Wizard World Comic Con ’19 Family Guide

If you’re like our family, you’re hecka stoked about pop culture season. This weekend, Wizard World Comic Con takes place at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Tulsa. If you haven’t yet purchased tickets, it’s not too late. General admission tickets start at $35.99, and each adult ticket includes access for two kids ten or under.

If you’re a geek, if your kids are geeks, or your family is in any way geek-adjacent (casual Marvel fans, I’m looking at you), genre conventions are one of the most fun family activities you’ll do this year. To see what the convention scene is all about, check out my Tulsa Pop Culture Expo breakdown here or read about our Tokyo in Tulsa adventures here and here. And be sure to bookmark my Tulsa Kids Coffee Nebula Convention Guide so you don’t miss any upcoming events.

Here are just a few reasons genre conventions are a fantastic family tradition:

1. Geek culture is pretty inclusive.

In the early days of geek culture, the world of fandom tended to be pretty homogenous. But this has begun to change significantly over the years, and it seems now that for the most part, the world of fandom tends to unite folks from all backgrounds, abilities, and beliefs under the same banner.

2. Genre conventions inspire creativity.

Whether your family is creatively-minded or you just enjoy being inspired by artfulness, inspiration is everywhere you look at a convention. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be surrounded by incredible cosplays that cosplayers work hard on all year long. Creativity is highly prized in the world of cosplay, and you’ll see plenty of new takes on beloved characters. Think Deadpool Pikachu, Totoro Sailor Moon, and an Addams Family cosplay trio with Pennywise, AKA “the wrong Cousin It.”

If your fam is crafty, you’ll also see fantastic merch that inspires you to go home and make your own clever fandom creations, from cute little geek-inspired throw pillows to crochet xenomorphs and daleks. And you’ll also get the chance to connect with loads of gifted artists selling everything from unique fan art to their own original graphic novels.

3. The merch is amazing.

In addition to gorgeous fan art and one-of-a-kind handmade items, genre conventions are brimming with all the fandom merch your little heart could desire. If you’re dying to give your kid a Harry Potter dream bedroom, I’d set aside some funds for a convention. Do you need a lightsaber? Kawaii Lolita dresses? Undertale buttons for your kids’ lanyards? How about a cylon sticker for your car?

4. Fandom can be positive and fulfilling.

One reason to love fandom is that it brings families together because they’re interested in the same thing. I’ve also heard some of my friends with teens remark that they’re grateful their kids would rather be gaming or collecting Doctor Who merch than off getting into trouble.

Have I convinced you yet? I hope so! If you’re planning on going to Wizard World Comic Con this weekend, there are a few things you’ll definitely want to check out.

Panels

I recommend checking out the programming ahead of time before you go. Remember that seating for the panels is first come, first served, so you’ll want to get there early. I’ve been to some panels that are super crowded and others that are inexplicably quiet, and you can’t always tell ahead of time what a panel will be like.

These are the ones I’m hoping to attend and the rooms they’re scheduled in:

Friday

5 PM “The State of Trek” presented by Fanboys 918, Madrid 1
7 PM “The 13 Most Iconic Horror Film Characters from the Silver Screen” with Joe Wos, Madrid 1
7 PM “Nerdprov!,” Madrid 2
8 PM “Vampires: The Original Nightmare,” Madrid 1

Saturday

11:30 AM Cosplay makeup with Chaotic Neutral and Kawaii Kid, Madrid 1
1 PM “As You Wish” AKA A Conversation with My First and Truest Crush, Cary Elwes, Entertainment Stage
1:30 PM “Disney Twisted Princess Coronation,” Madrid 1
3 PM “One Season and a Movie” with Firefly’s Jewel Staite, Entertainment Stage
3:30 PM Foam 101 with StubbyTumps, Madrid 2
4 PM “Building Your Cosplay from Scratch,” Entertainment Stage
5:30 PM “Dungeons and Dragons and Improv” with Rabbit Hole Improv and Mike Gregorek

Sunday

11 AM “The Horror: Vampires and Zombies and Weres, Oh My!,” Madrid 1
12:30 PM “Cosplay on a Budget” with Divine Creations, Chaotic Neutral and StubbyTumps, Madrid 1
12:30 PM “Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead” with Dr. Travis Langley
1:30 PM “Publish Your Nerdy Writing” with Author Alex Langley

Costume Contest

The costume contest is epic. Even if you’re not huge into cosplay, it’s incredible to see the level of complexity and artfulness that goes into many of these cosplays. This is also a good chance to really get to see costumes and take some pics without having to stop cosplayers and ask them.

The kids’ costume contest is on Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM on the Entertainment Stage.

The official Wizard World Costume Contest is at 7:30 PM in Madrid 1 and 2.

Entertainment

Throughout the convention, there are a few different bands and shows to check out.

Friday night

4 PM – Tulsa School of Rock, Entertainment Stage
5 PM – Tulsa Tyrants/Armored Combat League, Entertainment Stage
5:30 PM – Joe Wos “Once Upon a Toon” live cartoon illustration and storytelling, Entertainment Stage
6:45 PM – Music by Thomas Ian Nicholas, Entertainment Stage
8:20 PM – Karaoke, Entertainment Stage

Saturday

11 AM – Tulsa Tyrants/Armored Combat League, Entertainment Stage
6 PM – Music by Thomas Ian Nicholas, Entertainment Stage

Kids’ Activities

The kids’ zone is the place to find ongoing activities for your kiddos all weekend long.

Friday

4 PM – free sketches with artist Joe Wos, KZ
5:30 PM – Jedi training with Armored Combat League, KZ
6 PM – free face painting by Pinky Paints, KZ

Saturday

10 AM – free sketches with artist Joe Wos, KZ
12 PM – free face painting by Pinky Paints, KZ
3 PM – Lightsaber training with Armored Combat League, KZ

Sunday

10:30 AM – Jedi training with Armored Combat League, KZ
12 PM – free face painting by Pinky Paints, KZ
1:30 PM – “How to Toon: Cartooning for Kids” with Joe Wos, Madrid 1

Guests

Jewel Staite, Cary Elwes, and Jason Momoa are among the incredible headliners’ list this year. If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of your favorite celebrities, you’ll most likely need to purchase an autograph or photo op, although I did get the opportunity to meet Nichelle Nichols last year thanks to her very sweet assistant (I got to hold her hand and I literally cried because she has been one of my idols since I was six years old; tldr it was epic as heck). But if you’re dead set on meeting Jason Momoa, I recommend signing up for a photo package. You can purchase those ahead of time online.

Check out a full list of guests and their schedules on the Wizard World page.

I hope to see you guys there! Leave me a comment and tell me where you’ll be, or tag @coffeenebulakristi on Instagram with your Wizard World pics! Thanks for reading, and have a beautiful week!


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