|Get it? The Arch and, "Gateway?"|
For those of you unaware, Kato is most famous for being a small-time actor who was friends with OJ Simpson and staying in OJ's guest-house the night OJ left town/possibly murdered his ex-wife Nicole and Ron Goldman beforehand. So yes, Kato is arguably famous for not being murdered by OJ Simpson. This pop-culture relevance apparently made him the perfect MC for Wizard World Saint Louis and to his credit he was very nice and unlike most celebrities/"celebrities" at the show did not want to charge me to take a photo. Observe:
A Mixture of Fun, Weird, and Off-Putting
It's not like I hate having random celebrities at this convention--it is par for the course that Wizard World gets random folk to come and sign autographs, but for every person who made sense--Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman--there was someone random like Butch Patrick who played Eddie on, "The Munsters." I liked that show and his booth looked lonely so I went over to say hi and tell him about my enjoyment when it was on, "Nick at Nite." He thanked me and then some assistant insistently said, "This guy looks like he wants an autograph!" I had zero intention of paying Butch Patrick 40 dollars to give me a signed t-shirt so I politely worked my way out of that situation.
Butch, tell your assistant to cool it with pressuring folk to buy autographs.
This sounds negative, and I don't mean to sound that way, it is just that some of the convention was off-putting as I mention in my header. I still had a great time talking with an assortment of vendors, all the cool folk in Artists' Alley, and I spent some time with friends from my comic-club enjoying the show. It was a fun time even if it was full of weird and off-putting moments as well. I would for sure go again, but with basically every year since the first one the focal point is less-and-less comics and more just a general celebration of popular culture.
Saint Louis Comic-Con," which has me really excited to go to a con with an actual comic-book specificity. It'll be in its 2nd year now, was a ton of fun last time, and is very well-priced. I'm not throwing shade at Wizard World, but I do know a number of people who didn't go to it this year, forgoing attendance instead for Saint Louis Comic-Con. Both are very different shows with separate identities and concepts, but if you want something centered on comics this is a great place to go. This year they actually have Chris Claremont coming, so that is rad!
Honestly, if you can afford it you should continue to go to the Wizard World shows and the more comic-based ones like Saint Louis Comic-Con. Both are fun in different ways, and while in all honesty the comic-loving part of me gets a lot more excited for this Summer, the aspect of me that enjoys general popular-culture had a great time at Wizard World too. In summary, "Fun, weird, and off-putting," is both a sentence I am overusing for this article, and extremely apt. I hope to get to go as press again next year and if I do I'll make sure to write extensively about it!