Wizard World Madison 2017 Briefly, in Pictures
I hadn’t realized how busy this weekend was going to be — with a Doctor Who group meeting, brunch with a college roommate I haven’t seen in a decade, church activities, and my mystery book club — so I was only able to make a flying visit to this weekend’s Wizard World Madison on Friday afternoon. (I was given a press pass to the show.) The convention opened promptly at 4:00, with a small but dedicated group of attendees already lined up.
(No one was outside because it was 92 degrees in Madison, Wisconsin, on the first day of autumn, and we were all sweltering. Attendees should note that there was a bag check and metal detector security gauntlet to run. They even required seeing inside my wallet, although they were very polite about it.)
Someone had brought a remote-controlled R2-D2, which entertained the waiting attendees.
The show uses wrist bands, which I hate. (I can’t keep plastic on my arm for three days, or I will break out in hives.) I understand why, though — there’s not enough content for a three-day show, and with tickets ranging from $35-55 a day, they want to make sure there’s no sharing or trading off of passes.
It’s also not a comic show — which I don’t think they claim to be, anyway, billing themselves as a “pop culture convention”. (I think of these kinds of shows as a blend of autograph market and swap meet.) I chatted with two local pros I knew. Here’s one of them, Mark Stegbauer.
But the majority of booths were selling just about anything but comics. I saw one with $5 graphic novels, and only two with the traditional white boxes full of back issues. Beyond that, there were a lot of print stalls, with people selling images and sketches, complete with the giant wall of display art.
Funko Pop toys were very popular, with several booths having walls like this one.
I couldn’t resist. I bought Sarah Jane.
Those collectibles were also the lead feature on the local news coverage Friday morning. Also popular were Wonder Woman-related items, as seen at this booth.
Sadly, that also meant idiots like this one hanging this kind of exploitative art right at kid height.
Celebrities were mostly showing up on Saturday, which made for deserted signing stations, but the wide aisles and low traffic made it easy to walk around. That’s the point, anyway, to gawk at the things for sale — which included weapons, jewelry, toys, alcohol and soft drinks, and a surprising amount of anime fan merchandise. Even a bakery with various shaped and decorated cookies! (The Pac-Man ones were cute.)
There was also a full-out maid cafe.
A Doctor Who merchandise booth brought along a war Dalek for photos.
That went well with the giant Hulk as soon as you walked onto the show floor.
So, not my kind of convention any more — but then, I’m still coasting on the high I got at SPX last weekend, where the focus was on comics and their creators. Local friends whose kids are into sci-fi or other geeky favorites say they always have a great time just walking around here.