Tag Archives: Chicago

Long Weekend at Worldcon in Chicago

Chicon 7I’d really hoped to have this written sooner, since the convention was over Labor Day Weekend. But, better late than never,* right?

At the end of August, I took my family to Chicago for a very different convention experience. Worldcon is a more literary and, in some ways, academic con than the glitzier media cons like Comic-Con International, or the celebrity-oriented cons like Wizard World. The guest list is more focused on writers than on actors or media personalities, and panels tend toward discussions rather than announcements.

Worldcon itself travels around from year to year, essentially a convention franchise where members of one year’s convention vote on who gets to put on the con two years from now. Last year it was in Reno. Next year it’ll be in San Antonio, Texas, and in 2014 it’ll be in London. Certain elements remain constant — there’s always a masquerade, an art show, a Regency Dance, and of course the Hugo Awards — but the tenor of the con can change wildly from one year to the next.

This year’s con was the seventh Worldcon in Chicago, and it was a lot of fun.

Read my full writeup at K-Squared Ramblings.

*Even on the Internet!
Globe of Krypton

Fastest Cab Alive

Flash Taxi Cab on the streets of Chicago

Flash…speed…lightning logo…round shape around the bolt…

I remember a trio of speedsters going into the super-speed courier business (Kapitalist Kouriers), but taxi cabs?

Spotted all over the place in Chicago during my trip to sightsee and attend Worldcon 70/Chicon 7. My convention photos are up on Flickr. Update: And here’s my write-up of the con.

Flash Hints from Chicago: Bart and Wally

There’s not a whole lot of Flash-related news coming out of Chicago Comic-Con, partly because we’re still in the middle of Flash: Rebirth and partly because they dropped the big news two weeks ago in San Diego. But there were a few items mentioned at DC Nation.

First, Newsarama’s report mentions:

Red Robin will “absolutely” be dealing with the return of Superboy and Kid Flash in the near future.

I believe DC has previously mentioned that Tim and Bart will both be showing up (beyond the cameos in the first issue) of Conner Kent/Superboy’s stories in Adventure Comics. I wonder if Tim and Conner will be showing up in Red Robin at some point?

It’s interesting to note that, with Red Robin, Adventure Comics, and Kid Flash, the three original founders of Young Justice will all have their own series for the first time in eight years. Impulse and Superboy, both launched in the mid-1990s, were canceled in 2002. There’s a great scene from Young Justice around that time in which Bart and Kon are lamenting that “my comic got canceled” (supposedly referring to their favorite series to read), and commiserate until Robin walks into the room — and they proceed to glare at him. Does anyone remember what issue this was?

Anyway, back to DC Nation. CBR’s write-up adds another note.

Asked about the further ramifications about Barry Allen’s return as the Flash, “We are not retiring Wally West,” Sattler said to applause.

As reassuring as it is to know that DC does recognize that Wally still has fans, it’s more reassuring to know that the comment got applause. Of course, the best reassurance is still Geoff Johns’ remark that “Wally’s not only going to be fine, he’s going to kick ass.”

On the other hand, @weeklycrisis pointed out that “at DC, heroes either die off or live long enough to become the bad guy.” Ray of sunshine, there…

A couple of final notes from CBR’s article:

“Wednesday Comics” will be collected into trade according to strips rather than altogether, Sattler said.

I wonder if this means 15 separate books (which would actually be more volumes than the original 12-part series!) or whether it means they’ll be combining them by tone, style, character connections, etc.

“Aquaman Reborn” by Geoff Johns? “Ah, Aquaman,” Sattler sighed. No answer, but not in a “maybe” way–more exasperated.

Aquaman? Really? Not Vibe? 😉

Wizard World on the Way Out?

Chicago Comic-Con is running this weekend. Yes, Chicago Comic-Con, not Wizard World Chicago as it’s been called for most of this decade.

And that name change brings up all kinds of questions.

Back in 1997, Wizard bought the Chicago Comicon, at its time the #2 comic book convention in the country after Comic-Con International in San Diego. They renamed it Wizard World Chicago and started building a series of conventions across the country. At its height there were five shows in Chicago, Los Angeles, Texas, Philadelphia, and (briefly) Boston.


