Wizard World Philadelphia 2013 Recap – Vendor POV Part 2


Well if you’re here, you should have already read Part 1 of my experience as a vendor at Wizard World Philadelphia, if not you’ve still got time, I promise this won’t go anywhere before you’re done! And make sure when you’re done here to check out our full convention coverage

Okay ready? Lets get started with what went down on Saturday. Like the rest of the days we arrived early, this time with Erica our photographer, we hit a small snag at the door because Erica wasn’t technically allowed in until 10 since she was Press. Luckily Jerry the head of PR at Wizard World was kind enough to let her come in with us early. Like the other days, first thing we had to do was get the table set back up and looking all pretty, which at this point only takes a few minutes. This was about 9:00am, the floor opened to VIP’s at 9:30am so we just kind of hung out for a bit till everything got started. The funny thing about VIP’s is they are all about the celebrity they paid to see, which makes sense those badges cost a lot. I say that because pretty much as soon as doors opened you see a steady stream of people b-lining it right for the back where they could jump in line to get photo’s and autographs.

I’m sure you can guess that at this point we didn’t have much foot traffic rolling by our table. It wouldn’t be till general admission got let in at 10:00am that we’d started seeing people. Around this time is when Erica went to get in line to meet Norman Reedus, who’s best known for The Walking Dead and The Boondock Saints. Now this doesn’t have much to do with our table or anything, but I want to talk about it for a minute. I already mentioned how Wizard did one of their best jobs yet with this years convention, the only big downfall was apparently the line situation. Erica waited over 5 hours ‘in line’ and never actually got into the actually line. She, like everyone else with general admission was kept off to the side while VIP’s could come and go as they pleased. I completely understand the thinking, they paid a lot of money to meet the celebrities, but it didn’t work out well for the people who couldn’t afford that. Now Erica wasn’t the only person I heard complain about this, between talking to people at the convention, and reading things on Facebook and Twitter it seemed to be a big problem for a lot of attendees. The bright side of this is Wizard is great about fixing mistakes. They’ll try something one year and if it doesn’t work out they’re rework it till it does work! I’ve helped work conventions in the past, I know it’s not easy to get this stuff done, hopefully though we see a better situation with lines next year!
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Alright, now that we’ve got the bad stuff out of the way lets get on to all the good and the fun stuff that happened on Saturday. The whole team of con-going One-Quest staff was there plus a bunch of other friends who were just there as attendees. Most of the group was checking out all the convention had to offer, but that’s already been talked about in our Wizard World 2013 recap. Like the other days it was mostly John and I manning the table, only it was Saturday so there were a TON more people wandering around. It seemed like every few seconds I had someone else I was saying Hi to and talking to. It was fun, and everyone was generally pretty cool. I will say there was one exception, as a guy who I can only assume was drunk came up to us and was a complete jerk. He talked trash on our stuff then offered $10 on something that was marked for $100. I’m all for bartering but he was straight up being rude and we just pretty much told him to leave. Luckily that only happened once, and frankly you always have one jerk in a crowd of people this big.

Saturday was a pretty smooth day, like I said there were a lot more people at the convention than the previous days so we were constantly interacting and talking about comics and conventions and the website and just generally having a good time. It wasn’t until the later afternoon that I got to leave the table for a bit as I attended the Jason David Frank panel with several other One-Quest members. Our very own Walnut got up to ask some questions during the Q&A which was pretty cool. If I only took one thing away from that panel it’s that JDF is one of the coolest freaking guys ever.
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After the panel it was pretty much just buisness as usual hanging out at the table talking to people and having a good time. We ended up completely selling out of our grab bags on Saturday, all 230ish of them! It was pretty surprising as we didn’t think they’d go that quickly, but people were really into the surprise and even liked some of the stranger titles that were available in them. It just goes to show people like surprises and for a dollar, who wouldn’t. We also got to talk to some of the booths around us, right next door was webcomic writer Tony Digerolamo who was a great guy and really friendly. If you’re into comics you should head over and check out his site The Webcomic Factory there are all kinds of different stories to check out there. Another cool thing for some of us was our high school art teacher was setup at a table a few down from us. I highly recommend if you’re at Wizard World Philly next year or any other one in the area and you see the Neil King on the artist list stop by his table and check out his stuff or there is always his website BoldFaceComics.com.

