It may surprise you to read this, but I have never attended a major comic book convention.
Oh, I’ve been to a few piddly-ass ones. Somebody rents a room at a Ramada Inn and some guys haul in boxes of comics and toys and they find some c-list talent to sit in the corner looking forlorn and maybe someone’s showing manga videos in the next room and they charge you $5 to get in. I never saw the point of paying money for the privilege of walking through a temporary comic book shop, so I didn’t go to very many.
Oh, and there was the time we went to Kansas City for a weekend getaway and it turned out our hotel was hosting a sci-fi/fantasy convention. Not the same thing.
There are a trio of reasons why I’ve never been to a big-time comic-con. First and foremost, being in the presence of that much concentrated nerd doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve been in crowded comic book shops during 25-cent back-issue sales and that’s quite enough of that.
Second, I’m not flying to California, New York or Chicago just to experience a comic convention. My hatred of flying is well on the record. Plus, I would have to fly alone because Lord knows The Wife is not going to a comic book convention with me.
Finally, I live in St. Louis, where there are no major comic cons.
The inaugural Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con will take place March 22-24 at America’s Center. For the comic-con impaired, Wizard Magazine was a big player in the comic book industry until it went the way of many magazines in the Internet age. Now they go around the country hosting pop culture convention bringing together celebrities in the world of sci-fi/fantasy TV, movies, comics and, well, wrestling. Not sure how wrestling fits in, but hey a power fantasy is a power fantasy.
They’re bringing in an interesting mix of talent, including: Lou (HULK) Ferrigno, James (Spike) Marsters, Juliet (Druscilla) Landau, Laurie (the yet-to-be-eaten Andrea from “The Walking Dead”) Holden, Billy Dee (Lando) Williams, Morena (the hot chick from “Firefly” that wasn’t Gina Torres) Baccarin, Dean (Superman) Cain, Ernie (Ghostbuster) Hudson and Randy Orton — who I’m told is a WWE Superstar. There will also be a number of comic book writers and artists but you’ve probably never heard of them so I won’t waste time typing their names in.
But forget all that. None of that matters. STAN LEE IS COMING.
Stan “The Man” Lee. Stan “The Legend” Lee. This is the biggest thing to happen to St. Louis since The Pope came a few years back. And did The Pope have a hand in the creation of Spider-Man, The Avengers, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, The Silver Surfer and many others? No, no he didn’t.
I have no idea what to expect from the inaugural Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con but it doesn’t really matter.
Stan Lee is coming!
Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con will take place March 22-24 at America’s Center (which is much bigger than a room in the Ramada Inn). For more information and tickets visit http://www.wizardworld.com/home-stlouis.html