Review: Wizard-World Comic-Con 2016

– by Mark Cook

This past weekend, Mike and I had the opportunity to attend the Wizard-World Comic-Con in Richmond Virginia.  The event was held in The Greater Richmond Convention Center from Friday, September 9th-Sunday, September 11th.  Below you can read all the great takeaways from the event.

Atmosphere:

Wizard-World had a family-friendly feel to it.  Not that other Cons do not cater to families, but the layout of the booths, activities, and Cosplayers all seemed to reflect that feel.  There were a good number of families there, many who came in Cosplay together, which was awesome to see the love of the genre passed down from generation to generation.  

Continuing with the family-friendly tone, everything associated with the convention was on one floor, much like Hero's-Con, but in a smaller area.  The set-up of the booths were sectioned into categories for the most part (comics, merchandise, clothing, gaming, celebrities, etc.), which were easy to navigate.  Signs were not needed, like other Cons, because the area was smaller.


Activities:

The activities ranged from video games, autograph sessions, photo ops., designated board game areas, and miniature figurine painting tables.  The major attraction for me was the celebrities.  Individuals including Gene Simmons, Kevin Sorbo, Jason David Frank, Sara Underwood, Ray Park, and Tommy Flanagan were there.  WWE Superstars Natalya, AJ Styles,  Dean Ambrose, and Becky Lynch were in attendance as well.  Oh, so was Ryan Lochte...

All of the celebrities had a booth, while others also had photo sessions where fans could purchase a picture with the star, and some had panel sessions.  It was nostalgic to see Jason David Frank (The Green Ranger) and Sam Jones (Flash Gordon), which is what I enjoyed, but the celebrities ranged from different generations which provided something for everyone.  The best part concerning the celebrities I was able to speak with (Jason David Frank, Sara Underwood, and Sam Jones) were that they seemed naturally kind.  They did not come across as opportunists mainly wanting to make some money.  They would talk to every individual who came to their lines.  The other celebrities seemed to do the same, but I did not personally have a chance to speak with them.

Honestly though, Ryan Lochte had an abundance of people coming to see him, but he definitely seemed to be the odd-man-out.

In one of the panel rooms, Newegg provided us with a private demo of their new virtual reality system.  You can check out my review for the system here: http://lrmonline.com/news/review-wizard-world-comic-con-newegg-virtual-demo.


Merchandise:

The merchandise offered was similar to what one would find at any other Comic-Con.  There were clothing, props, figurines / statue and toy vendors, comic stands, as well as a handful of artists, including Neal Adams.

Wizard-World also provided the mystery boxes (similar to the ones sold at Hero's-Con), superhero themed motor cycle creations, and a tattoo artist tattooing many of our beloved characters. 

Razor's Edge Collectibles sold extremely articulate statues.  Some of my favorites included HulkBuster vs. Hulk, The Arkham Knight, and the original, dark TMNT. If you are looking for replica statues I would highly recommend visiting their website at: www.razorsedgecollectibles.net.

Also, if you live in the Richmond area and want a tattoo, I'd highly recommend Richard Kirby from Classic Tattoo.  He's a talented, down-to-earth guy and you can follow him on Instagram @kirbslider.

 


Cosplay:

Just because Wizard-World was more family-friendly, it still provided some great Cosplayers!  The father-son duo of Cyclops and Cable was wonderful to see, as well as the family who dressed as Goldar, Rita, and Scorpina.  Some costumes were extremely intricate, such as the men who came as Dr. Octopus and The Predator.  There were a good number of Harley's, Joker's, and Deadpool's with a majority of them varying in style.  My most original award for Wizard-World is the individual who came as Barf from Spaceballs complete with a box of Milkbones!

If you enjoy Cosplay, Jillian Ryan had a booth.  She is a panelist, Cosplayer, posing coach, and charity enthusiast.  Readers can check out her page at fab.com/jillianryanpage.  

Yuffie Bunnie also had a booth. Yuffie is a professional model and focuses on Cosplay, alternative, couture, high fashion, cyber, make-up, hair, runway, and MoCap.  Check her out at YuffieBunny.com.


Fundraiser:

This was a really great charity that I was unfamiliar with.  Extra Life is a charity though Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.  The charity has been in existence since 2008, and provides funds for critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care to children in need.  Since 2008 there has been a 4900% increase in annual funds since the charity began!  $100 is the average raised by a a gamer, and above $14 million has been raised since their inception in 2008.

How can you get involved?  It's easy!  

1.  Sign up online at: www.extra-life.org.

2. Ask friends and family to sponsor your efforts to your online fundraising page.

3.  Pledge to play games in honor of kids being treated at your Children's Miracle Network Hospital.

You can have fun playing video games and help a wonderful cause at the same time!

(Source: All information was directly provided by Extra Life and Children's Medical Network Hospitals.)
 


Final Thoughts:

I had good time at Wizard-World Comic-Con.  If you live in the area, or within decent driving distance, I would recommend the trip.  You could more than likely accomplish all you would like with a 1-day pass.  I would suggest checking to see what celebrities will be attending. If you have numerous individuals you would like to see / get autographs from then it would probably be worth the three-day pass.

Did any of you attend Wizard-World Comic-Con in Richmond, VA?  What did you think?  If not, would you try to go next year?  Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!

LRM Exclusives, Reviews Wizard World, Wizard World ComicCon