Eclipsed by none: Previewing Wizard World Comic Con Chicago August 24-27

Eclipsed by none: Previewing Wizard World Comic Con Chicago August 24-27

I promised to hug two blonde pop culture icons at Wizard World Comic Con Chicago, coming the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont August 24-27. 
After all, the persuasive charms of "America's favorite houseguest" turned celebrity host Kato Kaelin and actress Loni Anderson cannot be underestimated.

The 20th Anniversary celebration includes a special screening of ‘”The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” former Kiss frontman Gene Simmons putting on a show, and Wisconsin native/Packers fan/talk show host Kaelin introducing national and local acts of all kinds.

The four-day festival includes:

  • Interactive Q&A with David Tennant (Doctor Who,” 1:30 p.m. ), John Barrowman (“A“Doctor Who”, Sunday, 1 p.m.), Michael Rooker (Friday, 1 p.m.), Dean Cain (“Supergirl,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” Saturday, noon), Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Saturday, 11:30 a.m.), Danny Trejo (Machete, Death Race: Inferno, Sunday, 2:15 p.m.), Gene Simmons (KISS frontman, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.), John Cusack (Say Anything…, HIgh Fidelity, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.), Christian Kane (“Leverage,” “The Librarians,” Sunday, 11:30 a.m.), Loni Anderson (“WKRP in Cincinnati,” Sunday, 2:30 p.m.) and many others

  • Group sessions with the casts of “Firefly” (Summer Glau and Jewel Staite, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.), “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (Cobie Smulders and Elizabeth Henstridge Saturday, 12:30 p.m.), “Doctor Who” (Alex Kingston, Jenna Coleman and Catherine Tate,
    Sunday, noon) and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (
    Nicholas Brendon and Charisma Carpenter, Saturday, 5 p.m.)

  • Wrestling talk with WWE® Superstars Roman Reigns™ (Thursday, 5 p.m.), Alexa Bliss™ (Thursday, 6 p.m.),  Kevin Owens™ (Friday, 3 p.m.), Charlotte Flair™ (Friday, 4 p.m.) and The Hardy Boyz™ (Saturday, 4 p.m.)

  • Creator-themed hours featuring industry superstars Rob Schamberger,
    Clinton Hobart, Mike Grell, Dean Haspiel, Barbara Slate, Alex de Campi, Trevor Muller, Danny Fingeroth, Joe Harris, Steve Geiger, Lani Sarem, Genese Davis, Maggie Thompson, Dr. Travis Langley, Victor Dandridge and more

  • Anime-themed sessions with Wizard World’s own Mogshelle and Laycee

  • “Nothing Stays Dead in Comics,” featuring Wizard World Editor in Chief Brian Walton on the cyclical death and rebirth of comics and the relaunching of Wizard Wizard World Concert: Performed By World Of Warcraft Composer Jason Hayes and Video Game Band “Critical Hit” (Saturday, 5:30 p.m.)

  • Sci-Fi Speed Dating sessions (tired of lookin' for love in Alderaan places?) (Thursday 6 p.m., Friday 4, 6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.(LGBTPQ), 1, 3:30, 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.(LGBTPQ), 1, 3:30 p.m.)

  • Kids programming all four days, including story time, face painting, puppet shows, dance parties, magic, learn to draw, (and Kids 10 and under are free every day with paid adult)

  • World-famous Wizard World Comic Con Adult Costume Contest, Saturday at 7 p.m. and Kids Costume Contests on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

  • Cosplay with special guests Brit Bliss, Mogshelle, Papa Bear, Princess Morgan, Termina Cosplay and more, throughout the weekend.

  • Loni Anderson played the smart, blonde receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ from 1979-82. The character remains close to her heart. Anderson herself created the character, who, in the pilot episode, was “nothing but window dressing.”                                                 "At the time, there weren’t any blondes in television who were also the smartest people in the room,” said Anderson, 71, in a phone interview from her home in California. “I told Hugh Wilson, the show's creator, and Grant Tinker, head of MTM Productions, that I wasn’t interested in playing ‘the blonde.’ They asked, “How would you play her? I told them. And they still hired me.”

Anderson, who remains close to the WKRP cast members, remains active in the business, and just finished a Netflix pilot. She also voiced a character in “All Dogs Go To Heaven 2.’  Anderson says of her appearance at the Chicago show, “It is such a wonderful experience to meet the fans. I so enjoy it.”
Other special events include a concert by former Kiss frontman Gene Simmons (Gene Simmons Family Jewels) who will be appearing at the Park West (Saturday, 8 p.m.), And a special screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show (Saturday, 9 p.m.)

Show hours are Thursday, August 24, 4-9 p.m.; Friday, August 25, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, August 26, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, August 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

Wizard World Comic Con Chicago is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character will roam the convention floor.

For more on the 2017 Wizard World, A full list of Wizard World Comic Con Chicago programming is available at (guests, times and rooms subject to change).

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