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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

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Regional artists -- The St. Louis area is a surprisingly huge hotbed of nerdy talent, and much of it was on display at the con. Cullen Bunn (writer for The Sixth Gun, The Fearless Defenders and Superman/Batman: Sorcerer Kings), Brian Hurtt (artist for The Damned and The Sixth Gun), Chris Samnee (artist for Daredevil, Captain America & Bucky and Ultimate Spider-Man), Matt Kindt (writer and artist for MIND MGMT and Pistolwhip, and the guy who we think gave us a granola bar when we loudly complained about being hungry) and the men behind Loop & Hoodie (writer Adron Buske, artist Dan Cassity and colorist Travis Nuckolls) all had crowded booths. We also found Josh Coppenbarger, director for the upcoming documentary Heroes, Villains and and Arch: The Comic Book Culture of St. Louis, who was excited by the con's turnout. "St. Louis is a comic-book community that doesn't yet know it's a community," Coppenbarger said.

click to enlarge Lando Calrissian, a.k.a. Billy Dee Williams. - JON GITCHOFF
  • Jon Gitchoff
  • Lando Calrissian, a.k.a. Billy Dee Williams.

Star Wars -- It looks like the Dark Side may triumph after all, as we saw more cosplay for Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Darth Maul and Jabba the Hutt than we did for Luke, Leia, Han or Lando. Speaking of Lando, actor Billy Dee Williams was amiable during autograph and Q&A sessions, joking with a friend of ours that he hated the photo that he was about to sign. And Williams apparently has a sweet tooth; Jody Hensley, the "mom" behind St. Louis-based gourmet pretzel company Mom's Originals, said Williams sampled a chocolate-covered pretzel at her booth and then ordered a dozen to go.

Toys -- Every action figure, weapon and plush you could possibly desire was here. Need a stuffed Dalek? An operational lightsaber? A blacklight poster of He-Man? It was all for sale.

Vampires -- We didn't see any traditional Bram Stoker-type vamps around, but we caught plenty of fanged ones with a goth or punk aesthetic. Thankfully, there were no lame Edward Cullens sparkling about.

Wrestlers and warriors -- Because Wizard World crosses many genres, attendees were treated to a bit more than just the sci-fi stuff they may have expected. Legendary wrestlers Randy Orton and Brimstone and martial artist Jason David Frank ("Green Ranger" on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) all interacted with fans and answered questions about their craft.

  • Jon Gitchoff

Zombies -- The Walking Dead comic-book series and TV show got the royal treatment. Laurie Holden, who plays Andrea on the show, met with fans in Q&A and autograph sessions, while artist Arthur Suydam signed his variant cover of The Walking Dead #1, a St. Louis Comic Con exclusive. We also spotted Michonne dragging her zombies around the floor, and the local chapter of the national Zombie Squad led a seminar on disaster preparedness. "We try to educate people in a funny way that's not boring," said Chris Bellers, chapter president.

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