Thursday, March 27, 2014

CONversations: Interview with Mo Lightning of Wizard World Louisville Comic Con

New to the Kentucky convention circuit this year is Wizard World Louisville Comic Con. It's no secret that Wizard World is one of the national leaders in convention promotion and, to be quite honest, it was just a matter of time until a convention of its magnitude was established in The Bluegrass State. I'm thrilled to say that I'll be at the convention this Friday and Saturday, specifically Saturday when I'll be presenting "To Boldly Go: Star Trek The Next Generation and Anthropology" at 11AM at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

It's bound to be an exciting weekend in the Derby City. In addition to vendors and comic creators, Louisville Comic Con has a bevy of celebrities including Doctor Who alums Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, Sean Astin, James Marsters, Jason Momoa, Dean Cain, and Jason David Frank. The line-up looks great and I look forward to being in the same vicinity as Matt Smith. I can't guarantee that I wouldn't fangirl all over the place if given the chance to meet him.

I was approached by Mo Lightning, a member of the Wizard World staff, and was invited to become involved with the convention and I am absolutely thrilled to be given the spotlight for about 45 minutes. He took the time to answer a few of my questions about the convention and his experiences working in pop culture programming.

Kentucky Geek Girl: What is your relationship to Wizard World/Louisville Comic Con?
Mo Lightning: I am "the Voice of Wizard World" as well as a Program Coordinator. I use my pipes to read all the sponsor mumbo-jumbo, do the TV/radio commercials, scare little kids.. When I'm not on-stage moderating (hosting) a panel, I'm running around the panel rooms making sure all of the celebrities, artists, writers, fan groups & creators are keeping their Q&As going.

KGG: Why did you want to get involved with the convention?
ML: Thanks to Wizard World Magazine. I bought my first issue (#7) when I was a kid and ever since the first time I read the publication, I've wanted to work for Wizard.

KGG: What has been your favorite panel that you've been involved with or celebrity that you've interviewed?
ML: As a WWE fan, I've always loved CM Punk's honesty in his panels, but my favorite moment was an unplanned one. Laurie Holden (Andrea of The Walking Dead) was running late and I was told to "kill 10 minutes before she arrives." AMC had also told us to tell the audience that they could NOT ask questions about the hit show. So, here I am on-stage being forced to share bad news and kill the following 10 minutes. What do I do? Bring 10-year old Cole on stage. Cole had been hooting-and-hollering every single time The Walking Dead was mentioned, so I let him run his own mini-panel. The kid was so charismatic and excitable, a line was formed at the Q&A mic to ask HIM questions! (No matter what I write here, it can't capture how hilarious and dare-I-say magical, this moment was.)

KGG: What do you think that your show offers that makes it unique?
ML: Something for everyone. While some people take the "comic con" name quite seriously, we try to celebrate all-things pop culture using comics and superheroes as the foundation. Whovians, fans of the undead, web-crawlers, wrestling fanatics, video gamers, social media junkies... we have panels, booths & celebrity guests for all attendees. Even my Mom, who swore she wouldn't have a good time. (Guess what? She can't wait to go back.)

KGG: What do you have planned that is special for 2014?
ML: World domination, mostly.

KGG: Any details for the future of the con?
ML: As the Joker would say "There's a lot of potential for aggressive expansion."

12 more shows on the 2014 calendar after our Louisville event (16 total.) With at least double that in 2015.

Also, I dare not forget this, as we just announced this week, Wizard World will be presenting the 1st ever "Bruce Campbell Horror Fest" in 2015. If that proves successful, do not be surprised to see that grow into it's own tour!

KGG: What conventions do you enjoy attending conventions as fan?
ML: This seems like a cop-out, but I enjoy all shows & conventions. From the massively-crowded San Diego show to the Mom & Pop sports card shows, I just enjoy seeing what's out there. I like seeing "geek" represented in any form.

Thanks so much Mo for your thoughtful answers and I'll see you on Friday!

Louisville Comic Con
Kentucky International Convention Center
221 S 4th St.
Louisville, KY 40202

Friday, March 28, 2014 - 3pm - 8pm
Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 10am - 7pm

Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 11am - 5pm
3 Day Pass - $85
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