Wizard World Philly report

It’s always great to go to a new city and only see the inside of a convention center.

Wizard World Philly was fun, although not for the reasons they intended it to be. Mostly, I enjoyed hanging out with Tim. The actual show itself wasn’t of much interest to me.

I know great deals are to be had, but with the Internet, tracking down that specific T-shirt of whatever obscure character or buying a light-up samurai sword is pretty easy. I don’t really have the patience to hunt through boxes of single-issues of comics — but then, I’m a pretty bad collector as things go.

Those Robert Tonner dolls are undeniably gorgeous. I’ve been told that they are and I always thought they looked wonderful in the photos. But they’re incredible in person. They’re the sort of dolls that make me think “$100? That’s a great deal for that!” Sadly, the Harley Quinn doll didn’t get to come home with me because good deal or no, I didn’t have $100 to spend. It did make me happy to see that plenty of people were buying them, though.

The wrestlers that I saw at the autograph alley looked pretty bored.

I was fairly disappointed with Artists Alley. I understand that Wizard World is not Small Press Expo, but the overabundance people selling drawings and painting of superheroes was tiresome. I suppose that’s what most people were there to buy, but it was boring to me. There were a few people doing their own thing — such as Tim’s neighbor, Melissa Diaz (and I’m delighted for no particular reason to see she’s a MICA grad) — but they were rare.

I was also shocked and disappointed to see that no one was crowding around David Petersen’s table, but I suppose that this wasn’t really the crowd for Mouse Guard.

Mostly, I sat with Tim at his table. Women really like his art and in the time I was there, the majority of the people who bought his prints were women. One seemed pretty starstruck by him and his work and that was fun.

A lovely black woman took him to task — in a playful way — for his work featuring mostly white women. Tim said he’s wanted to have more diverse models but it’s hard since he lives out in the middle of nowhere and people usually don’t want to come out to him. The woman liked Tim’s style, but she said it wasn’t something she’d feel comfortable hanging up in her house, but she’d be happy to if something like “Titania” featured a black model.

(A lot of Tim’s work has been for book covers where the art directors are looking for specific things, which does account for some of the models he’s used.)

Being a skinny white girl (who is featured in a few of Tim’s works. You can find them. They’re there), it’s not something I’ve thought too much about with his work, so it was interesting to hear her perspective. I think we all want media to reflect who we are and how we perceive ourselves and when it doesn’t, it can be alienating.

The crowd was mostly young white men with a few families and young women scattered in. I remember the crowd at Baltimore Comic Con last year being more diverse, but Wizard seems to have little shame about appealing to a particular demographic. Still, I think 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, there weren’t have been that many women there. Tim said he even has noticed a change in the few years he’s been going to shows.

I probably wouldn’t go to another Wizard World con and I only went to this because Tim was there, but it was still a good time.

Next week, due to insanity, I will be at the MoCCA Art Festival, which is probably the dark mirror image of Wizard World. I look forward to it.

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