Wizard World Chicago 2010: Day One Sign In

Friday, August 20, 2010

Yikes. After vowing to post something - anything - on this site every day, I ended up with a 12-day hiatus and almost all of my Comic-Con International: San Diego coverage yet to go. (Not that I won't post it; there are piles of Stuff To Be Discussed on the couch at home.) But Wizard World Chicago (or, as it has begun to refer to itself, Chicago Comic-Con) is set up so as to permit me to (a) take photos, (b) take notes, and (c) have enough down time to allow for computer time in the room.

My first hint that the event might be smaller this year came when I was able to reserve a room at the wonderful Embassy Suites a week before the show. My guess (judging from experiences in years past) is that this is one of the first hotels near the event to fill to capacity. It's right across the street from the Rosemont Convention Center. It offers a free breakfast. The room has its own microwave and refrigerator, not to mention a "living room" appended to the bedroom. It's no more expensive than the other nearby hotels; in fact, I think it may be a little cheaper than some. And, in my case, it's my first choice for the Chicago show hotel. And there was a room available.

Gareb Shamus before the show
I don't drive in Chicago. Period. So my ability to get to the show is limited to my opportunity to find someone to ride with. This year, Comics Buyer's Guide columnist George Hagenauer was kind enough to let me tag along - and that meant we got to Rosemont in time for him to set up as an exhibitor and for me to be leisurely about registering as "Press." I waited in line for the Wizard World Press Booth person to be available; he was instructing official WW publicity photographers as to what he needed them to provide - which was, largely, photos of the show's celebrities in action. That taken care of, it was my turn. "Have you covered this show before?" "Every year since 1983." "I don't have a record of you." (Come to think of it, I covered it in 1982, as well: It was in downtown Chicago then, dubbed "Sweatcon," joined by a Doctor Who convention, and Marvel told organizers that, if it were to be held at that hotel again, Marvel would not support it. Previous convention owners, of course.) Anyway, the guy was nice enough, and I'd brought a copy of CBG and my business card [belt and suspenders, belt and suspenders], and there was no problem. And now they have a record of me. (Sidebar: As I was leaving the area, Wizard's Gareb Shamus waved at me and called out, "Hi, Maggie!")



Terry O'Brien,  August 21, 2010 at 11:23 PM  

I remember 1982: far too many people in a far-too-small hotel, but it did have its good moments.

1) Having Anthony Ainley pop out of a unmarked stairway directly behind us, then listening to him serenade one of our group, who was introduced to him as Rosie, with "Rosemary, my little Rosemary" not knowing that Rosemary was her real name that she disliked immensely.

2) That same person, dressing in a Cerebus the Aardvark costume and marching right up to Dave Sim in the middle of a panel and demanding his autograph. She also entered the costume contest and had to stand in the costume in the sweltering heat for several hours until the costume contest started.

3) Seeing Terry Nation posing with a very accurate Dalek "costume" after the costume competition.

4) Telling Anthony Ainley, who, having been asked what degree the Master graduated with from the Time Lord Academy and him answering "Why, a Bachelors of Villainy, of course", that it should have been a Masters degree. (Actually, the whole audience said it but I was the first to do so.)

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