Wizard World Comic Con: Gremlins, Ghostbusters, and B-Listers

Move over, Art Basel. Take a hike, Miami Book Fair International. Nothing is as intellectually stimulating or culturally relevant as a Wizard World Comic Con event. And this past weekend, we were lucky enough to spend some time at the Miami Airport Convention Center for just that, a good ol' fashioned traveling pop culture convention.

But before we tell you how it all went down, a few confessions: 1.)  This writer has never watched Star Wars. 2.) Brittany Murphy has a better chance of landing a role in a new movie than most of the "celebrities" at Comic Con. 3.) Adam West is much cooler on the phone than in person. Check out the full slideshow here.

We missed the 9:30 a.m. red carpet arrival of comic con's biggest names--Edward James Olmos' son Bodie, professional wrestler Kevin Nash, Baywatch babe/sex tape starlet Gene Lee Nolin. In fact, we missed their triumphant entrances by a full hour, but so did a lot of other people; 9:30 is much too early for anything, especially if you were up all night playing Dungeons and Dragons, or polishing your Storm Trooper regalia.

Speaking of Storm Troopers, we nearly ran one over in the parking lot. The line to buy convention tickets stretched from the front of MACC to the first row of cars when we arrived at 10:30 a.m. Upon entering, you're slapped in the face with Batman. Pow! To our left was a 1960's Batmobile roped off to the general public. Across from it, Batman and Robin's autograph booth--Adam West's and Burt Ward's weekend bat cave, so to speak.

Some dude dressed like Diddy Kong attacked our leg, as his Nintendo posse watched and giggled. "Watch out, Diddy's gonna get you!" someone yelled. He didn't. It was close call, but we managed to sneak by unscratched. Phew.

A bit shaken by the incident, we decided to turn things down a notch with an expert panel discussion about the secrets of professional wrestling with Kevin Nash, and WWE Divas Lilian Garcia, and Angela "Savannah" Fong.

The discussion reminded us of our first dentist visit. It was painful, and we wanted to cry through the whole thing, but had to hold back the tears so we didn't look like a sissy. The rest of audience, however, seemed to enjoy every minute of Nash's short-winded answers, and Garcia's fake laughter. Fong didn't say much, nor did she have a lot of visitors at her booth.  

After the presentation, we ventured back into the main hall and met a man that spent over $800 on a Ghostbusters uniform. "I just met Ernie Hudson a second ago," said Mike Lyons, a recent South Florida transplant from New Jersey. "I had him sign my pack, it was awesome."

Besides spending close to a thousand dollars on the uniform, Lyons seemed like a pretty normal dude, even calling out a Hollywood legend to get his shit together and sign on for another Ghostbusters sequel. "Hey, Bill Murray, what are you doing? Hurry up!"

Next on our agenda was a Q&A with Billy Dee Williams, followed by Buffyfest with Nicholas Brendon. Williams's fans kept calling him Lando--which we later learned was his character name on Star Wars--and asked him several questions about the film, and his decision to kill such and such, or whatever the fuck he does in those movies. Some girl also asked him if he'd ever guest star on CBS' The Big Bang Theory, to which he replied, "sure."

Our favorite "celebrity" panelist, however, was Nicholas Brendon. We still don't really know who he is, but evidently he was Sarah Michelle Gellar's BFF on Buffy. Now, he's recognized for a small arc on Private Practice, in which he plays a rapist.

"How did you prepare for your role on Private Practice?" someone asked. "I raped people."  We laughed, others didn't. "No, I'm joking," he assured the crowd. He went onto describe embarrassing moments involving his "cock" during sex scenes, and kept things lively by engaging in witty banter with audience members.

We sat near the back of the room and searched his name on Wikipedia. We learned Brendon likes to party, likes to booze it up. Last March, Los Angeles police had to taser him. What a rock star.

By the time we left Brendon's Q&A, Adam West and Burt Ward were busy signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans--fans that forked over anywhere between $25 to over $100 to meet the two icons. And when West took a bathroom break from his booth, we though it'd be the perfect opportunity to introduce ourselves. We caught him standing near the men's room. 

"Mr. West, (Cultist) with Miami New Times," we said. "We had a phone interview last week."  "We did?" he replies, extending his 82-year old arms onto our shoulders. "That's great."

And that was that. West walked away, and that was our cue to leave.

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Victor Gonzalez
Contact: Victor Gonzalez