Wizard World Chicago 2014: Saturday

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Saturday got off to a rough start for me at Wizard World this year.  As soon as I arrived I discovered the batteries in my camera were dead.  Then I discovered that the batteries I had brought as back up were also dead.  So I had to go up to the convention center walkway and walk to the nearest hotel gift shop to buy new batteries.  With this excursion I pretty much tired myself out before the day had even begun.  This set the tone for most of the day for me.

Anyway here are some of the pictures I did manage to take.

I attended three panels on Saturday and the costume contest.

The first panel I went to was the Erica Durance one-on-one.  Of course there were some questions about Smallville and she got to talking about what makes Lois Lane such an enduring and important character.  Also the possibility of her playing Wonder Woman came up and she said she would love that but they keep casting other people for the role.  At the moment she is on a Canadian show called Saving Hope, apparently Michael Shanks is on it too.  We also learned that Erica Durance grew up on a turkey farm.  Other things of note from the panel, Erica Durance thinks it would be cool to play Catherine the Great or Catherine of Aragon, she is scared to watch Outlander because she really likes the books, and that episode of Smallville where Justin Harley dressed up as a showgirl.

A little later I went to the Asian Americans in Geek Culture Panel.  I feel kind of like I should write a whole article just on this panel but that would be creating more work for myself.  Sorry.  The panel featured the Sun brothers of Sun Bros Studios, Michi Trota, Dawn Xiana Moon, and Kat Tanaka Okoponik.  The panel was about Asian representation in media and a lot of different properties came up in relation to that.  I will try to go through them in more or less the order they came up.  Scott Pilgrim was mentioned early on but to be honest I am not sure where they were going with that one.  I know Brian Lee O’Malley has said that as he was writing it he did not realize he was creating a cast that were all either white or Asian but that it was because that was his experience growing up.  I know some fans thought certain characters in Scott Pilgrim were Asian only to see white actors play them in the movie.  A few Disney movies came up, the first one being Lilo and Stitch because it is one of the few examples of a cast that represents Pacific Islanders.  Of course Mulan also came up and while it was good to see a Chinese Disney princess she does not overwrite the kind of self hatred that gets ingrained into girls who are not white.  The panelists also talked about their love/hate relationship with Psylocke of the X-Men.  For those of you who don’t know Psylocke was once a white British woman who had her mind placed into the body of a sexy Asian assassin after from telepathic shenanigans went on.  And of course once she had this new body she became an expert in martial arts and hyper sexualized.  Psylocke is an example of treating something “Asian” as window dressing instead of part of an identity or culture.  Speaking of the X-Men did you know that Jubilee is Chinese?  For a long time I have to admit I did not either.  When you look back there is almost nothing in the art or character that indicates that Jubilee was Chinese other than the fact that her last name is Lee.  They even talked about Joss Whedon’s beloved Firefly.  Firefly featured a lot of nods to Chinese culture but did not have any Chinese people in it.  And they talked about the new Ninja Turtles movie.  The biggest problem with it being that it seemed like every draft of the script somehow made it into production.  The mostly racially offensive part of the movie however was perhaps not the attempted but failed white washing of Shredder but that we are expected to believe that Splinter learned to be a ninja from a manual he found in the sewer.  Hm maybe I should do a full write up this panel later on.

The last event I was going to attend was going  be the Costume Contest that evening.  Normally I cover the costume contest in its own article but this time it will be part of the Saturday recap.  I arrived two hours early just in case.  There was already a line forming for the coming Bruce Campbell panel.  It looked like a line for the Costume Contest would not be started until the Bruce Campbell panel was underway so I went off to do other things.  I returned just as the previous panel was getting out and the Bruce Campbell attendees were going in.  I got in what was to be the line for the costume contest and I was near the front and sure to have my pick of front row seats once the room was cleared after the Bruce Campbell event.  Then a Wizard employee announced that they would not be clearing the room.  This was bullshit.  I don’t know about other Wizard Entertainment conventions but in Chicago they always cleared the room of the previous panel attendees before letting in people for the costume contest.  Now I had been informed that if I wanted any seat for the costume contest I had to attend the Bruce Campbell panel.  I was really fucking angry about this.  I was allowed into the Bruce Campbell panel with some others.  And I have to admit Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi were very entertaining.  But the whole time I was still super pissed off about being denied the opportunity to get a good seat for the costume contest.  Anyway Bruce Campbell went into the audience to find some panelists.  They got a genderbent Ash cosplayer who also does roller derby, a guy with a metal bar in his chest who had his ear torn off in a wrestling match, and a 300 pound Brisco County Jr who could do a cartwheel.  And Bruce Campbell gave a little girl five bucks.  So the entertainment value almost made up for the incredibly bad mood not clearing the room put me in.  Almost.

Then the costume contest started.  It was hosted by The Smoke and was judged by Jason David Frank of power rangers fame, Sentai Superchick, a guy who makes props and those girls from the Hillywoods.  I wasn’t in nearly a good enough mood to remember all of their names.  I was able to get a seat closer to the stage but not enough to get any decent pictures.  So here they are, some taken directly of the stage and others of the jumbo display screen.

Well here were the winners.

Best Male Hero

Best Male Villain

Best Female Villain

Best Female Hero was a Hawkgirl but I don’t have any shots of her.

Best in Show

I did not actually stay for the whole contest.  I left early because I had somewhere to be.  Even so I could not really enjoy the show.  I had been all set to get there early and for once have decent pictures only to have it snatched away and be left with far off blurry shots.  Anyway my favorite one were these humanized Pokemon.

I finished off Saturday in another part of the convention center at a different event.

But I will talk about that more later.

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3 responses to “Wizard World Chicago 2014: Saturday

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