Wizard World Philadelphia: Recap and Photo Highlights

Wizard World Philadelphia: Recap and Photo Highlights

Wizard Convention Features Celebrities and Entertainment

Wizard World Comic Con returned to the Pennsylvania Convention Center this past weekend for the company’s 19th annual Philadelphia pop culture convention. Despite the show’s comic con moniker, the focus of the event is largely on celebrity autographs and panel sessions, along with general entertainment and nerd culture activities.

Wizard Entertainment CEO John Maatta.

As he discussed in an interview with On Technology and Media during the show, Wizard Entertainment president and CEO John D. Maatta is striving to “balance the fan experience against the cost” of mounting the shows, much of which goes toward bringing celebrities to the events.

Broken Transmitter performs on the Main Stage

Maatta believes in the value of live entertainment to keep the shows engaging. As has been the style of Wizard World in recent years, a stage at the entrance to the exhibition hall featured musical acts and other entertainers, hosted by an always energetic Kato Kaelin. The Creative Stage at the side of the hall presented instructional programs.

Celebrity autograph lines.

The center of the show floor was filled with celebrity autograph tables, with the rear of the hall set aside for celebrity photo ops. The remainder of the exhibition space included vendor booths with a broad array of pop culture products. While comic books and graphic novels could be found, most of the show’s vendors featured collectibles and craft items. Comics publisher Zenescope was one of the only comic book companies present.

The Artists Alley section of the show floor included a number of illustrators and crafts people, but few working comic book creators.

Comics on the show floor, but few panel sessions.

Comic book panels were scarce as well, unlike in previous years when the show included panels with comics historians like Danny Fingeroth and Peter Sanderson.

The majority of this year’s programming sessions were geared toward general pop culture activities, such as cosplay and fan discussions, in addition to the popular celebrity panels.

Celebrity discussions on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday included the following. [Click on each image to display a photo gallery in Flickr.]

Edward Furlong.

On Friday, Edward Furlong talked about his roles in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and American History X, vaping intermittently as he spoke.

Holly Marie Combs, Drew Fuller, and Brian Krause.

Friday’s Charmed reunion included actors Holly Marie Combs, Drew Fuller, and Brian Krause, who were happy to discuss the original series in which their characters appeared, but declined to comment on the show’s reboot, about which they clearly had little interest.

Cary Elwes.

Cary Elwes, speaking with moderator Victor Dandridge, told hilarious anecdotes about his work on films such as The Princess Bride and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. The tales were enhanced by his uncanny ability to mimic the voices of his collaborators, with dead-on impressions of Rob Reiner, Mel Brooks, Wallace Shawn, and Andre the Giant.

Dean Cain.

Friday ended with Dean Cain discussing his role on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman with Tony B. Kim.

Jared Gilmore, Rebecca Mader, and Lana Parrilla.

On Saturday, the Once Upon a Time panel featured actors Jared Gilmore, Rebecca Mader, and Lana Parrilla.

Kevin Conroy and John Glover.

Actors Kevin Conroy and John Glover discussed their voice work in Batman: The Animated Series, portraying Batman/Bruce Wayne and the Riddler, respectively.

Ian Somerhalder,

Ian Somerhalder held an extended audience Q&A session, moderated by Victor Dandridge.

Jewel Staite and Sean Maher speculate on whether Kaylee and Simon would have had a a baby.

Closing out Saturday’s programming sessions, the Firefly Q&A panel included actors Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, and Sean Maher. When asked about what might have happened to their characters if the series had continued, Staite and Maher both thought babies would have been in the future for Kaylee and Simon. As if to complete the picture, at the end of the session, a child from the audience came up on stage and was embraced by the pair.

Mehcad Brooks and Jeremy Jordan.

On Sunday, Tony B. Kim interviewed Supergirl actors Mehcad Brooks and Jeremy Jordan.

Ted Danson greets surprise guest George Wendt.

Also on Sunday was “Ted Talk: A Conversation with Ted Danson,” where the actor discussed his roles on shows such as Cheers and The Good Place. Midway through the session, Danson was joined by his Cheers co-star George Wendt in a surprise appearance.

Wizard World is scheduled to return on June 11-14, 2020 for the company’ 20th anniversary Philadelphia Comic Con.

For the complete photo gallery from this year’s show, see the Flickr photo album Wizard World Philadelphia 2019:

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