and I see Iron Man, Captain America, a few knights, Helena from Orphan Black (personal favorite), Elsa (Frozen), and even a White Walker. Attendees can probably spend the entire day just gawking at cosplayers, taking photos, and mingling with many people who share similar interests. If someone told me that more couples find love at Comic Con than on Match.com, I would believe it.
But there’s so much more to do. Dozens of artists and other big names had booths and tables to showcase their talents, talk, answer questions, and pose for photos with fans. There were all-day gaming rooms for those wanting to take a break to play any number of board games and video games, including tournaments to establish bragging rights at Mortal Kombat X, Ultimate Street Fighter 4, and Super Smash Bros.
There were many official video cameras out and about as Wizard World broadcast much of the convention for its CONtv channel for those who couldn’t make it out or missed a panel due to scheduling conflicts. Saturday was filled with the majority of the convention’s celebrity appearances, including Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek: Generations), Danny Trejo (Machete), Katie Cassidy (Arrow), Billie Piper (Doctor Who, Penny Dreadful), Manu Bennett (Spartacus), Adrian Paul (Highlander: The Series), Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), and a couple of former Power Rangers (Jason David Frank and David Yost).
These panels are always enjoyable since the celebrities seem to generally like being around their fans. In Piper’s case, any Doctor Who actor should expect the love and fanaticism that comes with the territory, and Piper does still watch Doctor Who despite not being on the show anymore (an aside: her favorite episode is “Father’s Day”). McDowell, well known as Alex from A Clockwork Orange, gave a lot of advice to the many aspiring actors in the crowd (many of whom watched Franklin and Bash); his most passionate tip was encouraging them to see productions of Shakespeare plays (A Midsummer Night’s Dream in particular) to better understand character development.
Jason Mewes (Clerks) made what should have been a record-extending appearance. I can’t think of anyone who is more of a regular at these conventions than Jay. Earlier, he and Kevin Smith recorded a live episode of their popular podcast Jay & Silent Bob Get Old. Anyone who keeps tabs on Mewes knows that he’s a really positive person, especially now that he’s a new dad and currently 1,815 days sober, as well as finally wrapping up Mallrats 2 (yes, it’s a go).
It’s surprising how academic many of the presentations were. One was on the hero/heroine’s journey and the process or transformation they undergo, although gender does alter that approach (storywise at least). Another was on The Walking Dead, not about the story but about the psychology of the living dead (i.e, the survivors) and how they reacted and coped with being surrounded by so much death. Another interesting session was on the future of space exploration and NASA’s plans to colonize the solar system, including the Moon, Mars, Jupiter’s sixth closest moon Europa, and Saturn’s largest moon Titan.
- Malcolm McDowell really wants to play Maggie Thatcher sometime in the future (kidding).
- Danny Trejo is opening a taco restaurant in a month or so in Los Angeles: Trejo’s Tacos.
- Heroes have supportive mentors. Heroines have grumpy, harsh, and nasty mentors but are nonetheless insightful (think school of hard knocks).
- Billie Piper will never sing professionally again.
- Dennys Ilic: “Games are the new movies” (“Where the Synergy of Video Games, Books, and Films Collide” panel).
- Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) and Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bring It On, Dollhouse) were among the last-minute cancellations.
Every convention feels like a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Regular attendees steal a popular phrase whenever possible: “Whatever happens at Comic Con, stays at Comic Con.” And judging from the costumes I saw people wearing, I think it’s safe to say that those outfits probably wouldn’t be very kosher at company Halloween parties, or most Halloween parties that aren’t explicitly X-rated. There were a few costume contests during the weekend, but I can’t really tell you who won or what they were wearing. It’s something should’ve been here to see.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=0071797025][amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00RZZ5H8S][amazon template=iframe image&asin=0843182466]