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Stan Lee Headlines Wizard World 2002

ROSEMONT, Ill., June, 2002 - Superheroes are back. And nowhere is that more evident than at Wizard World 2002, the world's largest pop culture and comic book expo. Headlined by comic book legend Stan Lee, the annual expo will have more than 35,000 fans meeting top writers, directors, actors and artists; bidding on vintage comics, movie posters and original artwork, including items from Lee's own personal collection; and learning tricks of the trade from industry professionals. Wizard World begins Friday, July 5 and continues through Sunday, July 7, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. This year's attractions include:


Stan Lee, comic book legend
Stan Lee revolutionized the comic book industry with a new breed of superheroes for Marvel Comics in the 1960s. His characters exhibited a "human" element and included such icons as Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Incredible Hulk. The 79-year-old still writes the Spider-Man newspaper strip, and he's fresh off the role of executive producer for the new "Spidey" flick.

Marc Silvestri, comic book creator, artist, and founder of Top Cow
Marc Silvestri began as a penciler for Marvel Comics, gaining a huge following throughout the 1980s and into the early 90s. In 1992, he established Top Cow Productions as one of four studios in the start-up publishing company, Image Comics. Putting out such titles as "Cyberforce," "Witchblade," and "The Darkness," Top Cow has sold more than 6 million comic books to date. The company also notes high profile partnerships with organizations like Mattel Toys, and TNT, where "Witchblade" is now a hit action series.


Stan Winston - A breakthrough special effects artist, Winston is a four-time Academy Award winner best known for his work in such films as "Alien," "Terminator," "Edward Scissorhands," and "Jurassic Park."

Luke Perry - This former "90210" celebrity has made a new legion of fans as the star of Showtime's Sci-Friday "Jeremiah" series.

Michael Rosenbaum - The actor in the role of the notorious 'Lex Luther' in the WB's "Smallville," a hit series that's made celebrities out of its stars.

Men Behind the Masks - The actors best known for their roles as 'Boba Fett,' 'Chewbacca,' and 'Darth Vader' in the "Star Wars" series.

Al Snow - World Wrestling Entertainment SuperStar and host, and chief mentor of MTV's "Tough Enough" series.

Static X - A techno metal band with over 1 million CDs sold and lead songs on the "Queen of the Damned," "Bride of Chucky" and "Resident Evil" soundtracks. The band is now taking comics by storm, serving as the title characters in a new comic book by Chaos! Comics.

For a Complete List visit www.wizardconventions.com/Wwchiguests.html.


Heritage Comics Auction - With vintage comics, movie posters and original artwork, including treasured items from the personal collection of Stan Lee, the Heritage Comics auction takes place throughout the weekend in rooms 2, 11 and 12 of the convention center. While detailed auction information can be found on www.heritagecomics.com, highlights include:

Stan Lee's coveted file copies of key Marvel Comics, including "Fantastic Four" No. 1, "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15 (the first Spider-Man appearance), "Avengers" No. 1, "Daredevil" No. 1, and "Amazing Spider-Man" No. 1.

Estimated to bring in bids of up to $75,000, this was the book cover for Edgar Rice Burrough's "Carson of Venus;" it's one of the most recognizable works of this legendary fantasy artist.

Steve Geppi, president and CEO of Diamond Comic Distributors, has consigned a portion of his valuable personal collection for the auction, including "Wonder Woman" No. 1, CGC 8.0; "Captain America Comics" No. 1 Kansas City Copy CGC 9.0; and "Daredevil Battles Hitler" No. 1, Mile High Copy CGC 9.0.

Memorabilia - Action figures, movie posters, original artwork and comics dating back from the golden age to the present; everything from Batman to the X-Men.

Seminars - Industry veterans present free seminars on a range of topics throughout the weekend.

Wizard School - Open to aspiring artists and seasoned professionals alike, Wizard School offers fans the chance to fine-tune their skills with free classes.

The event is produced by Wizard Conventions Inc., also the producers of Wizard World: East, which premiered this year in Philadelphia. Wizard Conventions is a sister company of Wizard Entertainment Group, an industry leader in the collectibles market that publishes four magazines, including "Wizard: The Comics Magazine," "InQuest Gamer: The Gaming Magazine," "ToyFare: The Toy Magazine," and "Anime Invasion: The Japanese Animation Magazine." Wizard's publications have a monthly readership of more than 2 million and are currently sold in 25 countries and translated into five languages.

Wizard World Chicago is presented in part by Hasbro, Showtime's Sci-Friday, Sony Playstation, 20th Century Fox Television, and CrossGen Comics. Show hours are from 12-8pm on Friday, July 5; 10am-6pm on Saturday, July 6; and 10am-5pm on Sunday, July 7. Tickets are $20 per day or $40 for a three-day pass. Children under 10 are free. For tickets or information, call 1.800.328.6604 or visit www.wizardconventions.com.

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