November 27, 2013

WonderCon Wants to Go Home

Category: Fandom, Timely — By

San Francisco StormtrooperPublisher’s Weekly reports that WonderCon still wants to return to the Bay Area, but that the limiting factor is scheduling.

  1. A convention needs additional days at the convention center to set up and tear down the event. So for a 3-day weekend event, they need to be in Wednesday or Thursday through Monday.
  2. They’ve been trying to avoid conflicting with other big comic conventions, specifically C2E2 in Chicago and Emerald City in Seattle. I remember one year they were the same weekend as MegaCon, but it was all the way on the East coast, so the two events were drawing from a different pool of guests and attendees.

With Moscone basically the only convention center in the area that’s big enough, their options are limited.

WonderCon’s last year (so far) in San Francisco was 2011. C2E2 launched in 2010, and grew to 41,000 attendees in 2012 and 50,000. Emerald City has been around for a decade, but expanded dramatically over the last few years, jumping from 13,000 attendees in 2009 to 32,000 in 2011. This year, all three cons* were in the 53-56K range.

The other shows’ explosion in size coincides with WonderCon’s move out of San Francisco. Both shows were already growing before WonderCon moved to Anaheim, so while I’m sure some former regulars decided to go to Emerald City instead, I doubt it accounts for the bulk of the growth. It makes me wonder (no pun intended) whether WonderCon might be facing similar scheduling conflicts even if it had stayed in San Francisco back in 2012.

If they do have to go up against another high-profile convention, it’s going to be one of those damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situations. My feeling is they’d be better off scheduling for the same weekend as C2E2, since Chicago’s three times the distance and two time zones away. Sure, it could be seen as a proxy battle between the NYCC and SDCC juggernauts, but it would play better than looking like they’re stepping on the little guy.

Cross-posted at K-Squared Ramblings

*I couldn’t find figures for ECCC 2013, but Wikipedia cites 53K in 2012, and they’ve been growing every year. C2E2 2013 was 53K, and WonderCon’s site cites 56K for 2013.

November 12, 2013

WonderCon 2014 and Long Beach 2013: California Comic Con Plans

Category: Fandom, Timely — By

Cosplay Crowds.WonderCon has officially announced that they’re returning to Anaheim in 2014 for a third year, from April 18-20. It’s turned out to be a good venue for the convention, especially if they can work the remaining kinks out of parking next year, and it means it’s easy for me to attend, since it’s close enough for me to commute. (That really takes some of the pressure off of trying to get tickets for San Diego, too.)

Still, I hope they find a way to move back to the Bay Area soon. I attended three years at the Moscone Center when it meant traveling (it probably helps that I have family and friends in the area to visit on the way up and back), and while the show still feels very much like part of the same family, it does feel like a slightly different show. I was in San Francisco on a business trip last week, and when I realized I was in the neighborhood, I just had to stop by Yerba Buena park and the Moscone Center for old time’s sake.

Long Beach

Brian Buccellato at LBCC 2013.Coming up sooner, though, is Long Beach Comic and Horror Con, next weekend (November 23-24). This will be the fifth year of the convention, which was started to fill the gap left when Wizard World canceled their Los Angeles convention in 2009, and I’ve been kicking myself over not buying the lifetime membership they offered in year two. It’s a great local convention, and it’s very focused on comics. To give you an idea how focused, the main floor is built around Artist’s Alley as its main feature. I’ll definitely be attending Long Beach this year, and plan on posting photos to my Flickr stream and Speed Force’s Instagram feed.

ComiKaze!

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t attend Stan Lee’s ComiKaze Expo last weekend. I went the first year and enjoyed it well enough, but it’s always within a few weeks of Long Beach, and if I have to choose just one, it’s going to be Long Beach. (Plus I had that business trip to prepare for.)

It doesn’t help that ComiKaze’s promotion is off-putting, the way they puff up their own importance and act as if other local cons like LBCC (and for that matter WonderCon) don’t exist. In good traffic, the Long Beach, Los Angeles and Anaheim convention centers are less than half an hour from each other. People here spend more time than that commuting to work.

Cross-posted at K-Squared Ramblings.

December 13, 2011

Do you want the Internet to be Censored?

