For the last six years, Wizard World Cleveland has drawn con goers and talent from all over. Nerds and Beyond had the opportunity to cover the event this year and there was no shortage of entertainment for everyone attending. The Huntington Convention Center opened its doors Saturday at 10 a.m. to the show floor for one of the most highly anticipated events in Cleveland every year. The pure excitement could be felt through the energy in the room, as well as the enjoyment on people’s faces. The registration process was prompt and smooth, everyone working diligently to get you inside of the convention with volunteers around to guide you if need be.
Panels started right away with the cast of Outlander kicking off the busiest day of the convention. The event was an additional purchase for fans of the show that featured an intimate Q&A, a Caitriona versus the audience game show, a video presentation, and a fireside chat with the cast. Between the Outlander panel until noon when the Supergirl panel would begin, there were live music with performances by Michael McFarland, Arthur J. Daniels and The Wizards of Dance, Color of May, James Morris, and Broken Transmitter as well as several events on the Creative Stage. If you got hungry, there were several pop-up booths to purchase food as well as a mart-style grab and go section with a large seating area for you to sit and enjoy your food and make new friends, or just to take a break from the hectic events of the day!
Soon enough, the Supergirl panel soared into the Grand Ballroom for the moderated panel by Michael Sangiacomo from The Plain Dealer and Q&A. Tyler Hoechlin and Mehcad Brooks were in attendance, but Jesse Rath (Brainy) was not able to make the weekend. Hoechlin talked about what it was like to play Superman, who would win in a fight between his character on Teen Wolf, Derek Hale, or Superman on Supergirl, as well as telling stories about Melissa Benoist and how it is working with her on set and the incredible job she does to not only play Supergirl and Kara Danvers, but also uplifting the rest of the cast in their roles. “I think approaching it [acting in a scene as two different characters] from more of a place of what is needed of me today that I can do; I can offer. So for me I really enjoyed that relationship with her and kind of giving her that reassurance that hey, it’s fine. You are doing everything you can, you are doing your best and that’s all you can do, and tomorrow you’ll have a different approach.” Brooks discussed the importance of diversity on screen, as well as how his role as James Olsen came to be. As the panel came to a close, guests prepared for autographs and photo ops with Brooks and Hoechlin.
The last panel of the day was a special one for fans of Star Wars, The Mandalorian, and Supernatural. Emily Swallow closed out the day with her panel in the Grand Ballroom and the excitement was real. It was very obvious Swallow was happy to be there and excited to chat and meet fans. Swallow talked about her costume on The Mandalorian and how it was very hard to see, retelling a story of how she almost fell and hit heads with several members of the cast. She also discussed the ending of Supernatural and how bittersweet it was to be able to come back after not being part of the show since season 11 and her momentum still being there with her return as Amara. Swallow also graciously thanked the Ohio Garrison for inducting her as an honorary member of the 501st.
Saturday was a busy day, but the coverage from the weekend isn’t over. Come back tomorrow for Sunday’s recap! If you’re interested in attending Wizard World Cleveland next year, you’re in luck, because Wizard World has announced that next year, the event will be taking place from February 26-28, 2021!