Note: this is my Fast and Easy Review of the 2017 Cleveland Wizard World Comic Con. It’s just a very brief overview of my time at the event. The full review and our coverage of the three day con will be published within a few days.
I have never been to Cleveland before, let alone a convention in Cleveland. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when it came to attending this con. But I couldn’t be more pleased on how how this convention turned out. Especially as I’m normally not much of a fan when it comes to the bigger, more commercial shows; but this was definitely the exception to the rule.
To tell the truth, Wizard World really knocked it out of the park with this show. The venue was excellent—with plenty of space for the vendors and artists. The rooms that held the panels were just as nice—having them all close together so if you needed to jump quickly from one room to another in order to catch a couple different panels it wasn’t too difficult to make it in time.
There was also a good mixture of guests and panel moderators. And you got to see pop culture people, but it wasn’t overrun with them; which was nice as it left more shine for comic artist, writers, and others in the industry—one of the things I always look forward to but usually find hard to come by.
One thing I wasn’t quite expecting was the quality of the indie creators there. And by quality, I mean there was a high quality in a lot of their work, as well as the creators themselves. I can’t wait to start reading the books I picked up. To just name a few of the great creators I met: Victor Dandridge, Michael Watson, and Dirk Manning were really a major highlight of the show for me.
Another pleasant surprise was how many panels this show had. Almost too many as we couldn’t possibly cover them all (even with Caleb and myself often splitting up to each cover a panel). There were so many different panels covering a multitude of topics and subject matter: you had the typical celebrity Q&As and cosplay stuff, but you also had panels hosted by independent creators helping aspiring writers on how to get into the business, create work, self-publish, and many other interesting parts of the creating process.
I also liked some of the more off the wall panels, like the discussion of why the DC movies may not be as bad as you think they are. Another unique one that stands out was the NASA and the Science of Superman panel. But if you aren’t into the educational stuff, there were also plenty of anime and cosplay themed events going on throughout the weekend.
The only real criticism I can think of related to the show itself is them not having enough mainstream comic creators. Now, I’m not saying that the people they had weren’t talented, (this is more of a personal preference) I just would like to have been able to meet more people in that part of the business. It’s really interesting to find out more about the top guys in the comic industry and how they got there.
The other main criticism, and this isn’t even Wizards World’s fault, is that the Huntington Convention Center doesn’t have any real parking. You have to find a random garage located nearby because there aren’t any parking lots. And if you’re there for the whole weekend, parking can get pretty pricey. But other than that, this has been one of the better cons I’ve attended in a good awhile.
So, to go over everything one last time: the showroom floor was good, the layout was good, the guests and panels were awesome, and if you ask anybody that attended, I’m sure they’ll tell you the same thing. It’s going to be a hard act to follow next year, but I’m definitely interested in seeing if Wizard World Cleveland can top themselves.
Some things I did and didn’t mention
- Good floor layout.
- Spacious main floor.
- Great panels.
- Fun entertainment.
- Plenty of clean bathrooms.
- Good security.
- Fast and efficient entry.
- A lot of events for varied interest (cosplay, video games, board games, magic, singing, painting, etc…).
- Good food options.
- Bad parking.
- Too many overlapping panels.
- Not many big name comic book creators.
- Lou Ferrigno almost bulldozed Caleb over on the way to his hotel.
I give 2017 Cleveland Wizard World