Category: Off-Topic — By

If you live in the US and you use the Internet, you need to know about this. There are two proposed laws, SOPA and Protect IP, that would set up a system to block access to websites deemed to be “infringing,” in the name of stopping piracy. Of course, “infringing” could refer to the actions of one user on a large site, like, say, Facebook or Wikipedia. Imagine if someone at Warner Bros. filed a complaint about someone’s fan art on DeviantArt, and the government blocked access to the entire site. Sort of like shutting down an entire mall because one shopper was accused (not even proven!) of wearing a counterfeit Rolex.

Of course, once a system like this is in place, we all know it’ll never be abused, right?

And that’s not even getting into the technical implications of the bills, which would put an extra burden on tech startups and actually undermine efforts by the US government itself to make the internet more secure.

████, the ████ ████ █████ ██████ the ████████ ██████ the US in the ████ of ████████ ██████ (█████ it ██████’t), isn’t ████ yet. In ████, it’s █████ to a ████ ████ ████.

Uncensor This

(Cross-posted from K-Squared Ramblings)

October 21, 2011

When PBJ Can Kill — 2 Days Left to Raise Funds for Food Allergies

Category: Off-Topic, Round-Ups — By

This weekend, I’m walking to raise funds for research and education in the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy. I have life-threatening allergies myself, and while my son hasn’t shown any signs yet, the medical community is still trying to determine what causes people to develop allergies. It would be great if they find a way to guarantee that he won’t inherit them, or at least to make life safer for him than it has been for me.

A huge thank-you to Damon, Devin, Greg, Jesse and Lia for sponsoring me after my first post about the event. It’s coming up this Sunday in Santa Monica, California (near Los Angeles), and FAAN has other walks planned across the country.

You can help with any amount down to US $10. If you’d like to contribute, please donate at my fundraising page.

As I write this, I’m $250 away from the #10 spot on the top 10 list for the Los Angeles walk. Anyone want to help push me into the top 10?

Thank you!

January 12, 2011

(Mad) Scientific Fact: The Girl Genius Novel is Out!

Category: Off-Topic — By

For the past decade, Phil & Kaja Foglio have been spinning the mad science/gaslamp fantasy adventures of Agatha Heterodyne in the award-winning comic book-turned-webcomic Girl Genius. Now they’ve stepped into a new medium, adapting the first story into a prose novel: Agatha H. and the Airship City.

The Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare. It has been sixteen years since the Heterodyne Boys, benevolent adventurers and inventors, disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Today, Europe is ruled by the Sparks, dynasties of mad scientists ruling over – and terrorizing – the hapless population with their bizarre inventions and unchecked power, while the downtrodden dream of the Hetrodynes’ return. At Transylvania Polygnostic University, a pretty, young student named Agatha Clay seems to have nothing but bad luck. Incapable of building anything that actually works, but dedicated to her studies, Agatha seems destined for a lackluster career as a minor lab assistant. But when the University is overthrown by the ruthless tyrant Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, Agatha finds herself a prisoner aboard his massive airship Castle Wulfenbach – and it begins to look like she might carry a spark of Mad Science after all.

The comics are great fun, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they’ve filled in the details in the novel version!

Cross-posted from K-Squared Ramblings.

June 23, 2010

DC Comics Goes Digital

Category: General — By

Big news: DC Comics has launched a digital comics program, starting with the iPad/iPhone and the Playstation network.

And by launched, I mean launched. As in, you can download the app and buy comics right now.

I’m really looking forward to the day when they expand this to more platforms (desktop PCs, Android and Windows–based tablets, etc) and start reaching into their back catalog. I’ve griped about the lack of Golden Age Flash reprints before, and the Bronze Age is also virtually invisible in reprints (though at least with comics from the 1970s and 1980s, you can usually find the back-issues at a reasonable price).

I haven’t had time to read all the interviews, but I’ll definitely be reading them tonight:

With Jim Lee so heavily involved in this project, I can’t help but think of a moment at WonderCon this year. Saturday was the day of the iPad launch, and the Apple Store in San Francisco is just a few blocks from the convention center. Jim Lee was conspicuously missing from the DC Editorial panel. He showed up partway through the panel and stood in the Q&A line, where he planted a few questions…and then pulled out the brand-new iPad that he had stood in line for that morning!

Sadly, judging by ComiXology’s new releases, DC hasn’t brought Flash to the iPad just yet. But I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Update: Comics Alliance has another article I won’t have time to read just yet, on why this is a big deal.

Cross-posted at K-Squared Ramblings