Friday, June 24, 2011

Wizard World Philadelphia

Last week Friday June 17th I ventured along with my son Dyllan and daughter Kortney to the mysterious state of Pennsylvania and the historic city of Philadelphia, where it lived up to its reputation of 'Always being Sunny'. It was a beautiful day, we left the house at 6am and made good time driving from Buffalo to Philly in just 6.5 hours with only two stops.

There was a bit of a line to get into the convention center, but we did arrive there right when it opened for the show. This was my second Wizard World convention and to be honest I was afraid this one would be much busier than the previous one we attended in Toronto, making it more difficult to meet any of the celebrities that were there. But my fears were for not, the convention center was so large and there were so many things going on it made it easy to walk right by or right up to a lot of the famous people that were there.

We got to see Lou 'The Hulk' Ferrigno, Michael Biehn from Terminator and Aliens fame, Richard Roundtree aka Shaft, and Lois Lane herself, Margot Kidder. The list goes on but probably the two that were the most fun to meet were Brian O'Halloran, Dante from Clerks and Clerks II and Sean Patrick Flannery from The Boondock Saints.

Before we left I did the research and brought all my geek swag I wanted to have signed but what I didn't bring was anything by Kevin Smith, because no where on the web site did it say anything about Brian O'Halloran being at the show. As soon as we rounded the corner of the isle he was in I got excited, the Kevin Smith films of Clerks and Dogma or Mallrats are my absolute favorites but I was really upset that I didn't bring any of those DVDs for him to sign. I immediately didn't care how much he was charging for autographs and got in line, Kort and Dyl stood by excited for me and we talked about how we were upset we didn't know he was going to be here and didn't bring anything for him to sign. I then said I wonder if we can get him to say "I'm not even supposed to be here today." his classic line from Clerks. As I got to the booth he shook my hand, I gushed for a bit and told him how I'm a huge geek and major fan of his movies and he himself, even his small part in Mallrats is fantastic. I went on to say I was sorry I didn't bring any of the DVDs for him to sign, as I didn't know he would be at the show. he replied with.

"I was a last minute addition, so I'm not on the website, I can honestly say I'm not supposed to be here today."

This was met by a roar of cheers from myself and those behind me, he shook my hand again and posed for a picture with me and it was truly great. Not till I got home later did I look at what he wrote on the picture that said: "To John, Never go ass to mouth. Brian O'Halloran", okay so maybe I'm not hanging it up on the fridge but that's just fantastic, and makes for a great story.

The second great story comes from us meeting Sean Patrick Flannery, my family and I are huge fans of the Saints films, and Kortney is a big fan of Flannery liking his other movies like Ten Inch Hero and The Young Indiana Jones. We waited in line for him to meet and get some signatures, we brought our copy of Boondock Saints which Kortney had signed for me he signed an 8x10 of the two characters from the movie, its very cool. So we made small talk, he was nice, talked a lot to Kortney about her being a teacher, he made it very clear that he wanted her to teach guys to be guys and chicks to be chicks, that their are "too many pussy's coming out of schools and guys are acting like a bunch of bitches" excellent advice on why to become a teacher. He poses for pictures with each of us, we're elated and on our merry way, however later after we had left the convention for the day we went back and looked at the pics and found that someone (Dyllan) zoomed in way to close and the pictures didn't turn out. Kortney was very upset with this, so we changed our plans slightly and went back to the show after we had eaten, this led to two great things.

One - as we walked into the show a woman standing outside the convention center asked me for directions, who was the woman? Margot Kidder, I gave her directions (which I'm not sure were accurate, but I sold it real good) and told her she had to pose for a picture with me, she however insisted it better not be all over the Internet since I didn't pay for it. (It is not yet all over the Internet..... not yet.)

Two - we made our way back to Sean Patrick Flannery's booth, I call him SPF, Kortney does not as she said it makes him sound like sun tan lotion. So there he is and we wait in line and when we get up to him we explain that DyllanMyspace style photos with Kortney saying things like "here's us at the mall.... here's us out.... here's us again" the story in itself is great and to make it better the pictures came out awesome. All of the pictures we took are up on my facebook page, if we're not friends feel free to request and you can see all the pics there.

Outside of movie stars the place is obviously filled with comic books, memorabilia and a ton of comic book artists and writes to meet. The lines for some of the artists were far longer than some of the movie stars. I couldn't even get to meet Phil Jimmenz but I could walk right up to John Schneider from Dukes of Hazzard, weird. The one artist I did walk right up to and meet and that I was so excited to do so was Humberto Ramos. He's the current artist on Spider-Man he's done X-Men, Batman and a slew of others, he is in my top five of favorite comic book artists and to meet him and tell him I was a huge fan was great. He was so appreciative and just a great guy, he signed my books and even posed for a picture with me. Gracias Senor Ramos it was fantastic meeting you.

Philly was a great time, a great show the only down side was trying to drive back the six hours in the same night, that was a bit rough, next year, when we go back and hit up Wizard World Philadelphia 2012, we're getting a hotel room.