Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sights from Wizard World Philly's Preview Night

Well, the first "preview night" in Philly Comic Con history has passed and I've got to say that it was definitely a success.  The convention floor tonight was roomy and yet folks like creator friend Scott Derby were reporting sellouts on their wares.  (Scott sold out of a Doctor Who t-shirt right outta the gate)

I loved the setup of the convention floor and am excited to see how well the layout works for the heavier crowds the rest of the weekend.  It was surprising to find a media guest or two sitting in their booths this evening, but there was Lou Ferrigno. Gotta say, I told him that I loved him on this past season's "Celebrity Apprentice" and that I thought he truly gave 110%.

The evening opening also gave me the opportunity to get something I've been trying to get for a few years now; a Chrissie Zullo commission.  Well, I can finally cross that off my list, as the lovely gal was seated in artist alley next to my mega-talented pal Chris Uminga.  Can't wait to pick up my piece by close of the show's first full day tomorrow!

With that said and though I failed to score a shot of the lovely Miss Zullo, here are other sights that happened to catch my eye on preview night:

Yep, even though the show was open for just four hours there were still costumes to be found!  This zombie was gigantic and even spoke intermittently in a thunderous monster voice. At right are my friends the Arkham Girls, Ivy and Harley who already managed to win online Wizard contests for costuming before the show even started, notching some hot VIP-access prizes.

It never ceases to amaze me that Cory Smith doesn't work full time in the comic book industry.  This guy's work is simply insane and if you've never seen the man's stuff, you owe it to yourself to check him out and become an instant fan. My wife loves his Universal Monsters work and buys a print or two each time she sees him.

Toon Tumblers shocked me with the unveiling of a set of Looney Tunes themed glasses.  As someone who collected the original cartoon sets from the 70's that Pepsi put out, these glasses instantly struck a chord with me.  There are two not pictured (Yosemite Sam, Pepe Le Pew) which I was told should be arriving to the show tomorrow.  They're running a special on these at the con too at $25 for three glasses; great deal!  Oh yeah, the guys at Toon Tumbler worked with new tech on these glasses and I was told that they're "near indestructible" in terms of the paint on the glasses (read: they're dishwasher safe).

ExBoyfriend Clothing  had an instant "win" with their DJ kitty awesome is that?  They had some cool prints and t-shirts, so be on the lookout for them! I'll be popping back into their booth tomorrow for a transit map-like print based off of Alice in Wonderland after running low on funds tonight.

Artist CJ Draden drew a crowd of onlookers as he worked on a Jack Skellington piece in his booth.  CJ does some awe-striking 3D art in addition to his unique painting style and this year he brought a ton of new work with him.  Whether you're watching him work or perusing his interesting collection of prints from Pokemon's Snorlax to Oz's Dorothy and Toto to Edgar Allen Poe, CJ isn't an artist you'll soon forget.

Tell me that artist Chris Uminga doesn't have a kick-ass business card!  I met Chris in Pittsburgh a few years back and have been a fan of his work ever since.  While he and I were chatting about Philly sports and the upcoming slew of summer movies a fellow fan came by to pick up her commission piece.  Once I saw it, I had to get him to pose with it and let me tell you, this photo does nothing to show off the brilliance of the piece when you're in front of it. The buyer was extremely happy and I was totally jealous! lol

As I'd mentioned earlier about the setup of the convention floor, it was pretty different this year as these two photos will attest.  There is an entire room this year for picking up entrance badges that looks to really control the crowds much better in years past.  And where in other years the media guests were sectioned off to one end of the show floor, this year they're right up the center and sprawl slightly outwards.  Here on the right is where many a Trekkie will be spending time in line(s).

Check out these insanely awesome bathrobes that Stylin Online brought with them this year to Philly! This is the first time they've brought the extensive collection with them and I must say that more than one caught my eye.  Standouts were the Italian Stallion (a Philly natural!), a Bruce Lee design also in the iconic black and yellow and the Green Lantern and Joker robes.  Could this be the new hotness in apparel?

Last and certainly not least, I want to give a shout out to Red Falcon, fine purveyors of elaborate, quality costuming.  I was drawn to their booth as though pulled by a magnet when I saw all their Steampunk accessories and found myself wanting another pair of goggles despite my buying a pair just last year!  If dressing up is your thing, you can't help by stop by their section. I'm tellin' you they've got clothes and accessories that will practically outfit you head to toe. (at right: check out the mudflap girl!)

If preview night was any indication, this is going to be a fun-filled weekend at Wizard's Philly Comic Con. Time for me to get some sleep.  See you there tomorrow!

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