Your Guide To Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2011
Wizard World’s Chicago Comic Con invades the Windy City starting today at 5pm and runs through Sunday, Aug. 14.
The event will bring together thousands of fans of all ages and dozens of celebrities and industry professionals to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.
Where is it?
The event takes place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, which is close to the Chicago O’Hare Airport, in Rosemont, IL. Rosemont is a Northwest Suburb of Chicago and right off the blue line elevated train. If you live, or are staying, in the city you can jump on the “L” to get there. Simply take it to the loop and then hop on the Blue Line to find your way to Rosemont.
If your driving your own vehicle taking I90 will almost deliver you Donald E. Stephens Center’s front door. Parking is available in the parking garages across the street from the Convention but it is more expensive than parking in the CTA lot where the Blue Line train stop is. If your looking to save a buck or two check be sure to check your options.
Who will be at the Con this year?
The biggest names of the weekend are Sir Patrick Stewart and B-Movie Man Bruce Campbell.
Sir Patrick Stewart who is most famous for the X-Men films and Star Trek: The Next Generation, will meet fans on Friday and Saturday only, and then shuttle off to Las Vegas for the Official Star Trek Convention. If your looking for an autograph expect to pay $70 which is a bargain compared to the $90 asking price in Las Vegas.
Bruce Campbell will offer his signature on Saturday and Sunday for only $30. If you’re a recruit in the Army of Darkness, you might want to check out the Bruce Campbell VIP Experience, which includes two autographs, a photo op, early admission and a guaranteed seat at Campbell’s Q&A session. The VIP package costs $150 pre-show, or $200 at the door. Bruce Campbell is also set to reunite with the original cast members of The Evil Dead for a special anniversary Q&A session.
Other celebrity highlights include Christopher Lloyd, of Back to the Future and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Lloyd will appear both Friday and Saturday. Look for James Marsters, of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Caprica, and Julie Benz, of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Dexter to be there. Marsters will also give a concert at the comic con on Saturday night. Tickets cost $25.
Other movie and television guests set to appear are Pam Grier, Louis Gossett Jr., Felicia Day, Charisma Carpenter, Vivica A. Fox, Mimi Rogers, Ray Park (Darth Maul from Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace), Tia Carrere, Norman Reedus, LeVar Burton, Lou Ferrigno, Edward Furlong, Anthony Michael Hall and cast members from Torchwood. Five actors from the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory will take part in a reunion event.
A rare appearance by Billy Corgan, of Smashing Pumpkins, with take place on Saturday from 5-7pm where he will be signing autographs for free. Be sure to expect long lines for this one.
Supporting actors from The Walking Dead will be present, plus Chewbacca himself, Peter Mayhew.
For all you comic book lovers out there you can also catch Mike Deodato Jr., Humberto Ramos, Jim Cheung and Brian Azzarello. Mike Grell, of Green Arrow and Green Lantern, will also sign autographs, as well as Ariel Olivetti.
What is on the Con Floor?
When first walking onto the con floor you’ll immediately be confronted with all the big hitters. This is where you’ll see the bigger publishers as well as your stars and celebrities.
In the area between the stars and the Artist’s Alley is the retailers. Here you will find that t-shirt that sports your favorite character or the missing issue of your favorite comic. Be sure to check them out to see some rare finds.
Next is the Artist’s Alley, here you will find all the small and independent publishers as well as little know artists showing off their work. You don’t have to talk to everyone but be sure to check them all out and see if you can find any new favorites.
Beyond that is the Gaming area where most of your favorites from the recent Gen Con in Indianapolis can be seen. Stop by here to check out all the cool new items for favorite game or even partake in one of the many tournaments set to take place during the Con.
So how much does it cost?
A four-day pass costs $50 in advance, or $60 at the door. Single-day tickets are $25 in advance, or $50 at the door. If you plan on attending more than one day, just go for the weekend admission. VIP tickets typically cost $150-$175 in advance, or $200-$250 at the door. If you buy a VIP ticket, there’s no need to get separate admission passes.
Expect tons of people for this event, be sure to arrive early, and bring plenty of cash. Besides trying to snag some autographs be sure to stock up your favorite collection be it comic books or action figures. But most of all be sure to have a great time.
Head over here to get your tickets and a full list of all the events.