By Mike Dyer, Staff Writer
What if I was to say to you that in one room you could spot Star Wars character R2-D2 beeping his way through the crowd, the Joker handing out his card, and RoboCop marching amongst groups of people donning the attire of “Doctors” past and present? To some it might sound strange, but to all who made the journey to the 2014 St. Louis Comic Con April 4-6 it was a little slice of heaven. The event brought vendors, celebrities, comic book artists and thousands of fans together for the convention that took over the America’s Center Convention Complex.
Nerds, geeks and pop culture junkies came together to dress up, meet celebrities and shop for that insanely hard to find collectible. Wizard Entertainment held the second annual St. Louis Comic Con. TV buffs, movie nuts, video game geeks and comic book nerds showed up downtown during the three day event, many of which dressed up as a character from a particular pop culture medium
The highlight of the event was the numerous Hollywood stars who showed up to sign autographs and take photos with fans. Actors and actresses such as Nathan Fillion, William Shatner, Adam West, Bruce Campbell, Eliza Dushku, and Summer Glau were on hand. However it was British actor Matt Smith, who recently finished his run as the title character in BBC’s long running sci-fi show “Doctor Who,” who was met with the most fanfare. Kids of all ages screamed and cheered at the mere sight of Smith, who they know as the Eleventh Doctor.
During signing times some fans had to wait up to three hours to get a particular autograph. Prices for autographs ranged from $40 to up to $100. In addition, many of the celebrity guests held panels where fans were allowed to ask questions. When asked about a potential role in an upcoming Marvel film, actor Nathan Fillion teased fans by saying “maybe you’ll be surprised” after referring to the upcoming release of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” set to hit theaters this August. In addition to the Hollywood actors, there was one particular 4-wheeled celebrity on display; a replica of the General Lee, the modified 1969 Dodge Charger from the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard” was available for photo ops.
As for vendors, there was plenty for sale at the convention. Booths were packed with toys, posters, props, memorabilia and comics. An original 1939 copy of Detective Comics #27, better known as the debut of Batman to diehard fans was presented by Bestincomics.com. The comic is regarded as one of the best of its kind in existence and carries a price tag of $245,000.
Meeting many of the writers and artists that fill the pages of both Marvel and DC comic books was a treat for fans. Some artists even offered personalized single sketches for fans. Many of the costumed participants, better known as cosplayers, participated in a costume contest much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
In all, perhaps the best aspect of being at St. Louis Comic Con is mingling with other fans. It isn’t any given day when you can dress up like a character from a film, TV show or Comic book in a public setting and you have random people wanting to take a photo with you. The displays are enough to keep the geek-minded involved and invested while waiting in an autograph line for up to three hours. As someone who stood in line over two hours to get the signature of Bruce Campbell, I can tell you that it was worth the expense. Considering the smiles appearing on everyone’s faces all weekend, I would say you would have a hard time finding someone who said it wasn’t.