There were ups and downs about the Wizard World Reno Comic Con, and for the most part the negatives were not things I personally experienced but had only heard about from others. Most of the bad things were not being able to attend the NASA talk or two good talks being scheduled at the same time or not enough room. For the most part, I had a good experience and I am open to the idea of attending more events like this. One can get so mired down with work and personal projects that one can forget to go out and talk with real people. This is a hazard of the modern age of high tech technology. We forget to step away from our laptops and cell phones. This was a great opportunity to put those things away for a while and just be a person amongst people.
The first day we simply browsed the vendors and then that evening decided to see what the Creator Pro AM: Drink and Draw was all about. Basically, we had 1 hour to draw or write a story in a very noisy bar. We were given parameters for the competition and then it was up to us to see what our efforts rendered. Only one of my companions did not draw or write so he watched as the remaining four of us drew pictures and wrote. I decided to write. And it was a wise decision despite the fact that I was not able to proof read my effort, because I actually I won the writing portion of the competition and was given some great prizes that I am looking forward to trying out.
And seriously, I was REALLY shocked that I won. I was not expecting this pleasant surprise. So I guess that is a lesson to go out and try new things and meet people. Also, did I mention I won!?!
On the second day I had the pleasure of attending the Anthropology of Star Trek & Star Wars, which to my amazement was packed full with people. Then later my companions and I got to attend the Q & A session with Walter Koenig, who told some enlightening stories and showed great patience with some of the audience. Later much on much to our disappointment we were not allowed to compete in the costume contest because they said they had no more room for contestants. I would suggest in the future that the Wizard World folks take a lesson from the Silver Legacy and Cumulus Radio in how they handled bulk contestants. The Halloween party contest was handled quite well. Basically everyone got to enter, but the contestants brought forth on stage were vetted by the judges in advance. This helped to cut down on the chaos of too many contestants and not enough time for everyone to walk across the stage.
We wore our costumes in the evening regardless of the contest situation and were treated wonderfully by people attending the comic con that wanted to have their photos taken with us. It was the nicest way to make up for not being able to compete. Our Wookie companion was a real show stopper.
Our last day we tried out the 3D scanning service, purchased some artwork, and attended the amazing Q & A session with Billy Dee Williams his assistant Derek. I had no idea that Billy Dee Williams was a painter. I looked up his artwork and the examples that I found appeared to be lively energetic pieces with beautiful color and composition.
Seeing both Walter Koenig and Billy Dee Williams in person was a real wake up moment since I grew up with these men starring in TV roles and they are forever young in my mind. I was foolishly surprised by their age. I had no idea how old either of them truly were. I think I was lucky to get to see them in person, and I hope they have many more years of storytelling and painting.
Gretchen Winkler © 2014