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Monday, March 25, 2013

A-Z Highlights of Wizard World St. Louis

Posted By on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Page 2 of 3

click to enlarge Any day is a happy one when the Fonz is in the house. - JON GITCHOFF
  • Jon Gitchoff
  • Any day is a happy one when the Fonz is in the house.

Fonzie -- St. Louis welcomed Henry Winkler with his Happy Days character's signature "Aaaaayyyy." During his hilarious Q&A, Winkler shared that his Jewish parents called him dumme hund (German for "dumb dog"), he doesn't mind being associated with "jumping the shark" because when he filmed the waterski episode "I had great legs," and Adam Sandler surprisingly is one of the smartest men he's ever worked with. Winkler hardly stayed behind his autograph table, preferring instead to pop fans' personal space bubbles and give hugs.

Ghostbusters -- A ton of regular cosplayers represented Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston from the 1984 movie, but one group went well beyond that. The Greater St. Louis Ghostbusters is an organization that promotes fandom in the Midwest by replicating props and uniforms from the movie. The group manned a booth at Wizard World (complete with PKE meter and Stay Puft Marshmallow Man) to advertise Ecto-Con, its convention built around programming for Ghostbusters enthusiasts.

Hogwarts -- Tom Felton, who played Harry Potter's nemesis Draco Malfoy in the HP films, was one of the most enthusiastic and accessible stars at Wizard World, holding several autograph sessions and a crowded Q&A session. Some teen girls literally shook and cried after being in the same room with their long-time crush. We spotted plenty of Harry, Ron and Hermoine costumes, proving that Harry Potter mania isn't slowing down even fifteen years after the first book's release.

Joss Whedon -- The man behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and The Avengers wasn't around, but plenty of his stars were. Juliet Landau (Drusilla on Buffy), Morena Baccarin (Inara on Firefly and Serenity and Jessica on Homeland) and James Marsters (Spike on Buffy and Angel) all were on hand to share their admiration of one of the industry's nerdiest writers and directors.

click to enlarge He'll blame his parents later. For now, he's adorable. - JON GITCHOFF
  • Jon Gitchoff
  • He'll blame his parents later. For now, he's adorable.

Kids -- Children ten and under took full advantage of their free admission to Wizard World, dressing as their favorite superheroes and enjoying their own special programming. And it looks like Batman may soon topple Taylor Swift for the attention of the Disney crowd. The caped crusader was among favorite heroes most mentioned by the kids we talked to -- in good company with Spider-Man, Rapunzel and Captain America.

Lou Ferrigno -- The former bodybuilder and The Incredible Hulk star happily signed autographs and entertained children during the con. "My favorite part of this weekend was meeting Lou Ferrigno," said Robby Shelsky, fifteen, of Waterloo, Illinois. "I shook his hand, and it was freaking huge!"

Marsters, James -- The Buffy and Smallville alum was jovial during his Q&A with fans and answered a slew of interesting queries. He told stories of old British ladies pinching his ass, striving for Brainiac's maniacal glee, distaste for Twilight-type vampires and pride in "Once More with Feeling," the musical episode of Buffy. He also suggested that Spike and Angel got it on at least once in the past two centuries, much to the audience's ecstasy.

Night's Watch -- We didn't spy any members of the brotherhood who guard the Wall, but we still saw ample cosplay for HBO's Game of Thrones. Daenerys Targaryen and one of her dragons, Robb Stark and Cersei Lannister all made appearances in elaborate costumes.

Photos -- From structured celebrity photo ops to the "Ohmygod, I love your costume! Can I take your picture?" shrieks in the aisles, cameras were everywhere. We experienced the phenomenon firsthand when we couldn't take five steps in our Sue Storm, Wonder Woman and Pikachu costumes without being besieged by amateur paparazzi.

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