June 6, 2020

Wizard World Comic Con Cleveland 2020 Wrap Up

Considering this is a horror review blog, it seems appropriate to review…well…. anything in this horrific climate of COVID19.  Though it took place before stringent social distancing orders or self-quarantines, it almost didn’t happen out of sheer concern for the possibility of the virus.

I didn’t grow up liking anything comic, superhero, or horror related.  Not that I was against it, I just didn’t have any friends that were into it.  I had tried to watch a couple of scary movies while staying up late as kid but could never muster the courage to keep the channel on.  I do remember my sister, seven years older than me and much more popular, had all the cool kids over one night to watch Nightmare on Elm Street.  “One two Freddy’s comin’ for you…”, nope 10-year-old me didn’t like this.  But what I realized was that I wasn’t just closing my eyes or walking out.  There were “cool” kids around, especially the popular and cute best friend of my sister sitting next to me.  Sure, she was six or sever years older than me and I didn’t even know why I was attracted to her or what that even meant, but I knew that I wanted her to think I wasn’t scared.  But why?  Who cares?  Am I not allowed to be terrified of a burned alive dream murderer with a glove of knives and poor taste in sweaters?  It didn’t matter.  This was beyond logic; I was supposed to be not horrified of the horror.

Fast forward nearly 30 years.  I still don’t love horror movies, but I’m oddly fascinated with them.  Why do people want to be scared?  My daughter is 10, and it takes all I have to keep her from watching the scariest things she can find.  She hasn’t seen a monster that she hasn’t described as “cute”, or a character that she can’t find lovable for some reason or another.  She is the cutest thing ever, even with her dark sense of humor.  I have however learned to love the superhero/sci-fi genre.  My 13-year-old son has forgotten more about comic characters than I’ll ever know, but I grew to love them because of his interest.  So due to my children having much better imaginations than I did at their age, coupled with a best friend who is a walking encyclopedia of all things comic related, means I was bound to start attending Comic Con.

The last four years have consisted of my two kids and myself, along with my best friend and his boy, roaming up and down the isles of Cleveland Comic Con in wonder.  Taking in the incredible costumes, looking at the amazing artwork, and picking out the best souvenirs.  This year however felt different.  We weren’t sure if we should even go.  We weren’t sure if they would even have it.  We had to have a talk with the kids about not touching anything, avoid anyone looking like they are coughing, wash your hands every chance we get.  These are basic rules but seem much more important when you feel like you’re in the opening scenes of a horror movie plot.  After the initial shock of, “we’re here now, may as well make the best of it”, we had a great time.

Cleveland Comic Con isn’t the top of the mountain as far as Comic Con locations go, but it’s 20 minutes away and I get to see Kato Kaelin, so there’s that.  There are the usual mix of artists and vendors, heroes and villains, print and mass media, but they all agree on one thing.  It’s awesome.  It’s all awesome.  Guy dressed up like Spidey?  Awesome.  Scarecrow?  Awesome.  Girl dressed up like Poison Ivy?  Awesome.  Nobody judges anyone, they just appreciate the culture.  I will say that there is less of the horror genre represented than I have always expected.  Nearly everyone you see dressed up is comic book or mass media related.  Think of it as kid friendly Halloween with no budget.  Maybe that’s because we go on Saturday afternoon.  Perhaps the real action is after dark, but I wouldn’t know because my kids took all my evening life energy.  The artwork on the other hand has a wide variety of allure.  We usually focus on the ironic or “cute”, but there certainly is the abhorrent or gory.  As far as actor allure, this year was more lacking than usual, but either way I am too cheap to pay!  I was willing to pay for Stan Lee a couple of years ago, but he didn’t make the event.  The only person I would have liked a pic with was Wallace Shawn, who played Vizzini in Princess Bride, but he wasn’t there every time we walked by.

All in all, I’m always glad I go.  Being this was the last big thing my kids and I did before being on lockdown because of the virus, it was worth it.  We had fun, we got some good artwork, and we made more memories.  Next year we might dress up, but that’s going to depend on who I have to be.  Maybe I’ll buck the trend and do something outside the norm.  “Three four better lock the door…”

Huge thanks to Jerry from Wizard World for being so awesome before and up through the event.

Did you attend this year’s Wizard World Comic Con in Cleveland? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!

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