The first (and only) time I’ve been to any kind of convention was in 2013 when I went to Blood at the Beach. There weren’t a lot of guests I was really interested in seeing, but there were a couple of actors from The Walking Dead I wanted to gaze upon. I really had my heart set on meeting Michael Rooker, simply because I wanted to ask him a question about some little one-liners he had in the show that went largely unnoticed. I paid my money and got in the autograph line. I remember being next and I was going over my question in my head when one of the staff people walked up next to him and handed him a frappacino from Starbucks. He looked at me and said, “Just a second.” Of course, I responded the only way I could, “Um, where’s mine?” He ended up sharing his frap with me and we talked for a little bit, irritating the people behind me who were patiently waiting for their turn. I don’t think I ever asked him what I meant to and I realized it really didn’t matter. It was a pretty fun ten minutes or so and the pictures my friend was snapping just made it all worth the $40 I paid to stand in that line & drink that frap.
Having said that, I’m going to attend Wizard World in Richmond, VA, September 9 - 11 at at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. I’m setting some goals for myself and I’m going to try not to spend any money to stand in line to achieve these goals. In order to hold myself to at least make an effort to complete these tasks, it’s only right that I share them with you beforehand. We’ll see how it plays out.
1) See if my tongue is anywhere near the length of Gene Simmons’ tongue.
2) Hear Tommy Flanagan say any sentence with the name “Jax” in it because I really miss Sons of Anarchy. I will also settle for him saying, “Jackie Boy”.
3) Get a picture of childhood idols Bo (John Schneider) and Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach) standing together.
4) Direct Ryan Lochte to the nearest bathroom.
5) Touch Ryan Hurst’s beard. If I decide to spend money, my goal will be to not only touch his beard, but have him sign whatever it is he’s signing with “Opie” instead of Ryan Hurst.
I’m pretty sure I can easily cross off two of these five things, but the others might take some work and a little bit of courage. Aside from wandering around the show floor, hoping to either run into Gene Simmons or Ryan Hurst, I’m planning on attending several panels because I like to hear people talk.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 9
I have to work, but since I park within a couple of blocks of the convention center, I'll mosey on over there late in the afternoon and see what kind of trouble I can get into. I'm not into WWE, so the wrestling personalities hold zero interest for me. I'll check out the vendors and people watch for a bit before heading to:
ONLY SHEEP EAT ROTTEN TOMATOES - This panel looks to redeem the DC Extended Universe via its comics. Having been fairly unhappy with everything DC lately, I was looking forward to it. However, I won’t get to see much of this one because I’ve signed myself up for a virtual reality demo.
NERDPROV: LAUGH YOUR ASGARD OFF - I dig improv. As I’ll only be here for a short time on Friday, it’ll be good to end it with laughter.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 10
CONVERSATION WITH THE DEMON: GENE SIMMONS - I’m confused by this. It starts before the time listed for Saturday’s open. Maybe it’s only for VIPs. If so, I’m obviously not going. I don’t think they care how big of a deal I was on MySpace.
EVERYTHING’S SHINY, CAP’N: JEWEL STAITE - I still miss Firefly, and I’ve seen her with roles in all kinds of shows that I’ve perused over the past two years. I’ve heard she’s a pretty funny person. It’s a shame that her Q&A time overlaps with...
CELEBRATING WOMEN IN COMICS - I’d like to see this one, but I’m not going to push it. I figure if Ms. Staite is entertaining, I’ll finish listening to her then head out for lunch somewhere for a local craft beer before returning for...
TRIPLE DC ANNIVERSARY: FLASH, BATMAN & WONDER WOMAN - The year 2016 is a big one for these three, celebrating 50, 60, and 75 years. I hope we get a rundown of the past, the present, and the future for these three powerhouses of DC.
RETURN TO HAZZARD COUNTY with JOHN SCHNEIDER and CATHERINE BACH - I’m considering wearing cutoff jeans, if only for this experience. I grew up watching The Dukes of Hazzard, so this will be a wonderful nostalgic experience for me.
SAMCRO RIDES AGAIN with SONS Of ANARCHY’S TOMMY FLANAGAN and RYAN HURST - Let’s be honest. These two are the only reason I wanted to come here in the first place. This is where I'm hoping to cross one of the things off of my "to do" list. Certainly, Flanagan will talk about Jax, right? If not, maybe I'll ask if I can touch beards or something. I’ll be there early and stay the entire time, even if it makes me late to...
LGBT+ IN GEEK MEDIA - This should be a fantastic topic. I’m hoping they save the interesting stuff for the second half because you’re not tearing me away from Opie and Chibs.
I’ll close Saturday out with THE MARVEL LEGACY: THE 77-YEAR HISTORY OF THE HOUSE OF IDEAS, FROM THE BEGINNING TO DEADPOOL TO CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR with SPIDER-MAN’S DANNY FINGEROTH. Marvel is easily my favorite of the superhero comics and this should be a fun way to wrap up the bulk of my WW experience.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 11
I wasn’t originally going to go on Sunday, but I might have to, just to hear Spike. He was always one of my favorite vampires. I figure I’ll come a little later, make any purchases that I’ll have pondered over the weekend, then listen to Spike to close out my first Wizard World experience. OUT FOR A BITE WITH JAMES MARSTERS will put a nice cap on what should be a fun weekend.
Maybe this time I’ll actually do the things I set out to do, or maybe I’ll end up drinking beer somewhere with Hurst & Flanagan instead. Whatever happens, happens. To quote Opie Winston, "I got this."
Friday, September 9, 2016 - 3pm - 8pm
Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 10am - 7pm
Sunday, September 11, 2016 - 10am - 4pm
Tickets may be bought here..