A Look Back At Wizard World Mid-Ohio Con!

It’s been three weeks since I experienced Wizard World’s Mid-Ohio Con and already I can’t wait to go back in September of 2012.  While it’s not on the same scale as Wizard World Chicago, NY Comic Con or, the behemoth, the San Diego Comic Con, Mid-Ohio has definitely received an upgrade due to the acquisition by Wizard World and proved itself to be a convention worth going to.  I saw some really sweet collectible items, some great work from a number of well-known (and lesser known) creatives and got to interact with the likes of James Marsters, Mark Metcalf and Doug Jones.

I was a volunteer photographer for Wizard World during most of the convention.  My task was to go around and photograph all the cosplayers, the attendees in booths and in panels, as well as the celebrity guests interacting with the fans.  I was able to do so with my nifty little Wizard World Staff badge that allowed me access into any event they had going on, and while I made sure to do my job, I was able to enjoy the convention from the fan perspective too.  I sat in for the James Marsters panel, where he dared the audience to make him blush with any questions they might have.  Some people took advantage of that dare and one woman, who had brought a guitar with her, asked him to see a song.  He definitely seemed apprehensive to do it, as he wasn’t quite prepared for it, but he did it nonetheless and chose a song from his band’s (Ghost of the Robot) upcoming album.  It was actually a pretty sweet moment.  The song felt very personal and sounded like he was sharing a little bit of a previous heartache.  I’m glad I got to see it.  The rest of the panel was pretty entertaining and Marsters was quick to deliver a lot of insight and wit-filled answers.

My favorite celebrity guest at the convention was definitely Doug Jones.  Doug Jones is a bit of an icon in the geek world as he’s worked with some really amazing people and has given us some pretty memorable performances.  I, personally, geek out over him due to his involvement with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Hush” as well as his performances in many of Guillermo del Toro’s films (often in many roles).  He was Billy from Hocus Pocus, Silver Surfer from Fantastic Four 2, Abe Sapien from the Hellboy movies and most recently had a role in Felicia Day’s webseries, The Guild.  His line was the first I stood in and during my wait I witnessed a very kind, humble and ever so grateful person.  Most guests seem nice but often times stay behind their table to interact with the fans.  Doug Jones, however, came out from behind his table for every guest, greeted them, gave them a hug and actually seemed interested in conversing with each person.  When it came time for me to meet him, he greeted me and I said my typical “i’m a fan of your work blah blah blah” (I get a little mouth jumbly when I meet people I respect/admire so I tend to start off with stereotypical banter) but Mr. Jones was easy to talk to and I found it pretty easy to break free of my nervous stupor and genuinely interact with him.  I mentioned I saw one of his tweets and he asked me, “oh, what is your name on twitter?”  I replied with “monster popcorn” and to my surprise, he replied, “monster popcorn.. oh yea, you run a movie blog.”  I was shocked and excited as hell that THE Doug Jones actually knew about my blog.  It felt incredibly awesome and helped create a sense of validation for myself.  I’m sure Mr. Jones doesn’t have the time to continually look at my site, but to know that he is aware of it, and actually remembered, was indeed the highlight of my day.  So after I recovered from my momentary shock, I handed him my bust of The Gentleman (the character he played on Buffy) and he signed the back of it for me.  After doing so, he came out from behind his table to take a picture with me and gave a little bit of a Gentleman pose.  If you ever have the chance to meet him at a convention, I highly recommend doing so, he’s a class act.

The other thing that I enjoyed seeing was the massive amount of cosplayers walking around the convention.  I had worried that there would only be a few and, let’s be honest, a geek convention isn’t as good if it doesn’t have people in costume.  There were plenty of really fun costumes to look upon while I was there.  One of my personal favorites was a girl dressed up as Kaylee from Firefly.  Perhaps her costume wasn’t the most elaborate, but I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon and it was a good representation.  I suppose I’m a sucker for a cute girl who appeals to my geeky interests.  There were lots of Star Wars related costumes and lots of superheroes, as one might guess, to see at a convention such as this.  I may not be one for cosplaying myself but I like seeing the effort people put into their own costumes and the satisfaction they get when someone feels the need to take their picture or compliments their work.

All of that brings me to the main showcase of this post, the pictures.  Since I was a photographer for the convention, I had plenty of photos to choose from.  So click on the photo of that big geek (me) in his natural habitat below (or you can just click here as well) to go check out all the celebrities and cosplayers in attendance as well as pics from the exhibit floor.

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