Howdy ho buckaroos! Your favorite drunkards from DPW have gone and covered another Wizard World event. This year Wizard World has returned to our hometown so you know we couldn’t skip out on checking things out! This show was announced without much notice though, which means instead of coming up with a detailed plan of coverage like some of our past events, we had to improvise.
Normally, we plan out all the event panels, artists, and booths we want to check out ahead of time. But with this show being scheduled so suddenly, Wizard World wasn’t able to update things as efficiently as they normally do. I think they may have had a hard time booking people on such short notice, but we had a great time regardless. As did a lot of other people.
The Drive And Parking
We were excited about this show because not only was it near where we live, but it’s a show in the summer! We could actually go outside without it being cold as balls. Sorry, Cleveland! And boy did we spend a lot of time outside. But I’ll get into that later.
The drive went well. Even the shitty Pittsburgh traffic wasn’t too bad on Friday. Parking is always a hassle, but we managed to find a decent garage for the weekend. So all in all, no complaints. We actually went into a show with energy for a change. Not much else to say on the matter.
Instead of driving into Pittsburgh every day, fighting traffic, then battling to find a place to park, we decided to get a hotel for the weekend and just walk to the con every day. Because we’re ballers (lazy), we booked a weekend in the Drury Hotel which is barely a five-minute walk from the convention center. Good move!
We stayed in a Drury in Cleveland that was quite nice and I would say this one was more or less the same. It had a baller ass patio near the roof, an amazing breakfast setup, a pool, and sweet rooms. Plus, since we were right in the cultural district of Pittsburgh, there were a whole bunch of amazing restaurants and bars within walking distance. Once again, not much to talk about. It was all good in the hood!
Unlike when we went on our trips to Cleveland, I’ve been to Pittsburgh countless times. So there weren’t any real surprises. Other than motherloving Picklesburgh, that is! Yes, there was a pickle themed festival going on before the con. And a lot of Wizard World people were there.
Unfortunately, we didn’t know about this incredible pickle party until it was too late. But you can find all kinds of goofy footage by checking out our buddy Mike Watson’s Facebook page. He was the main man during Wizard World weekend (I think it’s safe to say he had done more panels than anyone else at the show by a large number). And he started things off by chugging, or rather, failing to chug a jar of pickle juice. Again, we missed out on that amazingness. But we did run into him at the con security checkpoint hosting his own little Family Feud style game show for the fans waiting for the show to open up. That man works damn hard to make the fans have a good time.
This year’s setup was a bit different than the last Pittsburgh show but it suffered from the same glaring problem we bitched about last time. The damn security checkpoint was between the main show floor and where the panel rooms were. Why oh why do you do this?
There are some issues with this setup:
- Anytime you want to go to a panel (Wizard World has a lot and we usually cover as many as we can), you must leave the main con floor, go upstairs, walk down a longggg hallway, then find the room where the panel is. Then, if you want to go back to the main floor after the panel is over with, you have to walk all the way back, then go through security again (we had bags which had to be checked in every time).
- The second problem with this, which is a major problem, you can bring weapons (guns, knives, grenades) to the event panels because you don’t have to go through security at all to go to them. You can walk in right off the street and go straight up to the panel rooms without getting stopped.
- This setup puts the celebrities at risk because again, you can bring weapons to the panel rooms!
The easy fix for this problem is to simply put the security checkpoint in front of the stairs that go upstairs. Maybe even put the checkpoint before the ticket booths. Then again, the convention center is so huge (we actually wandered through most of it and didn’t run into any employees or security) that you could find another way upstairs if you really wanted to. Hell, you probably could find a way onto the con floor without much effort.
Security aside, the con itself was smaller than the last one we went to in Pittsburgh. And it was way smaller than the one in Cleveland. There weren’t many artists or vendors. Again, that probably had more to do with the last-minute scheduling than anything. Unfortunately, that meant we covered the whole floor and talked to everyone at the show fairly quickly.
It was also more of an intimate show. You could actually talk to creators and people without being mobbed. As creators ourselves, I think that’s pretty cool. Also, it’s easier to sell your stuff as a creator when you don’t have a ridiculous amount of competition. Then again, without a lot of vendors and creators, you struggle to keep people in the building. This was a problem we saw throughout most of the weekend.