Have you ever been really excited about going to something but then once it happens, you feel kind of let down and realize it isn't your scene? I attended the Fan Expo Saint Louis (formerly known as Wizard World) and imagine people who went for things different than what I was after enjoyed it. If you want to wait in a line to see a celebrity and pay for them to sign a picture of themselves, then this show had you covered. I just said hello to Charles Martinet (the voice of Mario whom I've met before) because he's a cool guy, Jason Mewes because he also is a cool guy (we've chatted at other shows), and met Carl Weathers as the line wasn't too long for him and he was nice too.
There were plenty of vendors, but almost none with actual comics. There were maybe three vendors with some comic books--it was slim pickings. There were a couple booths selling Funk Pops, so that was fun, but otherwise, it was lots of random booths with those obnoxious, "Mystery boxes," of junk, cosplay props, random knick-knacks, and maybe one booth with like cool old toys and such. Maybe I'm just jaded from all the great local shows full to the brim with awesome stuff for sale, but this was not a show to go to if you were after comics, toys (besides Funko Pops), or collectibles, and that's what I really like at cons. It was a bummer.
The saving grace for me (in terms of something fun) would be the artist alley. There were lots of awesome creators from bigger names to smaller ones. I got to see Jae Lee, Peter Tomasi, Tony Harris, Michael Golden, Ariel Diaz, Howard Mackie, Talen Caldwell, and more. That was neat to see a chunk of folks behind an assortment of cool comics and chat with them. They had lots of neat comics of their own for sale and original artwork and prints as well.
If you're someone who is big on the whole concept of, "Wow, famous people!" and the cult of celebrity as opposed to just thinking of them as regular humans who are known for acting in stuff, then as I said you probably would love this Fan Expo. That isn't a draw for me, however, and the lack of merchants selling actual stuff that I was after resulted in me just kind of milling about the one thing that did interest me--artist alley. Besides being able to admire some great artwork and compliment creators on the comics they've made that I have enjoyed I was just mostly bored. There was so much at Fan Expo in terms of booths, yet so little of it interested me.
Assuming Fan Expo returns next year I'll probably sit it out and instead focus on other shows I'm more into like ToyMan, QuadCon, and so forth. At least the Saint Louis Comic-Con (which is oddly enough held in Saint Charles) is coming up in June and that's always a fun time. I guess I'm just not the demographic for what Wizard World morphed into. As I said, I'm sure other people loved this Fan Expo Saint Louis, but my highlight of the day was when I stepped out from the show and tried the, "Hi-Pointe," restaurant located nearby. That place was legit and after enjoying their food I can see why they've opened multiple locations in the area. Anyways, the show goes through Sunday if you're around the STL region and want to check it out. I'll be up to other things.
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