Friday, May 8, 2015

Big Wow! ComicFest 2015

This review may be a tad bit late, but considering my Big Wow reviews are usually posted close to Fanime anyways, I’m going to forgive myself for my tardiness. However, Big Wow! ComicFest this year was not too close to Fanime, being set instead at the same time as Star Wars Celebration and the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival. As such, in order to attend both Big Wow and CBF, my report will only cover Saturday, but it was a day well spent.

Black Bat, Batgirl, and Superboy
Although I arrived early in the day, parking was already difficult to find, indicating that it was going to be a full convention, and it was. The lines for registration and pre-reg pickup were both lengthy, but moved at a sufficiently fast speed to get attendees through quickly. Once I had my badge, it was time to hit the halls.

Big Wow uses the same convention center as Fanime, but it’s mostly based in the large halls where the dealer’s hall and game room are set. It was set up like a typical comic convention, with rows of booths for artists, vendors, and guests, all organized by type and size. Of not was a large area near the front advertising Silicon Valley Comic Con, an upcoming comic convention that Big Wow will soon be a part of; they had an electric bull that attendees could ride for t-shirts, although I opted not to.

Also, there was a Zorro cosplayer there who did not mistake me for him.
That day, I was cosplaying as the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride, although I was occasionally mistaken for Zorro. The other cosplayers there, and there were plenty of them, represented a variety of shows and media; we had superheroes and villains, anime characters, cosplayers from TV shows and movies, and anything else you could think of. Of course, all those that I met were as friendly and awesome as cosplayers tend to be.

The top priority for the day was getting a photo with one of the guests: Tom Felton, known for playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. His was a ticketed event, but we had purchased tickets for it ahead of time, so we got in line early to wait, though not nearly as early as some of the more diehard fans. Felton would occasionally walk by the line in between photos, giving fans chances to say hi or, in my case, get a high-five. Though the photo was taken quickly, with just enough time to greet him and get the picture, it made a great souvenir.
There were plenty of Harry Potter cosplayers there for Felton

Afterwards, it was time for lunch, and what better place than Johnny Rockets? Well, clearly we weren’t the only ones thinking that, given the crowd, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere without long lines on a convention weekend. But that’s beside the point, because you’re not here to read about food, you’re here to read about the convention. The takeaway from this is: no matter where you go to eat at a con, get ready for lines.

Back to the con, and it was time for some wandering. I was impressed by some of the vendors there, and managed to find some Cards Against Humanity expansions to buy, as well as a Guardians of the Galaxy comic book that recently came out. I thought about stopping by the table for Jake Lloyd, another of the con’s big guests. He played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode 1, and had a pretty good sized line; clearly there are plenty of people out there who did enjoy the prequels, although seeing him compared to the pictures of young Anakin reminds us all just how long ago they came out.

But there was one guest who wasn’t particularly big, but certainly worth seeing: Nicki Rapp, who you might recall from my interview at Kraken Con last year. I want to reiterate just how much of a pleasure it is to see her at any event she’s at - she radiates positivity whenever she speaks. But I’m gushing, so back to the con report.
Beetlejuice cosplayers

There were a good amount of cosplayer guests there, all with tables making a nice row near the back of the room. I’ve given my opinion on cosplayer guests before, but for those in need of reiteration: it’s not my thing, but if it makes people happy, then more power to them, I just want them to bring something to the con aside from themselves. Though one new face among them, my good friend 10nant Cosplay, certainly brought something else: a life-sized TARDIS, which people took pictures with and in throughout the day.

Outside the main hall was a stage set up for Rock Band, or if people preferred, karaoke with people playing Rock Band behind them. Never one to back down from a fun game at a convention, I signed up to sing Queen’s “Under Pressure.” Then the person ahead of me sang that, so I switched to Weird Al’s “Amish Paradise,” which I think went over better anyways. I admit, I can really get into the groove when I start singing “I’m the pious guy the little omelets wanna be like / on my knees day and night scorin’ points for the afterlife.” But the Rock Band stage is a welcome addition to the convention.

Finally, it was time to just wander around a bit more, see friends, and relax. I had my fun, so it was time to put those Cards Against Humanity expansions I bought to good use and wrap up the day with some games. Fully rested and satisfied with my day at the convention, it was time to go.

So, how does this stack up to previous Big Wow ComicFests? It was enjoyable, ran smoothly enough, and it had some great guests. While I could only spend one day there, it was a day well spent, although I’m not sure if I’d have much else to do differently the next; maybe stop by a few panels and spend a bit more money. But for the day I got out of it, it was a good convention, and I look forward to seeing how it changes upon joining the Silicon Valley Comic Con family.
Rogue and Dr. Doom

Daredevil and Kingpin
Melinda May, Agent Carter, and Commissioner Gordon
Ravager, Rocket Raccoon, and Judge Dredd

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