It has been a few years now since Wizard World has been in Pittsburgh. And I got super excited when I first heard the announcement of them coming back. The last time that they were in Pittsburgh we had just started DPW and really had no idea what we were doing. For those of you that have followed us the last couple of years, we have covered a few of their events in Cleveland Ohio, which have all been fantastic shows.
And to be completely honest with you guys, I was a little worried about this show. Because the last time they did do a show in Pittsburgh, for whatever reason, the turnout wasn’t that great. Which is probably why it’s taken a while for them to come back.
But they are back this year with a full slate of guests. Everybody ranging from celebrities to creators, cosplayers and everything else you could possibly think of. And with the main guest being Zachary Levi from Shazam! and Chuck, I was excited because I’ve heard nothing but how nice he is.
With that being said, not every con is perfect. So I decided to put together a list of what I liked about this year’s Pittsburgh Wizard World, and what I think they can do to improve the show if they come back next year.
This one might only pertain to us because of where we live, but it was kind of nice not having to drive a couple of hours to make it to the show. It definitely made enjoying the con easier, especially on the first day.
The Convention Center is a nice place to have the show. It’s big and it’s kept well cleaned. Also, the location of it is close to just about anything you would want to do in Pittsburgh. In my opinion it’s the ideal location for a convention.
The guests and the celebrities were all very nice and courteous to the attendees. I haven’t heard one complaint from any of the other con-goers. I do have one little gripe regarding this topic, but I’ll save that for later.
There were a lot of different panels covering a variety of subjects for this convention. Everything from different celebrities and guests that were there, talking about whatever shows or movies or different aspects of geekdom they’re involved with. Again, I do have a little bit of a critique that I will cover in this next segment.
Even though the guests who were there we’re great, there was not a lot of them. There were maybe ten celebrities, but none of them seemed too busy besides Zachary Levi. I’m not exactly sure why that was.
Adding on to that sentiment, there were only a few artists at the show who actually had or did original work or commissions. Everyone else was either selling things besides art or only had prints available. And that’s not all on Wizard World; they can only have people there who had applied for a table. I think they could have tried to get maybe some bigger named comic creators though.
Like I said before, I really liked a lot of the panels that I went to at this con. But the scheduling for them was pretty wacky. There were a couple of panels that I would’ve liked to have gone to, but they were scheduled either at the same time or like halfway through another one that I wanted to be at. It made it kind of frustrating to pick which ones to attend and which ones to skip.
Last but definitely not least on the negative list was the security. Before I get into it, I just want to say that I’m all for there being security and making sure nobody goes and tries to do anything stupid to ruin what is supposed to be a fun time for everybody. But they had it set up in such a weird way. They had it set up in a way than when we went up the escalators to get to the floor that the convention was on, we had to walk over to the side which is where we got our bags checked and waved down with the wand, which is fine. But all of the panels were on the next floor up.
So anytime you wanted to go to one of those and you left the main floor and you wanted to come back later on, you had to go through the whole process again. They should have had it so the security check was when you first entered the building. That way you would be done with it and could walk through the convention freely. And then if you happened to leave the convention building and come back, then you would have to go through security again. Which I think would be a better way to have that setup.
I really hope that this doesn’t stop Wizard World from coming back to Pittsburgh again. I think if given enough time, a good show could be put together for the Pittsburgh area. Hopefully, this was just kind of like a trial run to see how it would do since they haven’t been back for a couple of years. But with all that being said it was still a pretty good show. Just maybe not something that you would go to for the whole weekend like with other Wizard World conventions.