Tag Archives: Wizard World

Speed Reading: Iconic Covers, Crisis Preview, Evil, Maps & More

Comics Should Be Good wraps up the month of iconic covers with the Top 5 Most Iconic Barry Allen Covers.

Ain’t It Cool News has a preview of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the next direct-to-home video DC animated film. It’s based on a number of Earth-2/Earth-3 stories in which the Justice League goes up against their evil counterparts from another world, the Crime Syndicate. There’s a few frames of the evil Johnny Quick in the preview, sporting an entirely new costume. (Thanks to Jesse for the link.)

Speaking of evil, the “Mark Waid Was Evil” teaser turns out to be for a new series, Incorruptible, intended as the flip side to Irredeemable. This series follows a super-villain who decides to become a hero in response to the Plutonian’s fall to the dark side.

Newsarama evaluates Wednesday Comics, giving the Flash strip a B+.

Avatar Press has started a collaborative map of comic shops around the world. You can help by adding the local store where you buy your comics.

Over at my other blog, I made an amusing discovery about Wizard World Los Angeles, the Long Beach Comic-Con, and two convention centers.

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.

Thoughts on the Anaheim Comic-Con Announcement

Anaheim Comic-Con LogoEver since Wizard canceled Wizard World Los Angeles back in January, just two months before the event, they’ve claimed that the show was not actually canceled, but merely “postponed” (as opposed to WWTX, which was canceled outright). They can probably stop claiming that now that they’ve announced Anaheim Comic-Con, launching April 16-18, 2010.

In the six months since Wizard World canceled half their convention slate, the owners of New York Comic-Con have announced a new Chicago-area show, C2E2, launching next April 16-18 (does that date sound familiar?), and a group of former Wizard staffers have put together Long Beach Comic-Con, starting October 2-4, to take the place of the missing WWLA. Wizard, meanwhile, has renamed Wizard World Chicago as Chicago Comic-Con (its original name before they bought it a decade(?) ago), bought Big Apple Con, and bought Paradise Toronto Con. Or, to be more precise, Gareb Shamus, owner of Wizard, has bought them.

Immediately obvious:

  • Anaheim Comic Con replaces Wizard World Los Angeles on the WW slate.
  • Shamus is downplaying the Wizard World brand name for the convention circuit.
  • Whether intentional or not, Anaheim Comic Con is scheduled to maximize damage to their primary Chicago competitor.

Making some Magic

Wizard.Six months ago it looked like the LA/Orange County area wouldn’t have any big conventions for a while (aside from being 2-3 hours from San Diego). Now there are two. The timing (April) is far enough from both San Diego (July) and Long Beach (October) that it won’t feel like overkill to hit all three. It’s even far enough from WonderCon (usually February or Early March) that it might be worth hitting both.

And I did have fun at WWLA last year and the year before.

And yet… Continue reading

Quick Thoughts: Weekly Twitter for 2009-06-21

Following Wizard World Philly and HeroesCon

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See also the first few Comic-Con Tips, which I’ve been posting daily on Twitter starting this Friday.

Flash News from Wizard World and HeroesCon (Updated)

A few interesting notes from this weekend’s conventions, HeroesCon in Charlotte, North Carolina and WizardWorld Philadelphia.

Wednesday Comics

Newsarama’s writeup of DC Nation at HeroesCon has the most direct Flash news. Ian Sattler showed of a copy of Wednesday Comics and talked about the series:

Sattler said that the Flash story features Flash Comics on the top of the page and Iris West Comics on the bottom half, but halfway through the story, the two meet and join, as the Flash literally and figuratively “runs” into Iris’ story.

I love this idea. It’s the kind of thing that only really makes sense in a comic-book format, as well. If you did it as a movie, it would just be alternating scenes with each protagonist until they meet.

Kid Flash

Newsarama also says that when a fan asked Ethan Van Sciver why Superboy gets a new series but Kid Flash doesn’t, the artist responded, “We’re going to make you so happy in Rebirth.”

