If you’re walking your dog downtown in the vicinity of the Austin Convention Center, please don’t be alarmed if you run into a few Thors, Scarlet Witches or zombies. Just like the swallows returning to Capistrano, pop culture geeks will be flocking toward the Wizard World Comic Con.
Whether you grew up reading Spider-Man comics, watching old Spider-Man cartoons or have just seen those '60s Spider-Man memes everywhere on Tumblr, you’ll likely feel right at home during the convention. It might not boast the massive media frenzy around the bloated San Diego Comic Con, but offers instead its own pomp and circumstance with a large collection of celebrities, artists, writers and plenty of people who put a lot of work into their awesome costumes.
Let’s start off with the royalty making an appearance this year: Captain James Tiberius Kirk. Although many may know him as the guy from the Priceline commercials, he’s a starship captain, dammit, not a corporate shill!
It doesn’t matter if your Wizard World experience is leet or you’re just a noob, because we’re going to run through a quick tutorial of the more interesting names and events to check out this weekend.
Let’s start off with the royalty making appearances this year. None other than Captain James Tiberius Kirk, perhaps the most decorated officer in the history of Starfleet, will be gracing the convention center with his presence. Although many may know him instead as William Shatner, the chubby guy from the Priceline commercials, he’s a starship captain, dammit, not a corporate shill!
You also have the chance to meet with Stan Lee, the guy who can be seen in every Marvel superhero film, only because he helped to create practically all of the Marvel superheroes. While waiting in line for a photo or autograph, be sure to argue with your neighbor over whether it was Lee or artist Jack Kirby who deserves the majority of the credit for creating those characters. Heated but respectful arguments are the foundation of a successful comic con.
A Walking Dead extravaganza!
Do you absolutely love The Walking Dead? We’re talking about the TV series here, which has its fair share of detractors but also a very sizable fandom of supporters. If you're a fan, you will be treated with five actors from the show, including Norman Reedus, Michael Rooker, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden and Chandler Riggs. Maybe next year, we can get Michonne.
Fans of the show might be disappointed that the creators won’t be in attendance, but there is a sweet consolation prize for them. While supplies last, full-price attendees and VIPs will receive a free, limited-edition cover of The Walking Dead #1, drawn by none other than the great Rob Guillory, the artist behind the incredible Chew comic book series. Guillory will also be in attendance and might just have one of the most affable natures of any comic book artist, so consider giving him a visit and asking what it’s like to be social media BFFs with CM Punk.
Speaking of wrestling, which is always important, you may find this year’s lineup of pro wrestlers severely lacking unless you’re five-years-old or lived through the Attitude Era. If you’re a parent, then your kids will definitely be dragging you along to get an autograph from John Cena, the WWE Superstar with a million neon T-shirts that your kids will beg you to buy.
Even Ian Ziering, the star of the mind-blowing Sharknado, will be there, proving there’s a star for just about everyone.
If you want to meet a former wrestler with edge, spend some time with Amy Dumas, or Lita, as she was known back when she was still taking all of the names and kicking all of the ass.
A star for every fan
Honestly, the list goes on and on with amazing talent to meet and take some photos with, including Giancarlo Esposito, Bruce Campbell, Ralph Macchio, Jewel Staite, Kelly Hu and even Ian Ziering, the action star of the mind-blowing Sharknado. There’s a star for just about everyone.
What can you do if you’re not busy standing in line to get a photo with Lou Ferrigno? You can spend whatever free time you have left at various events, including costume contests, Geeks Who Drink Trivia, light saber demos and afterparties on Friday and Saturday night.
While you’re at it, take care of your Christmas shopping at the various vendors set up on the convention floor. You'll be surprised at what you can find to take home with you, like an anti-drug Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster or bootleg DVDs of Mighty Max. Comic cons: Where all your dreams really do come true!