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Wizard World 2001 - The Wrap Up
(or, How to Turn a 3-Day Convention Into 8 Hours)
© Kenn McCracken

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 this week.

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 luck.

The Wizard World 2001 Gallery


Team Red Star

Alex Ross

Erik Larsen

Jason Mewes

Elektra and Spidey


My Hosts

Violent Messiah

Continued . . .
Kenn McCracken is Comics Editor for RevolutionSF.

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