From the way it was presented, it sounds like a non-sequitur. Presumably he means that Bart Allen will have a bigger role in the second half of the miniseries. I don’t really expect to turn to the last page of issue #6 and see a Kid Flash series announced, though certainly stranger things have happened.

The other item of interest comes from Wizard World Philadelpha. CBR’s writeup of Philly’s DC Nation included a segment in which Dan Didio talked about Teen Titans.

DiDio said fans will start seeing a more stable team starting with issue #75, adding that a “couple of returning characters are going to be coming back in”

Now, I’m probably reading too much into this, but Superboy and Kid Flash both returned pretty recently. How many Teen Titans readers would like to see them back on the team?

Following Through

Update: CBR’s article on HeroesCon’s DC Nation has a few details missing from the Newsarama version.

First, Ethan Van Sciver talked more about Flash: Rebirth:

“It’s the best thing to be doing right now,” Van Sciver said. “Geoff Johns and I have a very large vision for these characters.” He said they’re planting “little tentpoles” and have big plans for Bart Allen.

This puts the other remark about Bart into context…though of course, what those plans might be remain in the “wait and see” corner.

A fan also asked EVS about the fate of Rival, and he simply said, “What happens in the Speed Force stays in the Speed Force.”

Another fan wanted Barry Allen to wear bow ties in Justice League of America, but new artist Mark Bagley declined, saying he (Bagley? Barry?) “doesn’t own a single tie.”

Seriously, what is it with the bow tie?

Thoughts on WWLA Cancellation

A few hours ago Newsarama reported that Wizard World was canceling Wizard World Los Angeles and Wizard World Texas. Wizard later issued a press release saying that WWTX was “cancelled,” [sic] but that WWLA was “postponed.” The Beat has some commentary as well.

Wizard.I’ve attended the last two shows in Los Angeles (see: WWLA 2007 writeup; WWLA 2008 writeup & photos), though I haven’t been to WWTX. I enjoyed both, though I only went for one day each year. It was in some ways what San Diego was for me back when I was in high school: a con to drive out to for the day and look for/at interesting stuff.

Admittedly Wizard World was a bit overly-focused on promotion compared to other cons I’ve been to, but that didn’t seem like a big deal on the floor. There were problems, mostly to do with poor communication: schedule updates weren’t posted anywhere that I could tell except in front of the panel rooms themselves. Some events required tickets, but didn’t say so in the program. Artists’ tables weren’t labeled, so if you didn’t know someone by sight and they hadn’t brought their own display, you might walk right past someone you were looking for.

OMG XYZ is Dying

WWLA 2007: The FloorWhenever I would read anything online about the con, everyone kept talking about how dead it was. To me, the (relative) lack of crowds was a good thing, because I could walk around freely and got to spend time talking with writers and artists (I must have spent at least 15 minutes talking with Peter David and J.K. Woodward last year).

Still, I figured its days — or rather, its years — were numbered, and eventually I’d hear that Wizard World was canceling the show. I didn’t think they’d wait until only two months before the show, after they had announced guests and started selling tickets.

2009 Season

WWLA 2007 Alien AttackThis year I wasn’t sure whether I’d attend Wizard World LA. On one hand, it is the only major comic convention that I can really do as a day trip. On the other, I’m already going to San Diego and WonderCon… and this year, WWLA is only two weeks after WonderCon.

And I wonder if that’s part of the problem: scheduling.

In good traffic, Los Angeles is 2 hours from San Diego and 6 hours from San Francisco by car. It’s going to draw from a similar pool of extended “locals.” March is far enough from July that San Diego shouldn’t be a big problem, except for people who only do one big con a year, but it’s right next to February. Last year it was three weeks after WonderCon. This year it was only two.

Maybe they figured they’d find a time that’s a little less crowded? I actually wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see Wizard World Los Angeles rescheduled for November, taking WWTX’s old place at the tail end of the convention season.

Elsewhere in LA

Meanwhile, comments on the Newsarama thread have pointed me to a new small monthly convention in the LA area, the Los Angeles Comic-Con in Claremont. I’ll have to check it out and see how it stacks up against the ~bimonthly Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention (the one at the Shrine), which is pretty much just a dealer’s room and a single track of programming.