Chicago is a beautiful city, and I was fortunate enough to arrive a few days
after a major heat wave had left the city, leaving beautiful fall-like temperatures.
Chicago is also a nominally dry city; although rain is not infrequent, there's
not a whole lot of humidity, unlike my hometown of Birmingham. It is, in fact,
like traveling from the Amazon rain forest to New Mexico. It made for a beautiful
first few days in Chicago, even with the rain.
Friday, traveling to the Rosemont Convention Center, the sun came out for the
first time, and it was a really nice day to start the con. I couldn't give you
numbers at the moment, but attendance definitely seemed to be up over last year
- the floor was much harder to maneuver and the lines were long from the start.
Fortunately, the floor layout was nearly identical to last year, so there was
no orientation period.
It was a productive day, thankfully (see below for the gratuity). I met with
David Brown, president of Serious USA; these guys have got a pretty cool product
called CD Cardz, which could end up being as big in the US as they are in Europe.
I met Scott Licina, who does soundtracks for comics (why no one tried this sooner
is beyond me - it seems like a natural idea). I sat in on the Image Q&A
with Jim Valentino and Anthony Bozzi. Of course, reports on all these will come
Thanks to RevolutionSF fiction guru Rick Klaw, I was able to meet Phil
Hester, albeit briefly. He was lined up for signings all day - the poor guy
looked wasted already, and he had two more days of signing and sketching to
go. Incredibly nice, though; I hope he had a better time over the next two days.
I was also able to finally meet Patricia Jeres, the DC Comics Director of Sales
and Marketing Communications. That, coincidentally, may have been the best ten
minutes of the entire day - what a wonderful woman. Let's see - also managed
to say hi to Josh Dysart of Violent Messiahs fame, met the new Vampirella
model, chatted with the ever-brilliant Team Red Star, and made my yearly donation
to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
As for days two and three of the convention: well, they didn't happen, at least
not for me. I spent those days with bleeding sinuses and a brutal near-migraine,
thanks (I'm guessing) to the change in humidity. I missed Kevin Smith, Xander,
tons of panels, the CBLDF auction, parties, and drinks with the Red Star
guys (sorry again, guys!).
Chicago is indeed a beautiful city, although its airports leave a lot to be
desired. The real problem with the Windy City, though: its tendency to attack
(ex)HZGs there on official convention business. Last year: Joe Crowe. This year:
me. My prediction for 2002? Shane Ivey will have better sense than to try his
The Wizard World 2001 Gallery
Team Red Star
Elektra and Spidey