Meet Spock, Robert Rodriguez, Michael Shannon in Chicago!

Hollywood Soapbox logoWizard World blows into the Windy City Aug. 8-11 for four days of sci-fi, comic book and anime fun. Expect large crowds, plenty of celebrities, some cosplaying and chances to find rare collectibles.

There are several genre favorites at this year’s event, including Zachary Quinto (Spock in the rebooted Star Trek), Torchwood’s John Barrowman, Man of Steel’s Michael Shannon, The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus and Jon Bernthal, and, of course, Stan Lee.

Remember: Not all celebrities appear all four days. Check the official Wizard World site for more details (click here). Although Reedus and Lee are fairly common at comic cons, Chicago’s event has some rare names. Robert Rodriguez, the legendary director, will make an appearance plus Ralph Macchio, Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Will Wheaton and Dennis Rodman.

A few familiar names on the comic-con circuit will stop by: Lou Ferrigno, Linda Blair, Andrew McCarthy, Jason Priestley, James Marsters and Juliet Landau.

How much will an autograph cost? It depends on the celebrity. Here are a few examples …

• Andrew McCarthy is $30.

• Brandon Routh is $40.

• Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder is $30.

• Michael Shannon is either $40 or $65, depending on the item.

• Zachary Quinto is $80 or $125, depending on the item.

There are several VIP packages available that will include autographs. For $325, fans could receive a four-day pass, photo op and autograph with Quinto.

The show, being presented at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center at 5555 North River Road in Rosemont, Ill., will open on Thursday, Aug. 8 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. (few celebrities will be there on this preview day to sign autographs). Friday runs from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday tickets are $40 in advance. Friday and Sunday are $50 in advance. Saturday is $60 in advance. A four-day pass (best deal) is $90 in advance. Prices increase by $10 for in-person sales.

By John Soltes / Publisher /

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John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at, among other publications. E-mail him at

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