In its sophomore year, Wizard World New Orleans is working hard to impress. Last year they were testing the waters to see if New Orleans could support a convention. The problem was that everything about last year’s convention was small. Don’t get me wrong; I had fun last year. I got to meet Adam West, Walter Koenig, and Kevin Maguire, but the convention didn’t have much else going. Few panels and relatively meager offerings in terms of vendors. It was…small and unimpressive… especially if you’re trying to convince people to attend annually.
This year everything is bigger. It’s much more in line with my other experiences in the comic book convention world. For starters, there have been some impossibly huge draws as far as guests go. Both Stan Lee and William Shatner are appearing. In addition, George Perez, Norm Breyfogel, and Mark Texeira have tables in the artist’s alley. Last year, there was a dearth of comic vendors with backstock much less bargain books. This year it’s very different. Tons of boxes of books as well as no less than three booths with substantial $.5o boxes.
Unlike last year, there was also much more in the way of fan costumes. Although there was more in the way of steampunk than the law should allow, there was also fair representation of the comic book world… including a phenomenal Aquaman and Mera which I’ll post tomorrow.
The con has room to grow though. The main area for improvement needs to be the lack of presence by any of the major comic companies…or the minor ones for that matter. To my mind, it’s still essentially a local con until the companies make an effort at attending.
I’ll have picks and panel summaries tomorrow. For now, suffice it to say that this is a good second year in a convention’s life. Today was a good day... oh… and there was beer sold on the convention floor.