What We Loved at Wizard World Philadelphia 2016

This past weekend, Fangirlish got a chance to attend Wizard World Philadelphia. It was cosplay, panels, and artists as far as the eye could see! And instead of spiralling into an abyss about all the things I enjoyed about the Con, let’s talk about the the things I absolutely loved and that left a lasting impression.

1. Making new and unexpected friends

There’s something special about a bond being formed with a stranger while you’re waiting in line to get into a convention center. At first there are awkward glances. Is this person waiting as well? Are they going to be the difference between you getting a good seat or getting stuck behind a giant while your 5 foot 1 inch self struggles to see the floor?

Then smiles are exchanged.

Before you know it you’re chatting away at why the Black Canary’s death was ill timed on Arrow, how Barry messed things up in the season finale of The Flash, and how much Calista Flockhart is amazing and Supergirl needs to keep her. You’ve become best friends and there’s no turning back.

And it all started by being excited fans who got to a 10 a.m. panel at 6 a.m. to see Chris Evans arms, Sebastian Stan’s everything, and Anthony Mackie’s smile.

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2. Asking panelists questions in Terrace Ballroom

I’ve never been a very outgoing person. Sure I’ve got to Germany on a whim because I got free tickets to a concert. And sure I lived in England by myself for about 2 years. But those were all set things in advance. Months even. But something happened when I entered the Terrace Ballroom at Wizard World in Philadelphia.

Thousands of seats meant that I would be surrounded by enthusiastic people who were just as ready as I was to fangirl or fanboy all over the celebrities we were going to see that day. Suddenly that microphone didn’t look as scary anymore. It was calling out to me, and I answered!

Before I knew it I was sitting on that floor in front of the microphone waiting to ask my favorite celebrities questions. I asked Stephen Amell about the upcoming Bratva arc, David Duchovny about when William was going to pop up, and Hayley Atwell (she’s lovely) if Dottie would ever switch sides.

I even told Dominic Cooper that his hair was better than Chris Hemsworth’s! It was glorious and everyone knew it! (Chris definitely has him beat in the arm game. Anyone there can testify that those muscles were real.)

Point is, I tried something new and survived! Asking celebrities questions was easy and I’m most certainly doing it again! *patiently waits for HVFF next month*

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3. Taking pictures of cosplayers

There was definitely a theme going at Wizard World Philadelphia. An undeniable truth about what a quarter of its attendants were dressed as: everything and anything Marvel.

Loki’s ran wild and free with their slicked back hair and fancy horned helmets. Captain America was never too far from his best friend Bucky, sometimes holding hands and during one memorable moment, kissing in a corner. And when Cap wasn’t going around with his BFF he was with his lady love, Peggy Carter. (Best Peggy/Captain America cosplay below. They were the sweetest!)

Let’s not forget about Deadpool. They were EVERYWHERE! Dancing it up and down the convention floor in a conga line yelling “chimichanga” to their hearts content. Showing off his love for Hello Kitty in the form of backpacks, shower caps, and boxers.

And every cosplayer was patient and kind. They stopped for every single person that asked for a photo, were up for chatting when you didn’t know who they were cosplaying as, and gave tips on how to make the things they were wearing.

Cosplayers made the convention floor a fun and relaxing experience.

Peggy Carter and Captain America at Wizard World Philadelphis

P.S. Follow Starbuck_cosplay & CaptainCosplay on Instagram.

4. Checking out all the artwork, experiences, and vendors

Convention floors are a dangerous place for your wallet. You don’t just spot one thing while perusing the aisles. You find one, two, three…twenty things you want to buy! Before you know it you’ve written down the number of 15 booths that you want to visit later on in the day so you don’t have to carry everything through panels.

You’re supposed to narrow down your list but you don’t. How are you to choose between the Mulder & Scully prayer candles and the beautiful drawing of Loki lamenting the peasants of this world! The only solution is to give in and get it all. (If you have the funds.)

In the words of Donna Meagle, “Treat yo self.” You’ll regret it later on for sure. I know I sure do regret not getting that beautiful sterling silver Triskelion necklace. I’ll remember you always, pretty necklace!

Artwork by Okasama Images at Wizard World Philadelphia 2016
Artwork by Okasama Images at Wizard World Philadelphia 2016

5. Attending diverse panels

When you attend a con you don’t just want to indulge in celebrity after celebrity and all the art your mind can handle. You want to be engaged. You want to see the real issues facing fan culture, television, and films. Wizard World had me covered on that front.

While there I attended panels about the lack of diversity in entertainment, the psychology of what makes a superhero, and creating new content on your own in an incredibly competitive market. The panelists knew what they were talking about and didn’t just want to spew out their opinion.

They wanted to have a conversation.

I’m Not a SideKick Panel – Hosted by Tony Kim. Listen to panel HERE.

I felt like I heard different views while still focusing on the issues at hand. They didn’t get lost in tangents or their own superiority, as I’ve seen panelists do before. It was a warm and relaxed environment where they talked about things they were passionate about.

You can tell the true scope of a convention and the impression they want you to leave with when they make you think: Is Batman a superhero or just a guy working through his PTSD in the only way he can? Is it that easy to get out there and make content that speaks to me and hopefully others? And is the entertainment industry doing enough to diversify the content we gobble up like a Sunday roast at your moms? (The answer’s no on that last one.)

Overall, I had a fantastic time at Wizard World Philadelphia and hope to see them again next year!

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