Or, Ronnie Goes To Wizard World St. Louis Comic-Con, 2016
This past weekend was the fourth annual Wizard World St. Louis Comic-Con. I was out of town last year and missed the event so I figured I’d better go this year to reestablish my nerd cred. Once you’ve lost your nerd accreditation it’s very hard to get it back.
I couldn’t go opening night due to the annual trivia fundraiser for the Center for Autism Education.That was fine because I scored a lot of money at trivia. Not by winning trivia, oh no, that’s never going to happen, but by collecting the entry fees from my cohorts while Laurie is not around to stop me. (She thinks she and I should pay for the tables out of the goodness of our hearts. My cohorts and I like to let her go on believing that.)
So Sunday morning I’m loaded up with 20s and on my way downtown. I’m dressed as casual Hawkeye so as not to attract attention. Mission accomplished. Only one person commented on the outfit.
The cosplay was OK but I’ve seen better. Probably would’ve been better Saturday as that’s the main day and the time they have the costume contest. Sunday is when con fatigue sets in, I believe. There were no Hawkeyes or Black Widows, which is unusual. Lots of Deadpools, as usual. Why is it the people who cosplay on TV or the internet always look better than the people you see in real life? Nerds are generally not an attractive bunch, and no, you don’t need to tell me to look in a mirror.
I wandered the main hall, wondering what to buy. Everywhere I turned, walls and walls of POP! Funko dolls. I hate Funko dolls. They are like Troll versions of action figures. They’re short and squat with giant heads, big eyes and no mouths. Ugly. Here’s how unattractive Funko dolls are: There’s a Hawkeye one out there, and I don’t own it.
Look at that. How ugly is that? And yet, they are like today’s Beanie Babies. They are everywhere and there is one of every pop culture figure you can think of. And practically every booth at Comic-Con had stacks and stacks of them. I amuse myself thinking of all those poor vendors who brought in boxes and boxes of these things and as they meticulously started stacking them for display, noticed that everyone else had the same thing.
I walked the hall for an hour-and-a-half and nothing really struck my fancy (Plus, it’s hard to casually shop when the people who want you to buy their stuff are sitting right across from you — staring). It was now 11:30 and I had a choice: Go to the panel on Saturday Morning Cartoons, or go to lunch. I figured they probably wouldn’t dedicate enough time to Penelope Pitstop and left the hall in search of food.
I was going to eat at Snarfs, a sandwich shop, but after waiting and waiting for the guy at the counter to take care of the first customer I gave up and went across the street to Sugar Fire BBQ. I figured even if they were busier they would be quicker. I was right. Enjoyed some pulled pork, fries and baked beans then headed back to the convention center. Thought about stopping in at the new Blues Museum next door but didn’t have time.
Got back in time for the Elizabeth Henstridge: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Q&A session. She was charming. Followed that up with the James Marsters, a.k.a. Spike, Q&A. He was very amusing. They both seemed genuinely happy to be there (and yes, they are actors and yes, it could be acting, but if that’s the case then they fooled me).
After Spike’s chat I went back to the main hall for one more run through before heading home. There seemed to be as many, if not more, Funko dolls than when I was there earlier. Do they breed? Is that why there are so many? At this point I realized I hadn’t taken any photos. I wasn’t too bothered by it because (a) my camera seems to be on its last legs and (b) I’m not really comfortable taking pictures of strangers. I tried taking a couple but usually someone would walk in front of the shot. Here’s one of an alien in line for nachos. It’s the best I could do.
I left the hall around 3 p.m., exhausted but pleased with how the day had turned out. I didn’t spend any money except for food. Maybe I’ll buy a new camera.