Wizard World Madison Busier Than I Expected on First Day
KC and I went down to Wizard World Madison this afternoon, and there were more people than I thought there’d be. I wasn’t sure Madison was yet a town for a three-day show, but it seems a number of people came to the event, with more showing up as we got closer to after school and after work.
This is clearly a first-year show. Registration was disorganized, taking place in a separate building from the actual show floor (except for press, something that wasn’t explained to us until we’d already hiked back and forth once). Given that space was available in the exhibition building, I thought it was a bad choice, given how cold it was, with snow still piled on the ground, to make people walk around outside. A couple of cosplayers we saw in short sleeves with no coat, I worried for — although there was, as I hoped, a coat check in the main building.
Press and three-day attendees were given wristbands instead of badges or lanyards, a choice I always find tacky. Nothing puts me in the mood for attending a comic show like feeling like a hospital patient! These are all things that can be addressed in future years, though — I’m hopeful that this does well enough to continue.
There were only three main aisles of artists alley, and given how few people there were making comics — typically of these kinds of shows these days, most were selling prints, some with extraordinarily large display walls — it was possible to see everything there I was interested in in under an hour. (Fighting a cold, I also wasn’t inclined to linger.) Not many people, other than listed guests, traveled in for this show, which makes sense. There are so many options these days that people often want to see how something goes the first time around before investing time and money in attending.
The show floor/exhibition area was diverse, with relatively few (we estimated about ten) comic dealers. Instead, you could buy lots of toys (many of which were Funko), various swords and other weapons, different types of jewelry, various other gewgaws, or a picture of yourself in the Batmobile or the car from Back to the Future. We weren’t shopping for much of anything, instead concentrating on visiting with a few friends, such as Jeff Butler and Maggie Thompson.
I got to meet Barbara Kaalberg, who has had a long career inking. She shared some information on the Charlton anthology revamps she’s been working on along with a great number of well-known names.
KC even bumped into an old college friend and former roommate!
We got there before the autograph/photo area was really rolling, but that’s really more of a Saturday thing. All in all, although a small event, I thought it was a promising start. And of course there was cosplay! While the Harley Quinn pushing a toddler Joker in his stroller was cute, my favorite was this highly impressive Groot.
We left early, although we want to return for panels tomorrow, and went for the classic Wisconsin Friday night dinner, the fish fry. Where we found that a local brewpub chain had gotten into the spirit of things with this table standee: