Portlanders embrace fandom
What is Wizard World
Last weekend, the Oregon Convention Center hosted the Wizard World Portland event for the third straight year, and attracted thousands of visitors – fellow sci-fi lovers and some cosplayers, people dressed up as popular characters from Marvel or DC comics, and video games.
Excited children, teenagers and adults laughed happily as they waited their turn to buy their ticket into a fandom paradise. Every aisle was filled with people in awe with those in costume, wanting to take a photo with their favorite character or icon, come to life.
Wizard World is all about bringing people with similar interests together and encouraging them to broaden their exposure to similar games, comics and souvenirs.
Everyone has a bit of “nerdiness” inside, whether it comes to comics, video games, music, sports or a hobby. When you find other people that enjoy similar topics? I’d like to think that’s exactly what a Wizard World is for: finding people just like you.
Media Welcome Reception
Prior to the event opening on Feb. 19, there was a party for the media at the Splash Bar, Thursday night in northwest Portland.
Attending were special guests including Christian Kane, who stars in “the Librarians;” James Marsters, who played Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer;” and Chris 51, from “Epic Ink.” We were able to interview Marsters and talk about the roles he’s had on “Buffy” and on “Torchwood,” shows he called “subversive.”
He explained, “I use to have a theater company in Seattle and Chicago and we were subversive.” After moving to Los Angeles, he had a set goal to “whore” himself out to different acting companies. When he got a job on the set of “Buffy,” he had a realization of “I’m home!”
It was subversive to have a female character defending herself, Marsters said. “Torchwood” also brought out this quality, having a ‘blatantly bisexual main character and fighting the thought that gay people can’t be heroes,” he said.
A big change in his career was when Marsters played Macbeth in Seattle. “The reason I love acting is because I get to explore a side of myself that you wouldn’t necessarily get to explore in real life,” he said. “Like, given the right circumstances, would you enjoy killing someone? And I got to question myself and I was like, ‘NO! I’m a nice guy, I wouldn’t enjoy it, are you kidding me?’”
There are a lot more facets to people then one might realize and Marsters had to play a warrior that was proud of killing. For him, that character was the biggest kind of mental shift he had ever had to do for an acting role, he said. “I think that (the experience of playing Macbeth) was probably why I got [the role of] Spike,” he said.