Posted on June 29, 2008 by Monica Valentinelli
Flames Rising was fortunate to attend Wizard World Chicago this year, at the gorgeous Rosemont Convention Center in Des Plaines, Illinois.
This was our first year at the convention, and we’re happy to report that we are making plans to go back next year.
Getting to the Convention and Floor Layout
The Rosemont Convention Center is a convenient location for many travelers, because it is fairly close to the Chicago O’Hare airport. Coupled with a major highway exit (that was a bit confusing our first time around), an Amtrak stop, and quite a few hotels surrounding the Con, the Rosemont is pretty easy to find. Parking was reasonable and a special staff helped direct the flow of traffic to ensure that it was fairly painless. The only drawback to the Rosemont is the food: unless you want to eat at the hotel restaurants or at the con, there are really only two places within walking distance, so plan accordingly.
The convention hall floor was arranged by type of booth; all of the major comic book publishers (including Marvel, DC and Vertigo as well as Image) were located when you first walked in. On the far side were rows upon rows of artists and indie comic publishers; nestled in between the big dogs and the up-and-comers, were the comic book retailers and collectible shops. The layout made it very easy to travel back and forth on the floor, although I feel that there were probably some cool shops I had missed simply because the floor was laid out a bit like a grid. One of the biggest “helps” was the artist names and booth IDs taped to the floor, which corresponded to the program book. There you could find big name artists like Tommy Castillo or indie comic publishers like General Jack Cosmo Production.
Feel of the Show
There was a good range of artists, writers, and publishers at the show, and I felt that everyone was very enthusiastic and excited to be there. When I had expressed that I was pretty new to the comic industry, people were happy to explain a bit about what they were trying to do with their comic and artwork. I had a great conversation with the folks working on Scarlet Veronica, which will be released this Halloween. It was really neat for me to be able to talk with artists about what mediums and formats their using, since that used to be a passion of mine.
We both felt that it was a very low-key event where fans were happy to show their support for artists, writers, publishers and their favorite heroes. We saw some pretty interesting costumes including a group of 15 people dressed up as the members of X-Men. Although we didn’t have time to go to the panels and see some of the special events, we heard that they went over really well. Again, this is one that you’ll want to plan ahead for because you’ll have to get that “Event” ticket beforehand.
Of course, our main reason for going was to see some of the new, upcoming horror comics. It’s no secret that we’re expanding that section of Flames Rising to flesh out a little bit the horror aspect of our site. From Devil’s Due Hack/Slash to Lackluster World, we’ve got some exciting stuff in the hopper.
We are actively searching for a dedicated horror comic reviewer and we invite you to read our horror review guidelines. More on our Reviewer Rewards program later.