As you can see from the video, it was a beautiful weekend, but I wasn’t able to make the video I wanted to. I was hoping for bustling crowds, crazy people, and getting to talk with lots of creators. There just weren’t enough people at the event, though. Creators or guests.
Funny enough, despite what I just said, this was the most engaging we’ve been at a con. We had fun at the panels (more on those later), hopped on the 3 Geeks Podcast for a whole panel about movies, and even went out after the show on Friday night with 15 or so creators and con guests for a Drink and Draw hosted by Mike Watson. And it was a good ass time!
That’s where I’m ultimately conflicted with this show. I wanted to do a huge write-up like I always do, then add an awesome video for you cool cats, but there wasn’t much of anything that was noteworthy. I had a great time. Probably better than any show I’ve gone to in the last few years. But there was a lot more going on that had to do with that than the actual show.
For instance, there was a damn pickleball tournament going on in the next room. And there were more people there than at the con. I don’t even know what the hell pickleball is! But it was interesting to walk through. I don’t know why they had the tournament the same weekend as Wizard World, but it was a definite reason for the show numbers being lower than normal.
The show did have a big video game area and an anime library which were cool. There was also a tattoo booth which I thought was unique. And for the drunks at the show (me), they had reasonably priced booze which you could buy and drink while walking around the con floor.
I liked a lot of the vendor booths, which is something I usually avoid because most cons are overrun with flea market junk slingers. But this show had much cooler stuff. I went and bought an amazing handmade leather journal and used it to get a commission from Koa Beam. Which I think you’ll agree is pretty damn rad.
We also enjoyed the cosplay scene at this show. And while we didn’t cover the cosplay panels, we did attend the cosplay contest Saturday night. It was awesome!
If I put as much work into writing as these folks do in their costumes, I’d be an award winning novelist by now. Seriously, look at some of these incredible cosplays.
I wish I would have been able to meet more creators, but there just weren’t many at the show who I haven’t met before. Which is why we ended up spending most of our time talking with Koa Beam and Mike Watson. But I did have a chance to chat with some other folks.
So if you have a chance, check out Shawn Coss of Cyanide and Happiness fame, Mostafa Moussa who has done ink work for Marvel, IDW, Dark Horse, and many others, professional comic book illustrator Howard Bender, Nate Michaels who we bought an awesome piece for our podcast studio from, and author Ray Wenck who we bought our next Book of the Month book from.
We didn’t cover as many event panels as we normally do because there weren’t many about creating or involving creators. As you know, we focus on meeting and talking to creators at these shows. Unfortunately, there weren’t any creator themed panels outside of cosplay and drawing. There wasn’t a single writing panel, and that made us sad.
We ended up covering some comic book panels, a conspiracy theory panel, a few podcasts panels, a video game panel, and a charity auction. And while we were involved in most of the discussions, it wasn’t as cool as when we get to talk about writing and creating. I will say though, the highlight of the panels for us was the Zachary Levi Q&A. I wasn’t too interested in going to it because I haven’t seen Shazam! yet, but he was wonderful. He was fun, positive, and even knew the names of a lot of the con-goers. I highly recommend checking out any panel he’s in at future shows.
Pittsburgh deserves a great Wizard World show. The venue is amazing. The town is fun. And the people will come. I mean, if they will loyally attend Pittsburgh Pirates games even though the team is borderline trash almost every year, they would certainly turn up for a convention with some big-name celebrities, a packed artists alley, and cosplay galore!
This show didn’t even have a real theme. Usually, there’s a focus on things like anime, cosplay, video games, specific shows or movie franchises, but this show seemed more or less slapped together. I really, really, really hope the numbers from this show don’t make it so we don’t get another one in the near future. Because a Pittsburgh show in the summer is soooooo much fun.
At the end of the day, I had a great weekend. But this show seemed better for a one day visit rather than a whole weekend. There just wasn’t much to do for the average con-goer in my opinion. Or at least anything to hold their attention for the whole weekend. I’m hoping Wizard World comes back next year and puts in a real effort, though. Because I know this show could be amazing! As for Wizard World 2019, it was an average con. Not bad. Not great. Just a fun way to spend an afternoon.