Then in January 2009, Wizard dropped a bomb: citing the economy, Wizard World Texas and Wizard World Los Angeles were being canceled. People planning for WWTX at least got fair notice, but WWLA had been scheduled for March, just two months away. They insisted that WWLA was merely “postponed,” but made no indication of when the show might return.

That left two: Wizard World Philadelphia in June and Wizard World Chicago in August.

Rebuilding and Rebranding

Over the next few months, though, something odd happened: the convention series started growing again, as Wizard owner Gareb Shamus bought Big Apple Con, then bought Paradise Toronto Comicon. Neither show was rebranded as a Wizard World event, and Wizard quietly started referring to WWC as “Chicago Comic-Con.” And then they launched Anaheim Comic-Con.

So now there are again five conventions under the umbrella, but only one, Philadelphia, still has the Wizard World name. Chances are pretty good that they’ll rename it by next June…or possibly cancel it the way they dropped WWLA.

Whither the Wizards?

The obvious question is: why?

Well, Wizard World has acquired a bit of a bad reputation. Maybe they’re rebranding in hopes of escaping that.

Or maybe they want to give the shows a more local feel, rather than corporate.

Or maybe it’s something else. Judging by the announcements, it’s not Wizard Entertainment that’s been buying and launching these new shows — it’s Gareb Shamus. I wonder whether he might be planning to sell off Wizard and keep the conventions, or otherwise split the cons and the magazine into separate companies.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Update (August 11): After reading this article on “Comic-Con” vs. “Comic Con” vs. “Comicon,” I’ve gone back and tried to make sure I have the official spellings for each convention.

Quick Thoughts: Reprints, Tropes and Cons

Some links and observations for the day.


Comics Should Be Good looks at DC Super-Stars reprints from the 1970s — including a Flash book which re-drew a Golden Age story. Hmm, I have a new blog post idea: comparing the original and redrawn versions of “Deal Me From the Bottom” and “City of Shifting Sand” from All-Flash #22 (yes, they did this twice!)

If you dare, read TV Tropes on Super Speed. (Beware, this is TV Tropes, so you run the risk of a tab explosion if you read it!)

San Diego Thoughts

Twitter has been full of people talking about flying to San Diego today, or starting long drives. Living 2-3 hours away, it’s easy for me to forget that a lot of people need a full day of travel before and after the con. I mean, I’m planning to drive down after lunch. I could do the entire con taking only 2½ days off work, but for many people, it’s a full week.

I find it highly amusing that @WizardWorld has been heavily pushing Chicago Comic-Con on Twitter today…the day before Comic-Con International. Certainly it makes perfect sense to capitalize on people thinking about cons who might not be going to this one, but might go to yours. And heck, I started getting excited about the build-up to CCI during the week before Wizard World Philadelphia and HeroesCon. It just seems funny for some reason.

Expanded from some of my Twitter posts today.

Ethan van Sciver at Wizard World

Newsarama’s Vaneta Rogers spoke with Ethan van Sciver at Wizard World Chicago last week about his upcoming projects, including Green Lantern: Blackest Night with Geoff Johns and an untitled Wonder Woman project with Gail Simone. They also discussed the rumors of an upcoming Flash project with Geoff Johns.

The artist had just come from a DC panel where Dan DiDio seemed to always turn to him to answer any question about The Flash. We asked: Why is that?

“Because he’s a sadist, deep down. He even told me that. He said, “I just like to see you squirm.’ I honestly have no idea. He likes to get the rumors going,” Van Sciver said.

We talked about the rumor mill and how most fans think his upcoming “secret project” with Geoff Johns is either Aquaman or The Flash.

“Aquaman’s leading the pack?” Van Sciver said in obviously feigned surprise….

The mysterious van Sciver/Johns project — whether it’s Flash, Aquaman, or something else — will be announced in San Diego later this month.

More at Newsarama.

Ethan van Sciver is no stranger to the Flash, having worked with Geoff Johns on the 2001 graphic novel The Flash: Iron Heights (now collected in the second edition of Flash: Blood Will Run, released earlier this year). He also worked on Impulse with Todd Dezago, where he helped create Inertia, and did several covers for The Flash in 2004 and for The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive in 2007.