In 2015, Wizard World Chicago put on quite the show. That’s never any surprise, really. The appearances they have been able to get ranges from good to super. Whether it’s Chicago-raised Michael Shannon in advance of the anticipated “Man of Steel” in 2013 or Kevin Smith multiple years in a row back in the day, Wizard Entertainment always makes a grand spectacle in the Second City.
In 2015, “Avengers” star and Oscar-nominee Jeremy Renner attended for his fans in photo ops and autograph sessions. Legendary actor Burt Reynolds of “Smoky and the Bandit” fame was also on hand to greet generations of fans. Wizard World mainstay and “Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus visited with throngs of his fanbase, both of the hit AMC TV series and his cult film “Boondock Saints.” “Arrow” star Stephen Amell, Tobin Bell of the “Saw” film franchise and WWE Superstar The Undertaker were among the remaining notables of the lengthy list of stars. And let’s not forget the creative cosplay engineers, as I’ve come to call them. Why? because their niche ability to dress in the most detailed ways possible. There were plenty of mainstream, well-known takes on characters (Harley Quinn seemed to be the most popular choice, given the recent release of the first “Suicide Squad” trailer) but some several off-beat ones, too (Barf from “Spaceballs” and Tyrone Biggums from “Chappelle’s Show” were especially different and cultish, and I loved them both). I love having photographer William Unhock snap pics of them–we’re among the many who do it. Besides the stars, finding the unique ones is a favorite activity of mine at Wizard World. Check out plenty of the cosplay captures and shots of stars below!
Wizard Entertainment was even able to nab screenings of a couple forthcoming TV pilots. Fox’s “Scream Queens” from “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy was a boatload of fun, most especially because it showcased Jamie Lee Curtis in a genre that made her an early icon and she only has re-embraced recently (not to say she wasn’t appreciative–I think she is). You could say “Scream Queens” is “American Horror Story Lite,” given it being on network TV. But there’s plenty of morbid macabre to shake at the censors. And Curtis seemed to be having a blast. The pilot was a little slow start but quickly picked up when she arrived on scene. I have not been able to catch up beyond that, though, so don’t count this as a full season review, folks.
The same for the other pilot 2015’s Chicago Comic-Con screened for fans. CBS’ “Supergirl” was a bit slower-paced than “Queens,” but the show was sold to me on one insurmountable reason: lead Melissa Benoist. Her 10-minutes of screentime in the fantastic “Whiplash” left an indelible mark on me. Super sweet, incredibly adorable and beautiful beyond words. As Superman’s cousin Kara, Benoist is charming to a fault, and it is impossible to surrender to that alluring quality she exudes. And it is that charm that got me to watch another episode (after mere mortal watched its series debut on CBS a few months alter). Still off on pacing and structure, but that loveliness of Benoist remained. It is the foundation of the show. Like “Queens,” this is not a full season opinion of “Supergirl,” more a quick take on the pilot. Moving it to the CW to pair with their stable of DC Universe series seems like an absolute perfect change.
Photos by William Unhock