Man, where do I even begin.
I haven’t been to a Wizard World show in a handful of years; they had became overly crowded and just not enjoyable for me. So I took a break, and decided that I’d revisit their shows at a later date. That later date came today; what had made the difference was a few weeks ago when it was announced that the Riverdale cast — KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, and Camila Mendes would be at Wizard World Philadelphia. If you’ve followed my writing, you know of my love for all things Archie and I jumped at the opportunity to meet them. I didn’t splurge on the VIP pass, but looking back maybe I should have. There’s something fun and unique about being able to go to a con as a fan and to not be there working as I usually do.
My best friend offered to go with me, so at the very least someone could carry my lifeless body, drained from all the fangirling back to my home. Despite a little rain and people unaware of how to drive on 95 North, we got there in around 2 hours. I won’t bore you with the details of parking and going into the building. Once on the floor, we were greeted by a large stage with an 80’s cover band playing. Not exactly what I was expecting, but ok cool. The layout of the floor wasn’t awful. The middle is where the bulk of the celebrities and non-comic and toy vendors (Geico) were. Comic dealers seemed to be mostly to the left, while the artists alley was to the right. The artist alley was pretty good this year, and had some fabulous talent, while he comic dealers weren’t bad either, with Harley Yee, Greg Reece, and a few others set up as well.
But I wasn’t here for them or for comics. I was here to meet the mirth of a nation.
We got in line for KJ (Archie) first. It was a helluva experience. I got to talk to several other fans in line and actually befriended a few of them, which proves that Riverdale will bring the people together in a beautiful way. I also realized I was possibly the oldest person in each line. KJ is a complete, total sweetheart. We had a pretty good talk about this and that, and goodness. He is a beautiful man. We then went to Lili first, who was gracious and charming, and seemed genuinely interested in her fans. Camila was stunning and chipper, and was surprised at how many people came to see them.
Cole had the longest line, but he also has a meatier resume. But don’t let that fool you. He took about 5-10 minutes with every single person, and looked like he was happy to be there. He was more than happy to take photos, selfies, shoot the shit, literally anything. He is absolutely legendary, and lo and behold, I finally got to hug the closest thing to Jughead I’ll ever get. He even guessed the correct location of my Jughead tattoo, so if anyone from Riverdale is reading this, give him a raise.
The Riverdale panel was great, but I will be talking about that in a later post.
I paid for a group photo, and I have to be frank here. This is where Wizard World seemed to shine the most. I was in and out with my picture within minutes, and they were extremely accommodating for me since I can’t physically wait in lines for long or my hips will go numb. It’s been a good long while since I’ve been to a show where they cared that much, but they did. And I am extremely appreciative of the staffs efforts.
Now that I’m home and able to digest everything, I’d have to say this was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. While I know this isn’t the real Archie gang, it’s as close as I’ll ever get to meeting my childhood heroes. It’s a satisfying, almost bittersweet feeling. Sure, I was nervous. I talked kind of fast, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. If you’re able to meet the Riverdale cast at an upcoming con, I urge you to do so. You will not be let down.