Wizard World’s 2012 Philadelphia Comic Con
Once a year, Philadelphia comic book geeks like BTS Senior Staff Photographer, Dante Torrieri and myself, are treated to countless indulgences in nerd and pop culture as the 4-day takeover by Wizard World’s annual Comic Con envelopes our Convention Center. Artists, celebrities, superheroes, fans, kiddos, and even the deranged, traverse their way through miles of pop-culture’s own iconostases.
What started as a convention for the devote comic book collector has transformed over the past decade into one of the largest celebrations of pop culture in the US, as Wizard World’s Comic Con makes an annual trek across scores of the US’s largest cities with a revolving cast of icons and pop culture staples.
We’ll kick things off with the artists’ section, because in this writer’s humble opinion, without these champions of this niche craft, you would not have the celebrities, figures, movies, or culture to get amped about. Devote comic fans have sadly seen this section of Comic Con shrink over the years. Thanks to those beacons of the guild who brave the shallowing waters, we found many a worthwhile stop and some fantastic art to gawk at. And let’s be clear, with so many amazing artists and icons, we simply do not have the time to go in-depth on all of them, as much as we would love to.
Old school comic heads were treated to a booth of classic Batman by renowned artist Neil Adams. Apart from being a definitive contributor to the lasting imagery of such icons as Batman and Superman, Adams was also an artist advocate who fought for and helped achieve creators-rights for artists including Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
Of course the godfather of comics himself, Stan Lee, was on hand with sketches of his own creations which include some of the most notable and well-recognized characters pop culture has to offer. This former chairman and president of Marvel Comics co-created Spiderman, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, The Hulk, and Iron Man, to name a few. I think Wayne and Garth said it best, “We’re not worthy!”
Many newer artists also displayed modern takes on classic characters such as the The Joker, Superman, and Alice in Wonderland, as we hit only the tiny tip of this artistic iceberg. We captured a few artists and their work in the galleries below and encourage you to investigate these rising talents further.
As mentioned above, pop culture and the presence of celebrities has increased ten-fold over the past few years, with 2012’s Comic Con being no exception. We bumped into quite a few celebs, including Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead; Boondock Saints I & II; Blade II), Kristy Swanson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer; Big Daddy; Ferris Beuller’s Day Off), Sean Patrick Flannery (Boondock Saints I & II; Saw 3D; Powder; The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones; Dead Zone), Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman; 90210; The Choice; Smallville), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk; The King of Queens; Hercules), Peter Mayhew (Star Wars [Chewbacca]), Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; American Reunion; That ’70s Show; Thir13en Ghosts), and many more.
One set of stars we did not catch up with were the 5 captains of Star Trek. Although it was quite a scene to see Sir Patrick Stewart and all of these gentlemen in one spot, the $500.00 per photo was a little steep. And this brings me to one of my only gripes about Comic Con 2012. Like an ecotone, where the edges of a civilization meet wilderness- Where art and money intersect, there is always going to be some give and take. To me, Comic Con is place where fans get a rare chance to meet the stars, artists, and icons they support year round by buying movies, t-shirts, mugs, comics, and all the chachkies that allow the stars and studios to take in millions in revenue. It’s a fine line between taking more than giving back at an event like Comic Con and those who organize should pay close attention. These are not the “downloading” or “get it free” crowd. These are devout fans. Making them pay inordinate amounts for a photograph of a star they support seems to be taking too much. As we all know, entertainment is business, and business is booming, so it surely comes with the turf and did not spoil four days chalk full of fantastic pop-culture indulgences. Wizard World’s Comic Con is truly a one-of-kind experience for many that embark on this journey, full of memorable experiences that are more than worth the price of admission. Little Billie and Suzy may need bigger piggy-banks if they hope to capture it all on Polaroid.
Below you will find and extensive photo gallery of the artists, celebrities, costumes, and goodies that our ever-talented Senior Staff Photographer, Dante Torrieri has captured for your viewing pleasure.
Without further ado, all pictures by Dante Torrieri of Useless Rebel Imaging.
Words By Joshua T. Cohen
Philadelphia Comic Con Artists 2012
2012 Philadelphia Comic Con Celebrities
Comic Con Costumes, Displays, Characters, Comics and More!