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Anaheim's Premiere Pop Culture Convention Returns!

Written By: Abel S. - "Honest Abe"

05/03/2011

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Convention season has now officially begun and I’ve survived Round One: Wizard World Anaheim!

I’ll just jump right in and say that I am vastly impressed with this year’s convention. I assumed that because last year was the first year, it was going to get off to a rocky start. Well, kudos to Wizard World for redoubling their efforts to make the show so much better. There was definitely much more of a crowd on Saturday. I was also pleased to see so many people in costumes this year. Last year there was maybe a dozen or so. It just makes the show feel more like a comic con. Let me stress one thing, this is a ‘con primarily aimed at comic book enthusiasts. Sure, there were celebs, but artists, writers, inkers etc…were the primary draw. There seemed to be at least double the number of creative comic book related people there. I noticed that there were slightly fewer vendors this year but their spaces were taken up by the celebs and creative people.

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The only major company represented was Kotobukiya and they were doing brisk business all day. However, I wasn’t looking to purchase anything. I was looking for something special….the vehicles!  Let me explain:  There was a section where for a minor donation, you could enter and take pictures with several cars from TV and movies. Specifically, there was Herbie the VW bug, K.I.T.T from Knight Rider, the Ferrari from Magnum P.I., the DeLorean from Back to the Future and a tricked out BMW from the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. Being the nostalgia buff that I am, I was all about snapping pics of these dream machines. There was even a special offer where for $20 a volunteer would take up to ten pictures of you inside the DeLorean. Alright, I admit, I was tempted but decided otherwise. Eventually, I had to move on. I didn’t want to monopolize the vehicles all to myself. (Well, I did, but…)

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Just as last year, most of the celebrities were charging if you wanted to take a picture with your own camera. I didn’t bother as there was no one that I absolutely had to have a photo of. It was nice to see that even though there were lines for certain people, everyone was patient and courteous as they waited. Also, just like last year, the original 60’s TV Batmobile on display. And just like last year, you had to pay to take a picture. I saw many people trying to be subtle with their cameras. I couldn’t get a decent pic though as there was a curtained barrier around it that prohibited from getting a decent full shot of the Batmobile. Screw that. I’ll just go home and watch my DVD’s of the series.

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Finally, I want to give a shout out to Soyjoy. Yes, the company that makes the fruit bars. They were handing out samples all day and it was good to munch on one of those for a quick snack instead of making my way to the food court. Also, I know I mentioned it last year but I’m glad that the food court is not just cash only. It’s a drag when you bring only so much cash and wind up blowing it on convention chow. Now if only San Diego Comic Con would take note.

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So there you have it.  Wizard World Anaheim 2011 was a vast improvement and I left with a smile on my face.  It was recently announced that there will be a Wizard World Los Angeles this fall.  I can only hope it’s as good as this show.

Abel S. a.k.a. "Honest Abe" has written reviews for Dark Horizons, JoBlo and MusicTap.  He has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He can usually be found at his keyboard ranting and rambling about the human condition or watching Beavis & Butthead.