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Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con served up San Diego-style fun without the crowds & the hassle

Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con served up San Diego-style fun without the crowds & the hassle

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When people talk about how much fun San Diego Comic-Con used to be, you know what I picture? Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con.


The aisles were pretty full this past Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Photo by Shelly Valladolid

Oh sure. Sometimes you might have to fight your way through a particularly crowded spot in the aisle ...


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... but the crowds that I encountered this past weekend while wandering around the Anaheim Convention Center weren't nearly at San Diego levels. Here you didn't actually have to elbow your way through a crowd in order to talk with someone cool like Phil Rynda, the lead character designer for Cartoon Network's "Adventure Time with Finn and Jake" ...


Phil Rynda. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... or to get Ray Park (AKA the actor who played Darth Maul in "Star Wars - Episode One: The Phantom Menace")'s autograph.


Ray Park. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

Don't get me wrong. There were some pretty long lines at this three-day-long affair. I noticed a lot of folks patiently waiting in line at Acura's S.H.I.E.L.D.  Agent Recruitment Center ...


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... so that they could then be issued their S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent ID  badges. Not to mention getting their pictures taken with Acura's 2012 S.H.I.E.L.D. TL.


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

Which - according to its sticker - will do 234 MPH in the city and 302 MPH out on the highway. Yes, this truly sweet ride has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $198,000.00. However, thanks to a few customized features that Nick Fury insisted upon (EX: the roof-mounted sonic cannon and - of course - the heated cup holders), that actually drove up the list price of this Marvel-ous automobile to $227,085.00.


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

You see what I am saying? At Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con, you got all of the ironic fun that you'd typical have in San Diego (EX: fans playing Ghostbusters just down the aisle ...


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... to Ernie Hudson, the actor who actually played a Ghostbuster -- with Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray - in that 1984 sci-fi comedy as well as its 1989 sequel ) without having to deal with the 124,999 other people who are usually crammed into the San Diego Convention Center.


Ernie Hudson. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

So to be able to actually strike up a conversation with Irene Bedard, the voice & physical model for Disney's "Pocahontas" ...


Irene Bedard. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... or listen in as voice actor & comedian Charles Fleischer (AKA the voice of Roger Rabbit) launches into a truly brilliant  comic riff ...


Charles Fleischer. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... was such a pleasure. Not to have to push & shove to get shots of the Snake ...


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... and the Mongoose, those live-sized Mattel Hot Wheels cars ...


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... was great fun as well.

And the best part is ... You still get the same assortment of people that you do down in San Diego ...


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... walking around in the convention center in their elaborate, home-made character costumes ...


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... only - in order to see these folks - you then don't have to spend 4 hours on the 5, battling bumper-to-bumper traffic as you slowly make your way down to San Diego.

So while this may have been my first Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con ... Thanks to the fun encounters that I had at this three-day-long show (like getting to talk with Lee Arenberg, the actor who played Pintel in the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies) ...


Lee Arenberg. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... it won't be my last.

So here's a quick heads-up for you folks on the East Coast: If you've dreamed of someday going to San Diego Comic Con and have been scared off by all that talk about the crowds and the scarcity of affordable hotel rooms around the convention center ... Then you may want to check out the Spring Edition of Big Apple Comic Con. Which Wizard World will be presenting at Penn Plaza Pavilion on May 21 - 22nd.


Copyright 2010 Wizard World. All rights reserved

Because if what Wizard World just did in Anaheim is any indication of the sort of convention that they'll be staging in NYC later this month ... You New Yorkers are in for a hell of a treat.


Copyright 2010 Wizard World. All rights reserved

To be specific: San Diego Comic Con-like fun without the huge crowds & the hassle. So - if you get the chance - be sure and check the Big Apple Comic Con out.

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