All photos courtesy of Martin Vizcarra

Last weekend was the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, an event that brings together the biggest names in movies, television and comics every year for a celebration of all things geek. Attracting thousands of people to see the hundreds of artists, vendors, comic creators, actors, wrestlers, and cosplayers, it was a chance for geeks of all ages to let their hair down and party.

Artist Alley was the place to meet over a hundred artists, all selling their artwork or comic books. Professional and well-known comic book artists are there to meet the fans and sign their books. Other artists show up to promote comics they have created. Some are collecting comic strips that have only been seen on-line. Some artists will actually create original pieces of artwork on the spot (for a fee). This year some of the featured artists were J. Scott Campbell, Greg Capullo, Neal Adams, Ethan Van Sciver and Chris Claremont. Writer Scott Snyder had a line all weekend, which is not surprising since his work on the new 52 Batman has been a hit with the fans. His Death of the Family storyline was extremely well received.

Cosplayers (for those unaware) are people that dress as their favorite characters from movies, television and comics. This year there were hundreds of men, women, and children in costume showing their love of everyone from Batman to Wonder Woman. Some costumes are simple and some are very complex and take up to a year to make. Imagine Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Master Chief, the Joker and Stormtroopers all in the same place walking around buying action figures and comic books. Some of the best cosplayers enter the Wizard World costume contest. There is one for adults and one for children. Professional cosplayers are people who actually make money by selling photos and calendars of themselves dressed in costume. Ivy Doomkitty was one such pro at this year’s convention. Cosplay groups like 501st and Gotham’s Finest help cosplayers by sponsoring events and helping members put their costumes together by making the parts they need.

One of the most touching moments at the convention was when Stan Lee signed a fan’s prosthetic leg during the his own Q&A where Marvel fan Saul Nunez and his son were at the microphone to ask a question. Nunez’s son asked who Stan Lee’s favorite villain was, to which Lee answered Doctor Doom. It was then that Nunez told the audience that he had been in an accident and lost his leg. He explained that he had his prosthetic leg painted with an assortment of Marvel characters. Not only did Stan Lee look at the leg, he signed it as well…making the leg a one of a kind Marvel artifact. Nunez’ entire family joined him on stage and Stan Lee hugged them all.

The Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno was on hand all weekend long to sign autographs and take photos with the fans. When asked what it was like to play such an iconic character, he said that it was a lot of fun. He had read the comic as a child and loved the character so he knew he had to play him. He’s not surprised by the resurgence in the Hulk’s popularity after the Avengers film. He said Disney was unsure that they could bank on a Hulk film but not after that. He says that a new film should be out soon and he hopes to have some part in it. As far as what the actor is up to next he will be playing the villain in the movie the Liberator. He also said he loves Chicago and that it’s like a second home for him.

The biggest star at this year’s Comic Con though had to be Mr. Spock himself Zachary Quinto. His Q&A was packed full of fans waiting to ask him questions. He talked a lot about the characters he has played on TV. When asked about doing a Heroes movie he said that he was done playing that character for now. He also talked about his relationship with Leonard Nimoy, saying that Nimoy was a wonderful mentor and that they had become like family.

The biggest change to the convention was that it was split into two floors this year, making it possible to have even more great content, giving fans more room to walk around and enjoy another great convention over the geekend…

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