Wizard World Comic Con comes to Portland

The third year of Wizard World’s Portland Comic Con kicked off on Friday, Jan. 23 at the Oregon Convention Center and it was bigger than ever.

The Portland convention was held from Jan. 23–25 and included special guests such as Lou Ferrigno, Bruce Campbell, Steven Yeun and many others.

Wizard World is a series of traveling comic conventions, beginning in Chicago Illinois in 1998 and has grown to 25 cities across the country.

“We have the largest running tour,” Jerry Milani, Wizard World PR manager, said. “In the last three years, we’ve gone from 8 shows, to 16, to 25.”

Attendants could spend time in the vendors hall where they could purchase art and merchandise. There were also panels featuring special guests and events.

“My favorite part of going to conventions is that everyone is on equal footing,” Jessica Merizan of Crabcat Industries and SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay said. “All of the stuff that separates people out in the world doesn’t matter at Comic Con; everyone is there and it’s a community.”

Merizan was also a judge at the convention’s cosplay contest where attendants can enter in costume and compete.

Many artists and writers were located in the artist alley in the exhibitor hall and were able to interact with and meet their fans.

Kevin Maguire, a comic artist who has worked for Marvel and DC comics, said that he did 10–12 shows for Wizard World last year. “As an artist, you spend your entire life sitting along in your room drawing, so to actually get out and actually interact with people who have read what you’ve done is great.”

Wizard World has begun using the conventions for a live taping of a show for CONtv called Last Fan Standing where members of the attending audience have the chance to compete in a game show hosted by Bruce Campbell.

Wizard Wold will be back in Portland on Feb. 12–14, 2016.