Third Coast Con Cruise: Wizard World Chicago Day One

  Thursday night was the first night of Wizard World Chicago. This con, which is so large it now stretches across 4 days (August 24th-27th), held at Donald E Stephens Convention Center, has seen improvements and expansions each and every year. This year is no different, with plenty of activities to keep you busy from open to close, but Thursday's con was a quieter, more laid-back scene. Cosplayers at Wizard World Chicago. Photo by Marielle Shaw. If you're wanting to dip your toes into the comic con scene, off days like Thursday and Sunday, with their shorter hours are fantastic for it. It's also a great time to bring kids, as the crowds are much less intense and programming less rigorous. Thursday's journeys were a leisurely exploration of both show floors and gave us a chance to really sit back and enjoy our surroundings. We found all sorts of interesting goodies, from impressive lightsabers to bespoke leather goods, beautiful prints by the artists in Artist's Alley, and everything in between. Loot Maker Steven Donley with his handcrafted leather goods. Photo by Marielle Shaw Another advantage to this calmed down con was the opportunity to talk to folks at their booths and sit down and interact. We found a family hard at work beating a game together, and got a chance to try out some PS4 games we'd missed, which wouldn't be possible at all on busier days like Saturday when the floor is packed and the queues for experiences like this are long. WWE fans were out in force, as tonight featured panels with Roman Reigns and Alexa Bliss. There were also photo opps and autographs with celebs like Kevin Sorbo, Lou Ferrigno, The Hardy Boyz and more. And while there weren't as many cosplayers, the lack of chaos meant we got a chance to really appreciate the hard work put in by attendees. Cosplayers at Wizard World Chicago. Photo by Marielle Shaw. We also got the lay of the land, which will serve us well as we approach Saturday, usually the busiest day of the con, and certainly a contender for craziest this year as well, featuring the likes of David Tennant and John Cusack. We had a great time shopping and talking tonight and we'll wake up ready to take on the world of screenings, panels, themed yoga and more as we head into Friday's schedule. If you're at the con, follow along with our journey on our Twitter feed and show us your photos by using hashtag #thirdcoastlife. It's going to be a great weekend, and we look forward to sharing it with you! Check this space all weekend for daily wrap-ups and again on Monday for our cosplay gallery!
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Marielle Bokor