I have to tell you, I love a good Con. I mean, whether it’s San Diego Comic Con or one of the smaller cons, they are still fun to hang out at.
The Lovely Erica, happened to check out Wizard World in Chicago and was able to meet a bunch of cool people including The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, Dean Stockwell and more!
God bless Norman Reedus!
Check out her full recap of Wizard World Chicago after the jump!
Wizard World Chicago has changed a lot through the years – it used to be the second largest comic book convention in the US (after San Diego Comic Con) and this was pop arts con the one I grew up on.
Several years ago, there was a change in focus and now it’s a lot smaller and has re-invented itself as an autograph show of sorts.
I haven’t visited in years, however, the line up this year was a little more interesting…
“She’s dead…wrapped in plastic…”
“Damn fine cup of coffee…”
“The owls are not what they seem…”
A dancing dwarf, the Log Lady and a one-armed man…
Yes! It’s a visit to Twin Peaks with Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne) and Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer/Maddie Ferguson)! I’ve never had the chance to meet these ladies before so I’m off to Wizard Chicago!
When the doors open, the lines are longest for Tom Felton and Jon Bernthal. Then waiting pens are full and overflowing and neither actor has arrived yet. The ladies from Twin Peaks are not here yet so I walk around see Wizard World staff dispersing people from Stan Lee, William Shatner and Norman Reedus who have VIP lines first.
I get in line for Craig Parker who is placed with Katrina Law and Leslie-Ann Brandt from Spartacus. I’m getting my sister’s Lord of the Rings poster signed so I want to get that out of the way so I don’t have to lug it everywhere. Craig is the first of the group to arrive and is doing a few interviews, passing some cake that he “made last night – in his hotel room” (yeah, sure!) and joking around.
When the ladies arrive, everyone begins signing.
Craig is tan and very friendly as he remarks he is not in any of the Hobbit movies. He stops to page through my LOTR Japanese movie program and is impressed that I have Richard Taylor and Howard Shore. We then talk about the Japanese movie programs and he has a collection he keeps from concerts.
I stop by Norman Reedus’ pen and am told to come back at 1:30. He’s expected to arrive a bit later since The Walking Dead is shooting the second half of the next season still. Norman went from the set to the first flight to Chicago from Atlanta. People are crazy mad for Walking Dead so the line has already started.
I head to the other The Walking Dead cast member and see that Jon Bernthal’s line is still around the block. Jon is friendly and chatty and doesn’t bat an eye when the older ladies select shirtless pictures to get signed. While most people are taking advantage of the free photo that comes with the autograph purchase, one guy in front of me has clearly brought his own poster which was framed too soon. Yes, the poor guy is going to get the glass on the frame signed! Hope the glass doesn’t break…
I notice that there are 2 large service dogs, just lazing about his feet as he’s signing and greeting people. These are his dogs and he takes them everywhere. So instead of flying around for his appearances, he tends to drive to keep his dogs with him. He’ll be driving with both dogs to New York in December to start a film called the “Wolf of Wall Street.”
I circle around and finally see that Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee have arrived! I talk to Sherilyn first and she’s as nice as can be. She remarks that she learned how to tie a cherry stem in a knot after the show since it kept coming up in conversation. Also, she had a surprising amount of fan mail from really young girls who really were a little too young to be watching Twin Peaks.
Sheryl Lee is also great and takes a moment to examine the Japanese poster I have for “Fire Walk with Me.” She loves the artwork on the poster which is really serene considering some of the extreme scenes she had to film.
I walk by Tom Felton’s table and it’s still utter madness. Strange that he’s here at Wizard World when he could also be stopping by Leaky Con which is a Harry Potter fan convention taking place in Chicago the same weekend. He’s completely swamped here so it’s not as if there aren’t any other Harry Potter fans around…
Norman Reedus has arrived! But, hold on! There’s about to be a riot as VIP gets priority, but regular pass holders are arguing that it’s for the first hour only. There is yelling and violent hand gestures so I head off and will circle back later.
There’s a huge crowd of folks for James Hong (Kung Fu Panda, Blade Runner, Seinfeld, Airplane!, X-Files, etc…).
Things are also hopping around the Buffy tables with James Masters (who’s celebrating his 50th birthday this weekend)…
…and Amy Acker.
Although he’s not grouped with the other Buffy folks, Luke Perry is also around
I drop by Norman Reedus again and the line is capped. I’m told to stop by in an hour. This is crazy!
Lionsgate is here with a booth and a Judge Dredd roaming the floor:
And there’s a display of Star Trek props and costumes.
I swing around to Norman’s again and get into the line. I’m there for about 10 minutes when they move us and cap it about 5 feet after me. We begin to wait in 10 minutes later they tell us we are not in a line and that we have to leave and come back in 3 hours. Arg!!! This is so crazy!
