Dates: Thursday, April 30, 2015 – Saturday, May 2, 2015
Wizard World is a traveling comic book convention full of comics and memorabilia, as well as graphic artists, authors, and actors. Wizard World also features a variety of celebrities giving fans an opportunity to meet actors and actresses from shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Walking Dead, Star Trek, and more.
This was my first comic book convention and visually, there was a lot to take in. I enjoyed seeing the various costumes, often referred to as ‘cosplay,’ short for costume play. Many wore amazing handmade creations. One of my favorites was a Lumiere costume inspired by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
During the convention, I interviewed several celebrities, including Jason Mewes. I’ve long been a fan of the characters he’s played, especially Jay of the bumbling comedic duo Jay and Silent Bob ever since the 1995 film Mallrats, which was filmed here in Minnesota. I knew about Mewes’ rocky past and his efforts to clean things up, yet I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was surprised by how personable Mewes is both on and off camera, even though the interview takes an unusual turn with his ‘rat’ tale.
I also spoke with Michael Rooker, possibly best known as Merle Dixon from AMC’s hit zombie series The Walking Dead. Rooker’s on-screen gruffness carries over off camera. Rooker apparently enjoyed giving me a tough time but later thanked me for being a good sport about it. I can’t blame him. Rooker probably gets bombarded with the same old questions repeatedly, which I’m sure can be irritating.
I admit, I’ve never seen the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I didn’t really know who Kristy Swanson was. It wasn’t until after my interview with Swanson that I realized how many of her projects I had seen, including several guest star appearances. One of my favorites was her role on USA Network’s Psych. Not only am I impressed with Swanson’s body of work over the years, but she also is very hands-on in her charitable work with groups like the Wounded Warriors project.
As my interviews continued, I met Minnesota’s own Kevin Sorbo, who has a wonderful reputation for being a genuinely nice guy. The rumors appear to be true. Sorbo is extremely personable and noted that St. Cloud, the college town where I live, is a big rival of his from back in his college days at Minnesota State University Moorhead. I was surprised by his answer to my final question about a dream project. What do you think about his idea?
Actor Eddie McClintock has done a couple of interviews for Your Entertainment Corner and the overall consensus is that he is a class act. As you can tell by the video, I was caught off guard with McClintock’s initial response when I told him he was my first interview as a TV critic when we discussed his role in Syfy’s Warehouse 13. I had recently ended three years of homelessness in 2012 and the next thing I knew I became a TV critic, interviewing people like Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman. But McClintock is the one I’ll always remember for being my first…interview, that is. Our conversation stems from a casual tweet a few days prior to Wizard World when I mentioned I was looking forward to interviewing McClintock. For him to put it all together, remembering, and acknowledging it is truly a humbling experience.
While these are my first in-person, one-on-one interviews, they certainly won’t be my last. Note to others: filming at the Mall of America Hard Rock Cafe can be challenging during a press event with the poor lighting. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end. To find out if Wizard World is coming to a town near you, check out their website.
Videos ©2015 Your Entertainment Corner/Greg Staffa.
Photo ©2015 Wizard World
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