Wizard World Comic Con Chicago will be at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois Thursday through Sunday, August 20-23, 2015. The biggest movie and television stars who are scheduled to be there are Burt Reynolds (Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, B.L. STRYKER, EVENING SHADE), Academy Award® Nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy, The Avengers: Age of Ultron), Nathan Fillion (Dracula 2000, FIREFLY/Serenity, CASTLE), Stephen Amwell (ARROW), Emilie De Ravin (LOST, ONCE UPON A TIME), and Ian Somerhalder (LOST, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES).
Two of Mr. Fillion’s FIREFLY/Serenity cast mates will also be at Chicago Comic Con: Adam Baldwin (Independence Day, The X-FILES, ANGEL, DAY BREAK, CHUCK, JUSTICE LEAGUE, LEVERAGE, THE LAST SHIP) and Summer Glau (ANGEL, TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, THE 4400, DOLLHOUSE, THE CAPE, ARROW).
Four cast members from THE WALKING DEAD will there: Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints, Blade II, Pandorum); Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy); Seth Gilliam (Teen Wolf, Starship Troopers, PERSON OF INTEREST); and Scott Wilson (THE X-FILES). Two cast members from the DR. WHO revival will be there: Billie Piper (DR. WHO, PENNY DREADFUL) and Arthur Darvil (DR. WHO).
Two actors from GOTHAM will be there: Ben McKenzie (THE O.C., SOUTHERLAND) and Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers, Equilibrium). Sean Pertwee’s father, John Pertwee (1919-1996), was the Third Doctor in the original DR. WHO (1963-1989) from 1970 to 1974.
Scores of comic book artists will be on hand, including artist and writer James O’Barr (The Crow); Whilce Portacio (Marvel, DC); Bill Reinhold (Marvel, DC); inker Joe Rubinstein (DC, Marvel, Archie Comics); writer Barbara Slate (Marvel, DC, Archie Comics); artist and writer Arthur Suydam (Marvel); artist Tim Vigil; and artist Mike Zeck (Marvel, DC). At least five Eisner Award-winners are scheduled to attend: Neil Adams (DC, Marvel); Art Baltazar (DC); Simon Bisley (DC, HEAVY METAL); Andrew Pepoy (Marvel, DC); and Ty Templeton (DC).
In addition to comic book writers, editors, illustrators, inkers, and colorists, there will also be other kinds of writers and artists at Comic Con, such as sculptor Stevie Calabrese, cake decorator Dina Cimarusti, animator Tom Cook, engineer-artist Robin Lawson, comic book and movie story board artist Leo Leibelman, animator and illustrator Kurt Lehner, artist Ant Lucia, pin-up artist Scott Blair, animator Phil Ortiz, trading card artist Bill Pulkovski, and authoress Ruth Silver.
Famous Cosplayers attending will include Heather 1337 and Jenifer Ann. Both of them will be at the official Wizard World Cosplay Booth to pose for photos, sign autographs, and sell merchandise Friday through Sunday. Vehicles on hand will include The Batmobile from Batman (1966-68); K.I.T.T. from KNIGHT RIDER (1982-86); Thor, the Chevrolet Impala from SUPERNATURAL; and Mad Max’s V-8 Interceptor from Mad Max (1979) and The Road Warrior (1981).
Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness, HERCULES, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, BURN NOTICE, THE LIBRARIANS) is, of course, the headline attraction for Bruce Campbell Fest. The “Ladies of The Evil Dead” (Betsy Baker, Ellen Sandweiss, and Theresa Tilly); Kassie Wesley DePaiva (Evil Dead II); Sarah Berry (Evil Dead II); and Danny Hicks (Evil Dead II, Darkman) will join Mr. Campbell.
Tom Sullivan, who produced makeup, props, and special effects for The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn, and Army of Darkness, will also participate in Campbell Fest, as will Robert Kurtzman, who did the makeup and creature effects for Army of Darkness, From Dusk Till Dawn, Unbreakable, The Green Mile, and hundreds of other film and television productions.
Campbell Fest will also include Tobin Bell (Saw); Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Phantom); Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, Escape from New York, ARGO); Tyler Labine (REAPER, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil); and Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever, Not Another Teen Movie). In addition to these actors, actresses, and special effects creators, Campbell Fest will include horror writer Morte Castle and graphic artist John Sloboda, amongst others.
Alan Tudyk (FIREFLY/Serenity) intended to be there, but had to back out due to a scheduling conflict with a movie production. Dee Snyder had to back out for similar reasons.
Wizard World will present the second annual Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival concurrently with Wizard World Comic Con Chicago, Thursday-Sunday, August 20-23, 2015 at the Muvico Theater in Rosemont. The address is 9701 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Rosemont, Illinois 60018.
The four-day-long event, programmed by The Awesome Fest, will include the American premiere of the Australian horror film The Pack and a thirtieth anniversary screening of Fright Night (1985) with screenwriter and director Tom Holland. The schedule can be found online here.
“With this program we covered just about all of our favorite scary things,” said festival director Josh Goldbloom. “Vampires, psychotic breakdowns, cannibals, killer dogs, contagious diseases, mummies, bad decisions, and easily the most evil half man, half bunny rabbit of all time. I can’t wait to present it to our fellow film nerds in Chicago!”
Wizard World Comic Con Chicago is the biggest pop culture event in the Midwest. It covers not only comic books and all things comic book and comic strip-related (comic books, graphic novels, magazines, comic book-inspired movies and television shows, toys, sculptures, trading cards, clothes, costumes, and other merchandise), but also movies, television shows, novels, toys, and collectibles from the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres of fiction.
The initial excuse for this would be that a successful novel or movie in those genres will often have a tie-in comic book, and comic books now inspire big-budget licensed movie adaptations. Having said that, most, but not all, comic books are in the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres (or a mixture of those genres), and the people who collect comic books are generally interested in those genres, so a large mass of them in any one place (be it San Diego, Chicago, or Atlanta) makes for a large potential market for media companies producing films, television shows, books, toys, etc. in those genres.
Good word of mouth at comic book conventions will build popular interest in a product well before it reaches the cinema or television screen, etc. For actors and actresses who are currently working, appearances at comic book conventions may be contractual and part of promoting current projects, as well as a matter of building personal fan bases.
These appearances may generate little income compared to what they get paid by movie studios, but for those actors and actresses who are out of work, and rely on popularity with comic book fans from performances in old films and television shows, as well as for comic book writers, artists, colorists, etc. comic con appearances may constitute a significant part of their income.
These are the celebrities who need to charge fans to take pictures with them and sell autographed photos. They rely on direct contact with their fan bases for some or all of their income.
Wizard World, Inc. and Skybound (THE WALKING DEAD creator Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics) announced on Monday, August 3, 2015 announced that Mr. Portacio had drawn the thirteenth in a yearlong series of Limited Edition Exclusive Variant Covers of THE WALKING DEAD #1 to be provided free to all full-price attendees. A full list of who is scheduled to appear at Chicago Comic Con can be found online here. The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center is located at 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, Illinois 60018.