Wizard World Texas 2008 – How You Doing Daddy-O?

Me and Scott Adsit
Me and Scott Adsit
That’s not a hobbit.  That’s a hobo and a rabbit, but they’re making a hobbit. – Bender, “Bender’s Game.”
For the fifth year, Stephe and I ventured to the wilds of Arlington, Texas to take in the spectacle that is Wizard World.  This year was different in that, thanks to GonzoGeek, we were able to procure press passes.  That opened up a whole new level of cooperation from the attendees and vendors.

The other new wrinkle this year was WW’s merger with Texas FearFest.  This added a whole new demographic to the festivities.  It also added some previously unavailable stuff to buy.

Stephe and I both felt that WW had suffered the last couple of years.  Its the last convention of the season so its smaller.  Its farther from the NE home of most of the companies involved.  The lack of presence by DC and Marvel in recent years has been obvious and detrimental.

However, this year when we walked into the main room of the convention center we were pleasantly surprised.  It was full.  Celebrities, such as they are, lined the left wall.  There were convention regulars Lou Ferrigno and Virgil.  They were joined by the Honkytonk Man, Greg “the Hammer” Valentine, Peter Mayhew and a bunch of the girls from the new “American Gladiators.”

Turn the corner and there were the Suicide Girls in their scantily clad inked out glory.

The Doctor is in!
The Doctor is in!

One of our stated goals was to buy some new lucha masks from Highspots.com.  We went to their booth and found a couple of sweet Dr. Wagner, Jr. hoods.  We also met and chatted with Daffney.  You probably remember her from her days as WCW’s resident screamer.  She was dressed like Wonder Woman.  She talked to us at length and even agreed to do an email interview in the coming weeks.  We’re gonna hold you to that Daffney.

 After walking the floor for a while, we decided to take in the panel on wrestling.  It featured Virgil, Valentine and HTM.  Both Honky and Valentine regaled the crowd with stories from the old days of pro wrestling.  Virgil yammered on.  Both Valentine and Honky named Ultimate Warrior as their least favorite opponent.  Valentine said Ric Flair was responsible for his first AND second divorces.

We stayed in the same room for the panel on the new “The Joker” hardcover graphic novel.  I’ll be posting a more in depth piece on that later.  We found out that the creators would be signing the book when the panel was over so we went and grabbed a place in line and got our books signed.

As we wandered the floor, it became apparent that you really could find just about anything your geekly heart desired, be it vintage blaxploitation movie posters…

OR samurai swords…

OR a cheesy horror movie about evil pumpkins…

And to prove that the geek nation is always thinking, at the Bean Pot Toiz booth (what’s up Grego!) we saw these.

Tiny foot magnets to hold your action figures in any desired pose on a metal surface? That’s a million dollar idea kids! 

After a lunch break, we wandered the floor for a while.  This is generally the most fun part of any convention.  Searching long boxes for bargains.  Gawking at folks in costume.  Marvelling at the variety of genre stuff available for purchase.  I bought a few trades and graphic novels.  I talked Stephe into buying the first 2 volumes of the current Iron Fist run.

Check out some of the stuff I saw…

Sadly, the action figure plays better than the real thing. It later committed suicide after melting down a Harley Quinn action figure.

Apparently American Gladiators get hungry too.

HULK SMASH PUNY GEEKS!

“NO. I’M THE DEFUSER! I WAS ON ‘SO WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO.’ IT’S JUST CAB FARE.”

Screw Jared, he went to Wizard World Texas! 

We wandered to the FearFest room when they announced that Corey Feldman would be signing.  What a disappointment.  The room was mostly empty.  Had it not been for the long line waiting for Feldman autographs it might have been completely empty.  The vendors lined the outside walls and didn’t really offer much that interested me.  The inner ring of tables was filled with people brought in to complement Feldman and the “Friday the 13th” reunion.  I’ve seen Dudley from “Diff’rent Strokes” in person now.  I feel complete.

And then there was Corey Feldman.  He and his Playmate wife strutted in like it was 1987 and he was still part of Michael Jackson’s pedo-posse.  Still, he had about as big an autograph line as I saw all weekend so I guess its still good to be Feldman.’

Later in the day, we took in the “big screen” premiere of the new Futurama movie “Bender’s Game.”  I was a casual Futurama fan and Stephe said the movies have been uneven at best.  “Bender’s Game” was hysterical from the “Yellow Submarine” inspired opening sequence right through the “Lord of the Rings/Dungeons & Dragons” parody.  Yes, it worked in an animated sci-fi movie.  Groening and company should be proud of it.

We went back on Sunday, mainly to catch the panel on the end of “100 Bullets.”  To our surprise, it was sparsely attended.  That only meant that we got some real time with Brian Azarello, the series’ writer.  He confirmed my belief that Lono was based on the Hunter S. Thompson book, “The Curse of Lono.”  He also told us that the long in development “100 Bullets” video game was deader than Milo Garrett.

A final pass through the floor yielded a paperback copy of “Thunderbolt & Lightfoot” for $1.  I’ll review that later.  We also returned to the Highspots.com booth, talked to Daffney and bought the “Campeones de Justice” DVD I passed on the previous day.  Look for a Lucha Movie review soon as well.

Overall, this year’s Wizard World Texas was a lot of fun.  We talked to a lot of people, found some bargains and bought some really cool stuff.

Wizard World Texas 2009 is scheduled for November 6-8, 2009.

Oh, and FYI, the quote in the title was Honkytonk Man to Stephe as we walked down the hall on Sunday morning.

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