Day one of Wizard World Portland was everything it should have been, an extensive preview of Saturday’s chaos we enjoy so much.
A lot of the excitement was centered around the new Wizard World Gaming area where attendees tested out games like Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 and Dark Souls 3 as well as participate in tournaments with a cash prize.
There was even a Street Fighter V tournament to promote their latest release. The tournament was a great chance to get a look at the game while also cheering on your fellow con-goers.
A very interactive Marvel vs DC panel was one of many to start off the weekend. The panel gave chance for attendees to discuss the pros and cons of each company and also predict where Marvel and DC may be headed. The panel was hosted by a lively group of geeks, Tony Kim, Jessica Dwyer, Jes Aldrich and Victor Dandridge.
As expected, day one gave people a chance to scout out their favorite artists and vendors without the intensity of the crowds. Friday was for sure the calm before the storm.
For some, the draw of shows like Wizard World is the spotlight that is given to lesser-known vendors and artists.
“Wizard says “come on,” if you can pay to get in, you’re allowed to do whatever you can do, they’re not going to stand in your way,” said Vantage Inhouse Productions President and Editor-in-Chief Victor Dandridge. “That’s a huge boost, that’s a huge opportunity.”
Dandridge said that some other shows typically curate the event, so featured artists need to achieve a certain status to even be considered for a booth.
He also said it gives people an advantage they may not have at the other conventions.
Dandridge said that at Wizard World New Orleans he was able to give a copy of his book to Anthony Mackie from “The Avengers.” He ended up getting a publicity boost from Mackie tweeting out a picture of his book.
“That’s something that I only got because I was in this space.”
Chris 51 of Epic Ink and Geekster Ink Legends offered a different perspective on the convention atmosphere.
“I like to tell people it kinda changes your life in little small increments because it opens your eyes to a whole new culture that maybe you haven’t seen or didn’t know existed before,” said Chris 51. “In a culture where everyone is at peace and happy and geeking out and passionate over the same things, it’s so serene because you never see fights you never see arguments, it’s just a mutual cohesiveness of geeks uniting together.”