AUSTIN (KXAN) — Wizard World Comic Con returned to Austin Friday for its sixth year, bringing with it celebrities, elaborate costumes, pop culture and fanfare.
Wizard Entertainment burst onto the convention scene after it purchased the Chicago Comic-Con in 1997. Going by the name Wizard World it continued to expand for years and by 2013 Austin was among dozens of other cities to host the convention.
This year, Wizard World Austin featured numerous celebrity guests such as Henry Winkler from “Happy Days,” Tom Welling from “Smallville,” Cary Elwes from “The Princess Bride,” Holly Marie Combs from “Charmed,” Thomas Ian Nicholas from “Rookie of the Year,” and Samm Levine from “Freaks and Geeks.”
Levine is no stranger to Texas having previously worked with the Austin based media and entertainment company Rooster Teeth on their web series “Crunch Time.” He told KXAN he has fond memories of working with Rooster Teeth and about his time in Austin.
“I love the city, I love the people, I love the food, so I am very happy to be back,” said Levine.
Levine is best known for his role as the nerdy middle schooler Neal Schweiber on the cult classic sitcom “Freaks and Geeks.” He said when creating the character, the writers just used him as the basis for what Neal said and did.
“I have always been a geeky nerd myself. I have always been a comic book guy, I have always been a comedy movie guy, a music guy, I’m big into pop culture and media and movie quotes, so yeah, that’s my world,” Levine said about his own nerdom.
Samm Levine at Wizard Word Comic-Con Austin
Claudia Wells, known for her role as Jennifer Parker from “Back to the Future,” also made an appearance at Wizard World Austin. She said she loves coming to conventions like Wizard World because it is so important to make a connection with the fans who draw so much happiness from her work.
“I love the fan communication. I love seeing someone so excited and so happy and having the ability to bring so much happiness so easily,” said Wells. “I mean how can you not be happy at the end of the day when you’ve [sic] I give my whole heart and soul to everybody so it helps live in the present and also there is such a beautiful communication with a stranger who’s not a stranger because you have something in common.”
When she is not touring the convention circuit Wells is managing her high-end men’s resale clothing store, Armani Wells, located in Studio City California.
Claudia Wells at Wizard World Comic-Con Austin
The convention is also a gathering for aspiring writers and artists to show off and sell their work. One Austin artist Theresa Schlossberg said Austin is a great city for new artists because of how cooperative and uplifting the community can be.
“I really like that it [Austin] is really mom and pop, people want to support the local artists and the local musicians as well as local businesses. There are more opportunities to get your feet wet and get going than in a bigger city,” said Schlossberg. “It’s just really a good community, everybody helps one another, everybody likes one another, we try to give each other pointers, I just really enjoy that aspect of it.”
This year marks Schlossberg’s third time at Wizard World Comic-Con but her 10th convention this year.
The convention lasts through Sunday, Nov. 10, and tickets are still on sale at the Wizard World website here.