Anatomy of A Comic Con

23 Feb

This was all originally part of Awkward Celebrity Encounters Part II, but it’s too long and too off topic…now it’s its very own Blost! (That’s right Blog+Post…do sumthin’)

Every year in August, Wizard World comes to Chicago. For those of you that don’t know, Wizard World is a comic book convention…actually it’s more a Pop Culture convention. If you’ve never been to one of these conventions you are missing out. Where else can you go to see 90210’s Steve Sanders and Jerry Lawler rub elbows with Willy Wonka’s Mike TV?

Uh….I just checked the line up for 2012 and brace yourself…….

Melissa Joan Hart & Joey Lawrence are coming!! Hurray!!!!

Clarissa the Teenage Witch!



Every year it’s pretty good, but never has it been Melissa & Joey good!!!!


There are a handful of guests that you’re always going to run into. Nicholas Brendan practically lives at these things. I’m not sure when he finds time to act as he seems to always be on the fan convention circuit.This probably pays better than a guest spot on Criminal Minds though, so no judgement , Nicky. You’ll prolly see James Marsters and you’ll always see someone from the WWE. Someone from at least one of the Star Trek franchises will be there and for the last two years there’s been at least one Monkee.With so many people at these things how are you supposed to know who’s who among the Comic Con Glitterati?? For your Edutainment I present to you:

The Four Tiers of Comic Con Celebrities

 Tier Four:

Your WWE Superstars, your television guest roles (90210’s Emily Valentine! Chick from Baywatch! Suitcase #9 from Deal Or No Deal! That One Guy From That One Show!) and your Reality “Stars”

These guys are stuck at tables either smack dab in the middle of the merchandise tables or clustered in the back of the

No deal.

convention near the bathrooms. They don’t have handlers and are generally more excited to talk to you than you are to them.  I once had to walk by the same table 15 times due to its location…you can only politely smile and nod to Johnny Fairplay so many times before you start to feel like an asshole for not saying something or giving him 8 bucks for an autograph. 

Tier 3:

Nostalgia Guests (The cast of Willy Wonka all grow’d up! Richard Roundtree! The Monkees! Pam Grier!

They sit at their tables (in slightly better locations) with a stack of glossy 8x10s and smile as you tell them how much you love them. You’ll give them $45-$65 and they’ll awkwardly but politely put their arm around you while your friend or their assistant/handler try to figure out how to take a picture with your phone.

No…press the picture of the camera… it flash??…nevermind…

Tier 2:

Legit Star Promoting Something Recent

You’ll  generally find this tier along the perimeter of the room with roped off areas for fanchildren to line up. Here you’ll find the cast of Walking Dead, True Blood, Torchwood, etc. If it’s still on or still relevant you’ll find them here. You’ll find your Buffy folk over this way too. These guys operate much like Tier 3, but there are ropes, longer lines and if you’re not there on a Friday or Saturday it’s just going to be a giant picture of their face and an empty table.

Two Xanders for the price of one.


 Tier 1:

Featured Guests

This is where the big hitters are. This is your Shatner, your Patrick Stewart and entire cast of The Next Generation, your Chris Hemsworths, Linda Hamiltons, Christopher Lloyds, Bruce Campbells, etc…

Oh Captain, My Captain

These guys are in prime location, roped off, sometimes curtained off (Carrie Fisher, I’m talking to you) you have a few hours on Saturday to get in, pay up, get it signed, and move along.


Then there’s Artist’s Alley. Spend a lot of time here folks. You might not recognize these guys’ faces but chances are you’ve seen their artwork somewhere. 100% of the artwork I’ve purchased for my home came from Artist’s Alley. It’s a goldmine of talent over there.

Found in the Alley.

Insider Tip: If you hit AA up near the end of the last day of the Con they’ll be itching to get rid of any unsold work they’d otherwise have to pack up and schlep back home. It’s a fire sale in AA on Sunday at 3pm.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This list doesn’t actually include any of the Comic Book artists and writers that you’ll find at these things. While I believe I’m qualified to categorize the Pop Culture-sphere I don’t know squat about the people that actually make comics. They belong to a tier all their own. It’s like on Glee where I know so much about the actual Glee Club, but I have no clue about the hierarchies of the Jazz Band behind them.

PICTURED: Fascinating Opportunities for Backstory

My Husband is always working at these things so I end up waiting for him next door at the hotel bar. The hotel where the cool kids are staying. The cool kids who, after a full day of signing autographs and hugging nerds, like to drink…at the hotel bar. It was in this hotel bar, after a day at Wizard World last year, where I met……

LeVar Burton!!!!!!!

To be continued…


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