In case it wasn’t clear that Wizard’s shows aren’t really “comic book conventions” any more, here’s the latest evidence: impeached former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has just been added to the lineup of this weekend’s Wizard World Chicago Comic Con.
Yes, the same Blagojevich who just three days ago was convicted in federal court on one count of lying to investigators — a mistrial was declared on the other 23 counts, and a retrial is expected. Wizard took the opportunity to playfully reference the decision, opening their press release with “Rod’s appeal” and later starting “The verdict is in!”
Here’s how Wizard CEO Gareb Shamus described Blagojevich’s appearance in the official statement: “Wizard World Chicago Comic Con is all about pop culture, and Rod Blagojevich is as relevant to today’s news as it gets.” The implication being that “today’s news” is synonymous with “pop culture” — ah yes, who doesn’t love tuning in to cable news and watching the latest adventures of beloved pop culture icons like Tony Hayward and Shirley Sherrod? To be fair, Blagojevich does qualify as a pop culture figure, given how he was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice this past year, and, more puzzlingly, his wife was on the 2009 US version of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!.
He’ll be there tomorrow, posing for photos from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. (only a half hour?), and then singing autographs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. As Blagojevich says in the release, he’s “looking forward to meeting loyal supporters and other fans on Saturday.” Given that the he’s reportedly broke, and the photographs are $80 each and the autographs $50, he’s presumably very much looking forward to meeting these supporters and fans.
Other celebrities making appearances at the convention and mentioned in the press release include William Shatner, Adam West, Linda Hamilton and James Marsters — which is a couple of Kardashians (or Cardassians) away from being the best cast of The Surreal Life ever. There are comic book pros there, too, such as Mike McKone, Ethan Van Sciver and Jill Thompson. Wizard World Chicago started Thursday and ends on Sunday.