Bald, big arms, with a Navy Tattoo dedicated to his father, Benjamin Sawyer resembles Popeye the Sailor Man. He is a comic book artist and colorist that is in the rows and rows of tables and booths known as Artist Alley. He says, “Hello, check out my art and what can I draw for you today?” Wizard World Saint Louis’ Comic-con, is a pop culture event which is held downtown in America’s Center Convention Complex every year since 2013.
Sawyer, 36, of St. Louis, is just one of many artists and vendors selling services and items. While cosplayers roamed the isles and asked to take photos of each other, they could also purchase commissions, prints, comics, games, toys, clothing, custom lightsabers, shields, and etc.… In particular sections guests can play against each other in card games, board games, and board strategy games. Photo booths were in multiple sections of the floor just waiting for eager enthusiasts to swipe their credit card. It’s a social event unlike any other for people who love comics, movies, games, cosplay, anime, TV shows, and more.
Screams can be heard as fans wait in line to see TV stars, chat a little, and snap pictures for a nominal fee. Jason David Frank an American actor that played the role of, “Tommy,” who took on multiple forms of Power Rangers. Also a real-life Black belt martial artist, he gives out a loud Kiai. Which is a martial arts shout that usually accompanies an attack or expresses confidence. Marvel is represented really well with actors Charlie Cox and Elden Henson from the Netflix show Daredevil. Mike Colter actor that portrays as Luke Cage, on the show Jessica Jones and the forthcoming Luke Cage show this September. James Marsters is letting fans have a good time talking to them, naturally a brunette, he has dyed his curly locks platinum blonde. He now looks exactly like he did on Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show as, “Spike.” More celebs and well-known artists are throughout the con.
Panels were abundant and the major ones were with stars of Marvel shows, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. David Tennant the 10th Doctor and Matt Smith the 11th Doctor had the biggest audience. Panels are interviews essentially were press and fans can learn about the actor and their respective platform. Fans can also usually get in a quick Q & A, which is one of the highlights of panels. Super fans can pay a fee and sit exceptionally close to the stage. Saint Louis Community College’s own Deaf Communications Professor Eric Driskill interpreted the panels for the impaired, while cosplaying as a Trekkie. William Shatner portrayed Captain Kirk in Star Trek the 1960s TV show. His panel happened to be what Driskill looked forward too, and afterwards Driskill said, “It was great, he was funny!!”
New this year to Wizard World is the introduction of, “Wizard World Gaming.” They brought in video games recently released and some unreleased here in the United States. Stations were set up for guests to play video games such as Naruto Storm 4, Street Fighter V, and unreleased One Piece: Burning Blood, and unreleased Tekken 7. Old-school 8-bit games were even around for pc players. Some well-known gamers were there to help train guests and host tournaments for prizes and cash. Steve Scott, 29, born in Saint Louis that now resides in Calif is a Video Game Commentator and host for Wizard World. When asked about the new video gaming addition he states, “They spared no expense in putting this together for fans and guests, its great!!”