On the weekend of March 13th-15th, warriors, rogues, superheroes, villains, starpilots, men and women, boys and girls, gathered at the first ever Wizard World Comic Con to open in Raleigh, NC. They braved closed-off streets and a St. Patrick’s Day parade to celebrate their fandoms by meeting other fans and their heroes. Their efforts paid off: convention goers got to meet actors David Tennant, William Shatner, Sean Astin, Kevin Sorbo, Jason David Frank, Sonequa Martin-Green, Addy Miller, and others, as well as a host of comic book artists and writers of both comic and prose fiction.
Wizard World’s debut in Raleigh contained more than enough panels to keep convention-goers busy all day. When not viewing panels and waiting for autographs and photo-ops, fans had video game tournaments, a board game parlor, and several merchandise venues to choose from that offering everything from T-shirts to Steampunk gear and of course, comic books.
At any convention, cosplayers make the atmosphere, and at the Raleigh Wizard World Comic Con, clever costumers showcased a variety of thoughtful creations. Some of these can be seen in the pictures posted below and in the embedded videos.
In the midst of all the rush, the local Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums played a touching tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy, who recently passed away. The schedule did not herald the performance and this reporter did not know the significance of the tribute until he saw a video posted on YouTube by the wife of one of the band members.
In comparison to the NC ComiCon that comes each November in Durham, NC (within driving distance of Raleigh), WizardWorld comes out ahead with better-quality programming, but the NC ComiCon has decidedly more available from their vendors. With such a solid start in North Carolina’s state capitol, next year’s Raleigh WizardWorld Comic Con is sure to offer a heavy-hitting selection of panels and appearances. Check out the gallery below for images of cosplayers and special guests!