NCU does WizardWorld Sacramento


The fare at WizardWorld was a bit smaller this year than last but just as great nonetheless. It was interesting to see empty hallways with no more than an occasional character walking by where there's normally droves of fans and cosplayers alike, making their way through to the next panel. I'm not sure if there were less tickets/booths sold or if the celebs were not as big of a draw but there was a large section of the main convention center not being used. On the bright side, it did make it easier to catch everything more than once. It was also a safe bet that any panel you wanted to see, there was no worry of whether or not it would be too full and most of the times didn't overlap as badly which would normally have forced you to choose who or what you really wanted see.

Most of the speaking panels were in the main ballroom so if you wanted to stay in there all day, you probably could have and seen the best of what was offered if you were going for the celebs.

The first panel we caught in Saturday was Sean Gunn who shared some fun perspectives on playing Kraglin from Guardians of the Galaxy and to be fair shared his experience work with the cast of Gilmore girls. In hilarious fashion His set was even crashed by none other than Michael Rooker who walked casually across the stage in the middle of the panel and stopped to mouth off a few one liners into the moderators mic, we expected nothing less.

Michael Rooker's panel was immediately afterwards and what we got was quite unexpected. There was no moderator, just the man himself which made the title "Michael Rooker vs the audience" very fitting for what we experienced. At first he called James Gunn (director of Gaurdians of the Galaxy) and got the audience to help him leave a voice mail and then as the questions were about to start, he jumped down from the stage to stick the mic directly into the face of the first person in line to speak. This was the entirety of the panel as he went one by one down the line putting everyone on the spot with their question which made for some of the most entertaining and quite literal crowd interaction. He even joined a group as they sang the Marry Poppins fragelistic song all while holding a classy umbrella. Val Kilmer was next to speak but unfortunately cancelled last minute which gave us some time to forage for food. 

Upon returning we made way back to the ballroom to check out what Kate Beckinsale had to say. Her panel was mildly entertaining but we knew not to expect anything that would top what Rooker did. One question that ended up with the most laughs was "who is the best kisser she's worked with" to which she  wouldn't name did say there were 2 people she's worked with who were "absolutely dreadful". Of course she also got a lot of questions about Underworld and some of her experiences behind the scenes. 

The art, as usual was great across the board with different varieties and styles for everyone. We even got a few pieces for ourselves. One highlight on display was the Chalk Twins, who were for most of the weekend drawing a beautifully rendered Game of a Thrones piece using only chalk. It was a magical site to behold. Here were a couple of our other favorite artists and vendors:

Watercolor Chaos

Artist, Justin Orr

Artist, James Miller

The Props Shop (shown above)

2.5D Sprites

Artistsrs Creations

A Small Fiction

Aveeva Armory

Buttons Fandom Flare

Comic Boards Ink (shown above)

Wasteland Exports (shown above)

The cosplayers always do it big. We were in awe of the creativity and detail they put in their craft. They definitely did not disappoint. It never ceases to amaze when you get to see the details nailed just right in a fan made costume and there were some good ones here. These included a group of fan favorite Resident Evil characters including a fully realized Nemesis, (scary), creepy clown from American horror story, Michael Myers, straight up John Snow, the Mother of Dragons (with a sweet baby dragon on her shoulder), a badass Genji from Overwatch and tons more. There was also some really silly but super creative ones that always have you wonder where these ideas came from like a giant fidget spinner that actually spun, samurai warlord Pikachu, the many Deadpools and cosplay contest champ, Thor Ronald McDonald and his fry princess.

Needless to say, we had a great time this year and are pumped to see what's in store next year! 

Joshua Buckmaster