Wizard World Philadelphia is coming…

That sound you hear is thousands of Philadelphia area geeks getting ready to storm the Philadelphia Convention Center at the end of the month, still riding the high from the remarkably successful theatrical release of THE AVENGERS.

Except this time around the heroes (and villains) are coming in all shapes, sizes and from various comic book publishers — because it’s time, once again, for Wizard World!

WIZARD WORLD PHILADELPHIA, a comic book and pop culture convention that has now rebranded as Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, plays host to 500+ celebrities and industry professionals, part of North America’s largest pop-culture touring expo.

Their website states:

Stan Lee, Mike Deodato Jr., George Pérez, Greg Capullo Among 250+ Talented Creators Set For 2012 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, May 31 – June 3 At Pennsylvania Convention Center

World-Class Lineup Also Includes Harvey Tolibao, Phil Foglio, Carlo Pagulayan, Yanick Paquette, Greg Horn, Arthur Suydam, Michael Golden
Whether it’s “The Avengers,” “Superman,” “Spider-Man,” zombies, vampires or just about any character ever, more than 250 talented creators at Artist Alley at 2012 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con have probably drawn them. Fans can meet superstars like Stan Lee, Mike Deodato Jr., George Pérez, Greg Capullo, Harvey Tolibao, Phil Foglio, Carlo Pagulayan, Yanick Paquette, Greg Horn, Arthur Suydam, Michael Golden and dozens of others at the event, set for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, May 31 – June 3.

The roster includes internationally-known artists and writers as well as top local talent from the Philadelphia area.

In addition to Lee, co-creator of many of the most memorable comics franchises in history (“Spider-Man”, “X-Men,” “Avengers” and “Fantastic Four” among them), some of the notables attending are Deodato Jr. (“Amazing Spider-Man,” “Wonder Woman”), Eisner Award winner Pérez (“Superman,” “Gren Lantern”), Capullo (“Batman,” “Spawn”), Tolibao (“Green Arrow,” “Silver Surfer”), Foglio (“Magic: The Gathering,” “Girl Genius”), Pagulayan (“Hulk,” “Silver Surfer”), Paquette (“Wolverine,” “Weapon X”), Horn (“Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,” “X-Force”), Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”), Golden (“X-Men,” “Daredevil”), Stephen Segovia (“Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates,” “X-Men”), Boris Vallejo (painter), Julie Bell (painter), Ariel Olivetti (“Cable,” “Punisher: War Journal”), Miguel Sepulveda (“Red Lanterns,” “JLA”), Carlo Barberi (“Deadpool,” “The Flash”), Ramon F. Bachs (“Batgirl,” “LoSH”), Nathan Edmondson (“Grifter,” “Who is Jake Ellis?”) and Alex Saviuk (“Spider-Man” newspaper strip, “The Flash”).

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, produced by Wizard World, Inc. (WIZD.PK), will bring together thousands of fans of all ages and dozens of celebrities and industry professionals to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.

Top celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers, Thor), William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “Boston Legal”), Scott Bakula (“Star Trek: Enterprise,” “Quantum Leap”), Jeri Ryan (“Star Trek: Voyager,” “Body of Proof”), WWE® Superstar CM Punk™ and Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness, “Burn Notice”) are also scheduled among more than 60 special guests at Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con.

In the past few years, the Wizard World Comic Con has seen less of a focus on the comic books and more of a focus on the celebrity guests showing up for autograph sesssions, making it (as I have mentioned in prior years) more of a Pop Culture Convention (as they now refer to themselves) as opposed to a pure Comic Book Convention.  In the past this has upset me, but after a few years of the new format I realize now that all of the wrestling and TV and movie and celebrity chasers are just new comic fans in the making, so this is a great thing for the inhabitants of Artist Alley (like myself).

I’ll be attending the convention representing both GrayHaven Comics and Shadowline Comics.

This is the first year that it will be a four-day convention lasting from Thursday May 31 through Sunday, June 3 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Tickets start at $35. Visit www.WizardWorldComicCon.com to purchase tickets and learn more about the convention.  I will follow up in the weeks to come with more information about the show as it becomes available.

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