For the second year in a row, the Kentucky International Convention Center will play host for the weekend to one of the regionâ€™s largest pop culture conventions: Wizard World Comic Con. A celebration for fandoms of everything from â€œThe Walking Deadâ€ to â€œSpider-Man,â€ Wizard World seeks to provide a unique shared experience for pop culture consumers.
â€œWizard World is a pop culture celebration,â€ describes Jerry Milani, public relations manager for Wizard World. â€œItâ€™s called Comic Con, but itâ€™s really a pop culture con, so itâ€™s a celebration of everything in that realm. Itâ€™s movies. Itâ€™s television. Itâ€™s art. Itâ€™s science fiction. Itâ€™s comics. Itâ€™s cosplay. Itâ€™s everything in the world of pop fiction.â€
Wizard World first formed in 1998 with a show in Chicago and then, just a few years later, expanded to Philadelphia and consistently operated only those two shows. They added a few cities here and there and then, in 2014, expanded from eight cities to 16. And now, this year, they have expanded to 24 Wizard World events across the country.
Louisville was part of that 2014 expansion, and thanks to the zeal of the fans and the demonstrated growth potential, theyâ€™re back for more. Just like last time, guests can expect countless artists, vendors, exhibitors, contests, film screenings and celebrity Q&A sessions at the three-day convention.
Milani actually feels that the celebrity presence is part of what draws first-timers to Wizard World. â€œIn addition to getting a photograph or an autograph, you can go and be part of, you know, Bruce Campbellâ€™s Q&A session, which is always very interactive,â€ Milani suggests. â€œHe may ask as many questions as he gets back!â€
But â€œEvil Deadâ€ star Campbell isnâ€™t the only celebrity gracing the Wizard World stages this year. Louisville guests will also see Stephen Amell (â€œArrowâ€), Ben McKenzie (â€œGotham,â€ â€œThe O.C.â€), David Ramsey (â€œArrowâ€), John Barrowman (â€œDoctor Who,â€ â€œArrowâ€), Jason Isaacs (â€œHarry Potterâ€ series) and more.
While itâ€™s without question a spectacular event for adult fans, itâ€™s also great for kids, Milani points out. In fact, Sunday is a special kids day, featuring fun activities and giveaways for the little ones. Additionally, all weekend, every paid adult admission receives two free kid admissions. â€œThere are some things in the show that are not for kids, but most of the things, most of the artists, most of the exhibitors have lots of things for kids,â€ Milani affirms.
Whether youâ€™re a fan young or old, there will be something to amaze you at Wizard World. So put on your Batman cape, your Doctor Who bowtie or your Hulk gloves and take part in this communal experience. As Milani contends, â€œPeople who are Spider-Man fans or people who are Superman fans â€“ theyâ€™re going to be able to get together and discuss that love and share that fandom, and itâ€™s all part of the shared experience of pop culture.â€
Wizard World will take place the weekend of November 6 at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Hours are Friday 3-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Weekend adult tickets are $79.95 in advance or $90 onsite. Single day tickets range from $39.95 to $49.95. VIP tickets are $199.99. For tickets and more information, visit wizardworld.com/home-louisville.html.