Philadelphia Comic Con draws ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Firefly,’ and WWE fans

Print This Page

First Posted: 6/3/2013

Fans of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” along with its long-running comic book counterpart, descended like the undead horde upon the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia from Thursday, May 30 through Sunday, June 2, and they didn’t leave hungry.
Attendees who paid full admission received a limited edition variant cover of “The Walking Dead” No. 1 by artist Julian Totino Tedesco, which many vendors immediately attempted to buy directly from fans for $5 or more each. Actors Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker, who play brothers Daryl and Merle Dixon, respectively, and Jon Bernthal, who was Shane Walsh on the popular show, signed autographs and packed photo-ops and Q&A sessions throughout the weekend.
While their lines remained consistent, Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, “Star Trek” star William Shatner, and “Firefly’s” Summer Glau, Gina Torres, and Adam Baldwin also attracted sizable crowds, and WWE Superstars John Cena and Daniel Bryan were major draws as well. Pop culture icons like Dean Cain, Brandon Routh, Henry Winkler, Linda Blair, and Marky Ramone, among other guests, rounded out a solid lineup for this year’s convention.
DC Comics had no real presence at the con, but Marvel returned after an absence with two small panels to gauge reaction for a possible larger reappearance next year (if they don’t mind fielding more questions/complaints about the recent death of Peter Parker, that is, a subject that seemed to dominate discussion). They also conducted portfolio reviews.
With the “big two” preoccupied with New York and San Diego, Philly Comic Con allowed independent comic writers and artists a chance to shine, promoting new books like “Head Smash” or offering advice about how to break into the industry, craft a good story, or publish independently. Movie screenings, art “fights,” and sci-fi speed dating were offered, though most fans spent their time shopping the floor or showing off their homemade costumes.
After filling rooms to capacity for “The Walking Dead” and “Firefly” panels, fans ended Saturday with a costume contest in the terrace ballroom and an official after-party at the Field House on Filbert Street.
Wizard World’s next show is in New York City June 28-30, and the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con is scheduled to return June 19-22, 2014.