The Panopticon of Celebrity: Thoughts on Chicago Wizard World ’14

Last weekend I paid a lot of money to sightsee another human being up close. I had a great time, but I’ve been thinking about the fundamental weirdness of it ever since.

I’d never been to a big, multi-fandom convention before Wizard World Chicago, but it’s something I’ve seen my friends get a lot of joy from for many years. When I found out my favorite actor from my favorite movie this year would attend, I decided to take the plunge, and so I wound up with a Sebastian Stan VIP Pass (really, that’s what it says on the badge I wore around my neck all weekend). The VIP experience promised early access, faster lines and better seats, though I honestly only bought it because I couldn’t figure out where to buy the individual tickets online. It also entitled you to a couple of con exclusives, including a limited edition Guardians of the Galaxy comic and a huge lithograph of your nerd icon of choice.

The con ran from Thursday through Sunday, so on Thursday night I decided to head up to Rosemont, near O’Hare Airport, to pick up my things and scope the place out. After some tragedies as far as getting to the convention center on public transit (for all who follow, it turns out you can walk a few blocks to the building from the Blue Line), I made it there as the day was wrapping up. People were totally¬†in costume, milling around and carting bags of merch. I was already delighted. Then I got my swag.

That’s when I knew everything about the weekend was going to be hilarious.¬† Continue reading “The Panopticon of Celebrity: Thoughts on Chicago Wizard World ’14”