Sadly, Wizard World Chicago 2018 has come and gone. Here are the five aspects of this year’s event that made it all worthwhile.
A lot of changes came to Wizard World Chicago this year, namely in terms of guests and programming. There were fewer big-time names and more of a focus on 90s/2000s TV nostalgia. And, with this new emphasis, came quite a few entertaining highlights.
These were the best parts of this year’s Wizard World Chicago!
Note: I want to say up front that I was devastatingly unable to make it to all of the Boy Meets World reunion celebration things, specifically their first-ever reunion panel. My day job and physical distance from the convention center meant that I was only able to attend Saturday and Sunday, so let’s just assume that Friday’s Boy Meets World reunion was also a highlight (because how could it not be?).
5. The diversity of this year’s crowd
WHERE ARE ALL MY LADIES AT? They were at Wizard World Chicago 2018, I can tell you that. Thanks in large part to this year’s focus on TV nostalgia (Boy Meets World, Kim Possible, Charmed, etc.) and Outlander, women of all ages came out in droves to this year’s event. In fact, the only jam-packed rooms and lines that I saw (or even heard about) were for Outlander. While a handful of fanboys may have felt a little put off with the most popular programming/guests not being for them, I loved seeing a wider array of people at this year’s event.
4. The stepped-up cosplay game
What this year’s Wizard World Chicago experience lacked in guests and programming, it definitely made up with just how awesome attendees cosplays were. Now, the Chicago cosplay community has always been really talented. I don’t think I’ve ever not looked around at a convention and been in awe of the creations around me. But this year felt… different. I feel like I saw more cosplayers and more really impressive screen-accurate costumes. From M’Baku to a female Contest of Champions Thor to, my personal favorite, the group Beetlejuice cosplay (THAT MAGICIAN’S ASSISTANT COSPLAYER, THO), I just want to give a huge shout out to everyone cosplaying this past weekend.
3. The Women of Pop Culture panel
What was supposed to be a panel about three awesome women talking about women’s empowerment and their experiences in an appearance-focused male-dominated industry turned into Charmed‘s Holly Marie Combs and Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel‘s Charisma Carpenter shooting the shit after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s Pom Klementieff couldn’t make it at the last minute. While they definitely did discuss those important topics, they also just discussed their views on reboots of their shows (“It makes me laugh when they say they’re doing reboots for a new generation. Which generation are you looking for? The in vitro one?!” — Holly Marie Combs) and their kids’ lack of awe over their careers and impact.
Best quote of the whole panel? “Just believe in you. Fuck everybody else.” — Chrisma Carpenter. (I think I need to get that tattooed on my body…)
2. The ‘Kim Possible’ reunion panel with Christy Carlson Romano and Will Friedle
I was wholly unprepared for how entertaining the Kim Possible stars’ panel would be because I just didn’t realize how amazing these two individuals were in person. I haven’t tweeted about a panel that I attended since… 2015? 2016? And yet, as soon as these two left their panel room, I felt compelled to tell the world about how amazing they were. Christy Carlson Romano and Will Friedle talked about their experiences recording the classic show, their thoughts on the upcoming Kim Possible Disney Channel Original Movie, and their lives outside of the recording studio. The best part about this panel, however, was just their palpable camaraderie. I could’ve listened to them speak forever.
Best quotes from this panel:
- “[Rufus] is as cute as a button… when he’s ANIMATED.” — Will Friedle
- “Oh, he’s in prison. He took a DARK TURN.” — Will Friedle on Ron and where he is now
- “Our show was the show that just wouldn’t die. And everyone tried to kill it!” — Will Friedle on Boy Meets World
- “It’s a completely different project from Kim Possible the series. And Kim Possible fans: Do not compare the two… the movie is not for you guys. It’s for your kids, your nieces, your nephews.” — Christy Carlson Romano talking about the upcoming Kim Possible movie
- “Sounds like it serves him right.” — Will Friedle on Shia LeBeouf being put in a vat of actual chili for an episode of Even Stevens and getting welts all over his legs
Note: Both Christy Carlson Romano and Will Friedle were positive about the new movie. They just want KP fans to have realistic expectations and give the talented and hardworking kids starring in the movie a chance (because they’re filling some pretty big animated shoes).
1. The ‘Smallville’ panel with Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum
I don’t remember a lot about Smallville (as I haven’t watched the show since it ended), but I thought it would be fun to treat myself to another blast from the past with this panel. I had no idea that it would turn out to be the best panel I’ve ever seen in my life. Why hasn’t anyone ever told me just how HILARIOUS Michael Rosenbaum is?! Bantering with Tom Welling, instituting a rule where everyone was to boo whenever the word “super” was uttered, running all over the ballroom, badgering audience members who looked less than enthused to be in the room… The Smallville panel was more than just a panel. It was an entertaining spectacle and I’m so thankful to have experienced it.
Best quotes from this panel:
- “Lex is so important. Where’d all his security guys go?” — Tom Welling on how nobody in Smallville ever knocked
- “Diarrhea!” — Michael Rosenbaum (REPEATEDLY)
- “My name in Vietnamese means ‘shrimp.'” “That’s the name for my wiener.” — Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum