Wizard World Experience: Books and Signings

Wizard World Chicago, I finally got to attend the convention last Friday. It was everything I expected it to be. It was crowded, crazy and colorful. Of course, there were a lot of comics -exclusives and collectibles- and people from the comic industry such as writers, artists, publishers, and retailers. While I wasn't fortunate enough to buy all the comics that I wanted or get all of my books signed by my favorite artists/writers, I did manage to snag a couple of limited edition comics and some autographs that made my attendance more than worthwhile.

Portal to Wizard World Chicago.

The main reason I attended Wizard World was to get my books signed by Brian Michael Bendis, and then get them graded by the CGC. The first thing I did when I got in the convention was run to CGC's booth. I had tons of questions regarding their Signature Series that needed to be clarified. But their booth was already swarming with customers by the time I got there. I waited for awhile but soon realized that the line to the Bendis signing event won't get any shorter. So I gave up on CGC and hastily worked my way back to Marvel's booth. Alas, I was too late, Marvel had already capped the line for the signing. A rain on my parade, that was. But I decided that it was too early for me to feel dejected and moved on towards Avatar Press' booth.

Hulk smashed my plans at the Bendis signing event.

I've never heard of Avatar Press before. But when I did my research on them I immediately fell in love with their titles. Black Summer, especially, a book where a superhero assassinates the president, was very intriguing to me. I just had to get it. So I gathered all the issues at their booth, and then haggled with them to lower their price. I failed. But they gave me a pass to Warren Ellis' signing event (which I didn't know about). I hopped in, of course, since I needed him to sign my Black Summer books. When Mr. Ellis came around the booth, he yelled "Bendis is over there!" while pointing his finger towards Marvel. "Who cares about Bendis?" says the guy in front of me. Well, actually, I do. But I'll take Ellis over Bendis anytime of the day.

Me with Warren Ellis, writer of Black Summer and Transmetropolitan.

My next destination was Fantastic Realm, a distributor of rare comics from various publishers. The reason I sought them was because they carry Zenescope titles such as Grimm Fairy Tales and Return to Wonderland. I've been searching high and low for these titles even before I got back into comics. So I got all the limited edition prints of Return to Wonderland (at a good price too). But, unfortunately, I didn't had money to buy the Grimm Fairy Tales issues. It was also fortuitous that two artists that did Return to Wonderland, E.Bas and Billy, were there to sign my books. I must admit, while the story of both books are exemplary, it was the erotic art of Eric Basaldua, Billy Tucci, and Al Rio that enticed me to get the books.

Limited Prints of Return to Wonderland #1-6. #3 and #6 signed by Tucci. #4 and #5 signed by E.Bas.

With all of my itinerary done, and a little time and money left, I began to scour the retail areas for some bargains. First, I got all the back issues that I missed as well as the current releases. I got all 12 comics for only $30. That's like $9 savings right there, and I didn't even haggle for it. Then, I also found kiosks that sells new and cheap trade paperbacks. One kiosk sells all Marvel paperbacks for $5 each. By diligently digging through their boxes, I found New X-Men Vol.1, Avengers Disassembled, House of M, and X-Men: Decimation and got them for a total of $20. The other kiosk sells their stuff for half the cover price. From them, I was able to scavenge Infinite Crisis and Crisis on Infinite Earths for a haggled price of $20 as well.

The last drop of my money.

I was really tired by the end of the day. My feet were sore from walking. My shoulders were burning from carrying my backpack, which was now 5 times heavier from all the free loot and things that I bought. It was a really fun experience. And even though I didn't get Bendis to sign my favorite comics, I still had Warren Ellis', E.Bas', and Billy Tucci's mark on my rare books. I'll definitely do this all over again next year.


crucios said...

ah return to wonderland... man i hate you...LMAO