To legitimize this con, not only is Stan Lee here (witness the mob scene)…
…but Lou Ferrigno is here!
Other folks include the charming Holly-Marie Combs
Colin Ferguson of Eureka
And, this being Chicago, Jake and Elwood (Blues Brothers) are here as well!
Hanging out by the bar, no less. This is one of the few cons with a full bar.
I circle back to Norman’s again and hallelujah, the line is open! It’s 3 pm and I’m warned that he has to do the photo ops between 4:15 and 5:30 so I may have to wait a while if he doesn’t get to us before he needs to leave. Seeing how utterly crazy this has been, I get into line. Whew!
Norman is cheerful and friendly so the line moves quite quickly. He’s grouped with other the Boondock Saints people so Sean Patrick Flannery (Young Indiana Jones) is next to him with a much shorter line.
At one point, Sean starts tossing Reese Peanut Butter cups and which livens up the wait. While Jon Berenthal’s line is about 10% women, Norman’s is 60% female – and very giggly. The silent, but deadly provider/protector wrapped up in a former Prada model shell …yep, this is why there were lots of “I love rednecks!” and “Team Daryl” shirts at Comic Con!
At 3:40 he gets up to leave and we’re all disappointed as this means he’s taking a break before the photo shoot so we’ll need to camp out until 5:30. We knew we were on the bubble of making it in time, but ah well!
We spot Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew from the Muppets…
Then, all of the sudden, we see that Norman is back! Yeah! He must’ve taken a quick bio break and now it’s 3:55. Oh boy! I think we can just make it. Sure enough, we get to the front and he’s still going. Bless his heart!
I forget sometimes that what you wear does make an impression. With my adorable Tokidoki “Thor Rides Again” t-shirt, I’m coming off somewhat younger as I keep hearing “sweet” over and over again today – Jon Bernthal’s autograph inscription, Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, etc… When I get to Norman, he greets me with a smile and “Hello, sweet thing…” so I decide I may not take the shirt off again…
Anyway, Norman is as nice as can be and nothing at all like Daryl (as mentioned at the Comic Con panel video). He’s friendly and has given a lot of hugs and taken a lot of kisses this day. So nice!
With that accomplished, I grab my final signature of the day: Dean Stockwell of Quantum Leap and Battlestar Galactica. Dean is rather goofy which was not at all what I was expecting. He’s signing a photo for one of his helpers and I see that it’s a photo where he has a cigarette in hand. After he’s done inscribing the photo, he takes a red marker and colors in the tip of the cigarette. Then he grabs the silver Sharpie and starts to draw smoke from the cigarette. Yep. Goofy…as clearly this photo shows!
He is very genial and is taken aback when he sees my Battlestar Galactica still since it’s blanketed with signatures. He protests “That’s over-signed! I’ve never seen something so over-signed!” However, he does find a little spot and squeezes in…
Dean’s sitting with Scott Bakula for a Quantum Leap reunion. Scott is also one of the three Star Trek captains who are here (William Shatner and Avery Brooks being the other). Whereas there was a huge line for The Shat today, I’ve seen about 4 people in line for Scott. Mostly people are walking by exclaiming “$75 for Scott Bakula? Are you kidding?” and walk off. There is an art to pricing so poor Scott is rather lonely in his booth…
Other folks aren’t quite as lonely including Colin Cunningham of Falling Skies
And one of Pinky’s great loves – Sam Trammell of True Blood
And some WWE stars including Booker T who is really doing a book signing…
…but that’s not stopping some fans for bring a folding chair to get signed. I guess that’s appropriate…?
Besides all the autograph signings, Artist alley is also buzzing
And there are some interesting exhibitors who are peddling a gigantic Pac Man machine.
Or ways to smell like your favorite Avenger (or villain)
One should always be careful as there were some legit autographs for sale, but also some suspicious ones. For example, the “Stephen Moyer” and “Alexander Skarsgard” on this are not even close. Not even vaguely…!
There was more cosplay with Aliens attacking
And a mass of DC characters including a great Mr. Freeze and Two Face :
There’s also a great Superman Lego…
…and a whole Lego invasion!
Lady Gaga was also in the house (twice)
And Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games
And the next movie mash-up: Predators vs. Catwoman
However, the best costume of the day? The world’s most adorable Hit Girl! When I asked for the second picture, the little 2 year old smiled and got into fighting position without coaching from her dad! Ah, starting them young!
Overall, it was a fun day. I know Mike is allergic to paying for autographs, but I don’t mind when there are folks who are not getting the residuals for older properties (Twin Peaks) or when the people are tough to find (Dean Stockwell).
(Editor’s Note: Mike isn’t allergic to paying for autographs, he’s allergic to paying for anything! LOL M-)
Also, all the giggling girls in Norman’s line definitely thought it was worth while!
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