For more than a quarter-century, the name Wizard World has represented the best in comics and pop culture. As one of the media pioneers in the space, Wizard World is proud to be honoring and respecting the legacy of the comic arts through the Wizard World Hall of Legends, a new initiative to celebrate the artists, writers and insiders who have built the industry and those continue the traditions.
The first recipient of the Wizard World Hall of Legends award is Rob Liefeld, creator of the popular Cable, Deadpool, X-Force and Youngblood franchises. Liefeld will be presented the inaugural award at Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia in a ceremony on Friday, June 2, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
“I'm honored to be inducted into the Wizard World Hall of Legends and have my 30 years of contributions to the industry recognized,” said Liefeld. “I have tremendous love and affection for this art form, its community and the business of creating and selling comic books and graphic novels. It was a passion of mine long before it was my vocation.”
“Comics is where Wizard World began, and the community continues to be a vital part of all facets of our company,” said John D. Maatta, Wizard World President and CEO. “We have worked diligently to make Artist Alley at our shows even more engaging for attendees, and we encourage fans to let us know what else they’d like to see as we continue to improve the experience for the many fans who love comics as much as we do.
“Rob Liefeld is a perfect first Wizard World Hall of Legends recipient: a top creator whose work has gained worldwide acclaim in various media forms, all the way to the big screen,” added Maatta.
Following the success of X-Force (#1 went on to sell an unprecedented five million copies in the United States alone making it the #2 selling comic book of all time), Liefeld teamed with his peers to launch Image Comics, the most successful independent comic book label in comics history. Youngblood, created and illustrated by Liefeld, went on to sell 1 million copies, shattering the sales record for an independent comic book. Liefeld created a comic production label, Extreme Studios which went on to publish Liefeld creations, Brigade, Bloodstrike, Supreme, Glory, Prophet and Avengelyne, many continue their publication at Image today.
More than 25 years after introducing the world to his brilliant creations, Liefeld continues to enjoy the fruits of his imagination as Cable, Deadpool and others expand into multi-media platforms including cartoons, video games and motion pictures.
The Wizard World Hall of Legends initiative, which will honor one or more figures from the comics world at each convention, is one in a series of enhancements that Wizard World is making in the comics area. Artist Alley in Philadelphia features a standout lineup of creators from the worlds of: Marvel Joe Rubinstein ( Wolverine inker), Arthur Suydam (Marvel Zombies artist), Steve Geiger (Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, Punisher artist) and more, DC (JG Jones (Y the Last Man cover artist), Keith Giffen ( Omega Men, Lobo), Tony Kordos (Cyborg inker), Indie (Stuart Sayger (Walking Dead, ROM, Shiver in the Dark), Simon Fraser (UK's 2000 AD), Amy Chu (Kiss writer), animation (Phil Ortiz ( Simpsons), Sam Ellis (Archer creator), Tom Cook (He-Man) and many more.
Comics creators at Wizard World Comic Cons are engaging with fans more than ever. The Creative Stage, active throughout every show, provides attendees additional opportunities to interact with artists and writers, with demonstrations, interactive Q&As, informative discussions, art raffles and auctions, learn-to-draw instruction and more.
Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The seventh event scheduled on the 2017 Wizard World calendar, Philadelphia show hours are Thursday, June 1, 4-9 p.m.; Friday, June 2, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, June 3, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, June 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.
Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor and participate in the famed Wizard World Costume Contest on Saturday evening.