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Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con 2013: The Nerd Herd Returns!

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Wizard World’s Philly Comic Con has come and gone, as the hordes of fans invaded the city. I thought this year had a bigger crowd than last year, but definitely fewer names and many stars cancelled. The panels made it worth my while, though.

 

After chatting with actor and author Andrew McCarthy (Weekend at Bernie’s, Mannequin, Pretty in Pink, and St. Elmo’s Fire), Diane Cooney and I headed to the Charmed, Buffyfest! and Walking Dead panels.

 

In each session they had a moderator to control the question flow, while hundreds of fans filled the conference rooms at the Philadelphia Convention Center. I sat next to a bunch of school students who had just finished their freshman year at the University of Hartford. They all took the train to Philadelphia for their first Comic Con ever, and were thrilled and “having the best time ever!”James Marsters, who played Spike on Buffy and Angel, and Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia on Buffy and Angel for the Buffyfest! Panel.

 

Our press seats got us nice and close, and the moderator introduced James Marsters, who played Spike on Buffy and Angel, and Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia on Buffy and Angel for the Buffyfest! Panel.

 

Other than some painful questions from the audience, this was a pretty solid panel- good questions, James and Charisma had a great time and their chemistry was great. James said – and I agree- that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series was really the start of characters of “beautiful young women who don’t need any help.” Charisma added that Buffy began the cult following of strong women.

 

James was happy to tell the crowd of fans that his favorite scene to film was in Angel where he got to kick Angel’s ass in season 5 (and also that David Boreanaz is super nice!)

 

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Next panel up was the Walking Dead panel. We didn’t get to see Michael Rooker, Jon Bernthal and Norman Reedus all together at then same time, but it was pretty awesome.

 

Except for the moderator, who seemed to believe that this was HIS show, HIS panel, and that the fans were there to see HIM. This dude never introduced himself, kept interrupting Michael, Jon and Norman with ridiculous banter, and walked all over the stage behind the actors thus putting his mug in front of the camera when I was not aiming for it. This guy is a failed comic and now I see why. But enough about the bore, the panel was great once people stopped taking advantage of the actors (Norman, can you hold me like you hold Little Ass Kicker? Um, no you weirdo fan, that’s obnoxious!!)

 

True to Reedus fan form, Norman did pick this girl up. Then another annoying fan asked Norman to look at her art. FINALLY, some people asked decent questions, of course, once you could hear over the brilliant (read: stupid) parents who brought their screaming child into a fan panel. And it turned out to be a very cool panel- some really good questions, and the Walking Dead boys genuinely had fun with the audience and was a good time.

 

We found out that Rooker is going to be playing Yondu in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy out next year- busy time for Rooker, from redneck to zombie to superhero in just a year or two!

 

In Walking Dead chatter, Rooker shared that the toughest scene to do was on the rooftop in season 1- continuous scene, no stopping, on that rooftop that was 115 degrees. I remember getting chills watching that scene- as you see Merle slowly lose his mind and decide what to do with his arm handcuffed to a pipe. It was very difficult to watch.

 

A fan asked him on a scale of 1-10 how bad ass do you rate yourself. Rook said 20- and that pretty much sums him up. Michael Rooker is an awesome bad ass and I can’t wait to see him in more entertainment!

 

Jon Bernthal was so much fun on stage. I have never seen him out of the Shane persona, so seeing him calm and relaxed was great. He told the fans that of COURSE the baby is Shane’s and he’d have taken care of the Governor a long time ago! Bernthal has some great movies coming out- The Wolf of Wall Street (out soon!) directed by Martin Scorsese looks amazing!Norman Reedus has loved the scripts of Walking Dead, and says that season 4 (the ONLY thing he could say about season 4) is that it is the best script he has ever gotten. Plus, he has a new crossbow now, so keep your eye out for that

 

Reedus came out filming the audience on his iPhone as everyone was screaming for him. Once we got past the ridiculous fan questions, many fans asked great questions. He shared that season 3 showed much more character development with Daryl, and that you got more insight of his childhood with the interactions between brother Merle (Rooker and Reedus). Daryl had a lost childhood due to the drugs and abuse, and he is trying to turn his gritty self into more of a human with a heart- reclaim that and be a better person.

 

Norman has loved the scripts of Walking Dead, and says that season 4 (the ONLY thing he could say about season 4) is that it is the best script he has ever gotten. Plus, he has a new crossbow now, so keep your eye out for that.

 

And what can I say- I screamed like an Elvis fan when Norman came out- this is true actor with love of the craft and love of his fans, and it was very awesome to see Norman and Jon and Michael. So stay tuned for the fall return of The Walking Dead in season 4…it’s on and we want blood!

 

Down on the convention floor, I wasn’t that impressed with the celeb turnout. There was the MVP of the convention- Norman Reedus with a huge booth and an even bigger line, as did the WD guys.

 

Otherwise, it was mega light on the celeb appearances and moreso geared towards merchandise, fan groups and artists. I bought myself a Polish Barbie, from the Barbie Dolls of the world collection.

 

So, nerd herd, there you have it- until next time…I’m off to watch season 3 of Walking Dead again….

  

Christine Tarlecki is a P2P writer from the Phoenixville area and can be reached on twitter and FaceBook under engchik, and at engchik@comcast.net.

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Photos: Diane Cooney