So the rest of Saturday wasn’t to crazy, but by the time we broke everything down I personally was exhausted. You really don’t think just how tiring it is to be standing at a table interacting with people and trying to be welcoming to strangers can really get. By the time we packed up for the night and headed home I was ready to just relax and get some rest for the final day of the convention!

Our own Eric and Audra hanging out with The Doctor and the TARDIS

Our own Eric and Audra hanging out with The Doctor and the TARDIS

And that transitions us into Sunday, the final day of Wizard World Philadelphia. Much like Saturday Erica, John, and myself were the first 3 there, we got in and got everything setup. Unfortunately for Erica after the problems with the lines Saturday she wasn’t wasting any time and ran right back to get in line for Norman Reedus. She was luckier this time and after about 2 hours she was up front meeting The Boondock Saints star, she even got him to confirm that a third Boondock Saints is being written right now!. Being the last day of the convention a few things are happening, vendors and artists are doing their best to get as much product sold, and attendees are spending a lot more time looking at things. This was good and bad for us, we had a ton of people coming by and checking out our collages and talking to us about the website but not a lot of people actually buying. On the bright side, even though they weren’t buying we did seem to have some people checking us out online! So anyone that we met at Wizard World Philadelphia reading this, thanks for checking us out and it was great meeting you!

I figured this was my last chance to actually checking out the convention, it had been three days of just hanging out at the table for the most part. And I have a few things I usually like to do at these kinds of shows. I love walking through the Artist Alley and seeing what art and indie books are for sale and getting to talk to the creators. Hell the more the creators talk the more likely I am to pick up their book, if they’re passionate enough about it I’m willing to check it out. Unfortunately time was limited so I didn’t get much of that done. The first thing I did do though was go get in line to meet Jason David Frank, as I mentioned earlier I went to his panel and he came off like a great guy so I figured why not. I had a little more of a reason for it as well, at the panel he mentioned being a comic fan growing up, and having to sell his books to open his first karate school. He also said he was a big Wolverine fan, I happened to have a stack of Wolverine books that I didn’t need anymore, so I brought them along and when I got up to meet him offer them as a gift. Now I don’t know how most celebrities handle stuff like that, but he was such a cool gracious guy. He immediately thanked me and tried offering me free shirts and stuff. I turned them down since I had already bought one, so instead he ended up signing a bunch of extra pictures for me for friends and family. It was such a great experience, and it’s always amazing to meet a childhood hero and actually have them be a great person.
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So after that I went back to the One-Quest table for a bit and once the rest of our group arrived I decided to take some time and check things out. I walked around and talked to some people here and there. One place we always try to stop is the Zenescope Entertainment booth, they’re local so they usually get a great spot right by the door and those guys are always friendly and look to be having a great time. They were there really pushing some of their newer books like Robyn Hood Wanted, which we reviewed the second issue of in this week’s Take It Or Leave It, and the newest series Screwed which we also reviewed twice! Once for last week’s Take It Or Leave It, and another stand alone review! The last table I stopped at was the Wrylwynd table, who if you read our coverage of Baltimore Comic Con last year will remember we talked to a bunch and picked up some books from. Luckily for me they had the third issue of their series Kantara available at the show so I picked that up, expect a review early next week!

That was about it for Wizard World at that point, the rest of Sunday for me was hanging out at the Table talking to people. Overall all this was probably one of the best Wizard Worlds I’ve been to, sure I didn’t get to spend as much time walking around enjoying the convention as past years, but I did get to experience everything in a very different way. If you’re an artist or anything and you’re not sure if you want to get a table at a convention, I recommend giving it a shot, and One-Quest is definitely going to have a presence at next years Wizard World Philadelphia. Now lets finish this article off with some of the cooler pictures we got!

All photos by Erica Lowry except the blurry ones, that’s me.

talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

You can Email Chris or follow Chris on Twitter @Just_Cobb or Facebook

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