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updated: 8/12/2012 7:05 PM

Weekend of celebs, comics and costumes comes to a close in Rosemont

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  • Thousands gathered at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center over the weekend to be a part of annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. People could visit with comic book artists and buy all things that you would find in comics.

       Thousands gathered at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center over the weekend to be a part of annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. People could visit with comic book artists and buy all things that you would find in comics.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • 13-year-old Robert Anderson of Kenosha, Wis. shows his father, Brian, a "Power of the Jedi" Star Wars toy during the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

       13-year-old Robert Anderson of Kenosha, Wis. shows his father, Brian, a "Power of the Jedi" Star Wars toy during the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Bill Soloway of Schaumburg dressed as Snake Eyes from the G.I. Joe series while attending the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont with his daughter, Natalie, 9, and son, Josh, 12.

       Bill Soloway of Schaumburg dressed as Snake Eyes from the G.I. Joe series while attending the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont with his daughter, Natalie, 9, and son, Josh, 12.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Derrick Burress of Schaumburg holds his two-year-old son Jackson as they explore the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

       Derrick Burress of Schaumburg holds his two-year-old son Jackson as they explore the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Zach Long, Corey Stika, and Travis Hebel, all of Belvidere, walk around the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con as Minecraft figures 'Steve' and 'the Creeper' at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

       Zach Long, Corey Stika, and Travis Hebel, all of Belvidere, walk around the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con as Minecraft figures 'Steve' and 'the Creeper' at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • A Comic Con attendee hands over a few hundred dollars for some collectible DC Comics at the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

       A Comic Con attendee hands over a few hundred dollars for some collectible DC Comics at the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • 'Hand crafted magic wands' sit in a vase at the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

       'Hand crafted magic wands' sit in a vase at the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Thousands gather at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center to be a part of annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. People could visit with comic book artists and buy all things that you would find in comics.

       Thousands gather at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center to be a part of annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. People could visit with comic book artists and buy all things that you would find in comics.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

 
 

Alice McNamara said she spent more than an hour getting ready for her trip to the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con in Rosemont on Sunday.

McNamara, an Elgin native who now lives in Chicago, arrived at the con dressed as Storm, the weather-controlling superhero who's part of the popular Marvel Comics group, the X-Men.

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"I had problems with the wig," McNamara said, pointing to her silvery hair. "It was hard to get it to look just right."

McNamara was one of thousands of fans who flocked to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center during the weekend for the annual pop-culture convention. The event featured dozens of comic-book dealers and creators as well as a variety of movie and television stars.

In keeping with tradition, many fans arrived dressed as their favorite pop-culture characters. McNamara said the costumes add a communal feeling to the event.

"I usually buy some comics or something while I'm here, but part of the fun is just being around other people who like what you like," McNamara said. "I mean, I can't really go out dressed like this every day."

Steve Wingate of Buffalo Grove brought his 6-year-old son, Taylor, to the show.

"He's gotten totally hooked on 'Star Wars,'" Wingate said. "When he saw all the costumes and toys and stuff here, his eyes practically popped out of his head."

In recent years, the Wizard World show has emphasized celebrity appearances over comic books, something that bothered some longtime attendees. This year's celebrity guests included actors William Shatner, Bruce Campbell (the "Evil Dead" films) and Tom Felton (the "Harry Potter" films).

But one local dealer said that comic books -- be they old, new, tattered, or in mint condition -- are still the backbone of the show.

"Comics are what unites just about everyone who comes here," said Matt Streets of Graham Crackers Comics, a retail chain that includes stores in Naperville, Wheaton and St. Charles. "Even if you're interested in William Shatner or someone from 'Star Wars,' chances are you'll find some comics you like here, too. We've been coming here for years, and it's still a huge show for us."

And Wizard World touches on other pop-culture interests, too. The Northern Illinois Lego Train Club, a group of suburban Lego enthusiasts, displayed some of its creations at the show.

"This is our second year here, and it's a great way to raise awareness about what we do," Woodridge resident Matt De Lanoy said. De Lanoy brought his meticulous Lego re-creation of the bedroom belonging to Andy in the "Toy Story" movies.

"We don't get mobbed or anything during the con, but we get a nice stream of visitors," De Lanoy said. "That's perfect for a group like us."

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