Earlier this month was the Wizard Comic-Con Atlanta, which took place on December 3 and 4 at the Cobb Galleria Convention Center. This convention was formerly known as the Atlanta Comic Expo which Wizard purchased and added to the Wizard convention scene. This was Wizards’ second attempt to run a Con in Atlanta, and overall it seemed to be well received by the local attendees under the new name. The Wizard Comic-Con Atlanta had a variety of guests spanning all genres from television to wrestling, including Adam West, Burt Ward, Henry Winkler, Billy Dee Williams, Vivica Fox, Mimi Rogers, Pam Grier, Richard Roundtree, Linda Blair, and Ernie Hudson.
With this event being in Atlanta, there was the unique option to have a panel for The Walking Dead, which is film in the city. The panel featured Chandler Riggs who plays Carl, as well as about 15 of the actors who portrayed the Walkers (zombies). The actors answered fan questions as well as shared some stories about their time on the set. The Wizard staff member who introduced the panel did announce that this was the most well attended panel of the convention.
Left to Right Addie Miller, Sonya Thompson, Melissa Cowan, and Chandler Riggs during the Walking Dead fan panel at Wizard World Atlanta
Another attraction at the Con came in the form of the famous vehicles from both TV and film. On the convention floor there was the Delorean from Back to the Future, KITT from the original 1982 Knight Rider series, the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine, and a re-imagined Ecto-1 from the Ghostbusters films in the form of a converted Dodge Magnum known as Ecto-1G.
As with most conventions these days, there was a presence from costumers and various fan groups. The event held a costume contest for adults at the end of the day on Saturday, and then one for children on Sunday. The group that stood out the most at the Con was easily the Ghostbusters fan groups who converged from Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia in support of the appearance of actor Ernie Hudson, who played Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters films.
For the gamers, there was a TCG Gaming tournament that was held at the convention space that did not require the purchase of a badge to participate. The tournament ran from Friday through Sunday and offered cash prizes to the winners as well as TCGPlayer.com points which go towards qualification for the $75,000 championship at Wizard World Chicago. The gaming tournament also had experienced players on hand to teach newcomers how to play games such as Magic the Gathering and even offered a free starter deck to new players.
Overall, the Wizard Atlanta Comic-Con was a smaller convention, but had a good showing for a first year event, and should continue to do well in the Atlanta convention scene in the future.