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Wizard World conventions... wtf?

GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop ManagerNJRegistered User regular
edited January 2010 in Graphic Violence
So I was poking around the internet looking for upcoming conventions to go to, and for the first time came across the news that Wizard has purchased the company which runs the annual Big Apple Comic Con, and chose to schedule their 2010 convention on the exact same weekend as the previously scheduled New York Comic Con. NYCC is a very popular albeit young event that is second only to San Diego Comic Con in attendance (70,000+ last year). To top things off, Wizard is running a new event, the New Jersey Comic Con less than an hour away in Edison, NJ the very next weekend!

Why is Wizard doing this? From some of the articles I read it looks like Wizard has developed something of a fierce rivalry with Reed (the company that runs New York Comic Con, and incidentally, also contracted to help run PAX East). Wizard also chose to kick off a new convention in Anaheim the same weekend Reed had scheduled a launch of a new annual Chicago convention.

While I love to see some healthy competition, does it not seem like Wizard is taking it a little too far here? Having so many conventions overlap and/or butt up against each other dilutes the fan base, the availability of special guests, and the presence that companies and local businesses can have at these conventions. Unless there is a special convention crew, a company cannot represent itself at conventions week after week.

I can understand how a company like Wizard might see this as a move with potential to make them a lot of money, and that's the ultimate goal for a company right? However, I want to support the best of the two conventions with my dollars, but I'm not spending double admission and stressing myself by racing across town as to not miss things. If they were adequately spaced, I would probably attend both, and then continue going to the better of the two in future years. Instead, Wizard is being kind of a dick in my opinion, and I can't support that. The NJ con is just the biggest slap in the face of them all. I am from NJ and have huge pride in my state, but honestly we don't need our own con. There's no reason people can't get into the city, and it's just a move to appeal to people's laziness by saying "wait one more weekend and you can just go to the closer version", therefore keeping people away from the competing NYCC. You know it's just gonna be a watered down version though.

I love conventions even though I don't get to as many as I should. These should be special occasions, but a flooded market just leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth. What are other people's thoughts on this?

Gundabad on

Posts

  • GeddloGeddlo Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I think there's an anime con that same weekrnd as big apple and nycc.
    Arent they in the same building too?

    Geddlo on
  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    why is NYCC so late this year?

    it was in February mostly, except for the one time it was in April

    Keith on
  • TexiKenTexiKen we are all individuals Thanos, in the hoooouuuusseRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I think NYCC has something to do with the marathon? I'm not really sure.

    I've never been to a convention but the trouble with today's convention schedule is that they are so ripe for online fodder and getting your info out that you're trying to spread out all that info among 8-9 conventions, to the point where it feels diluted. You also have so many conventions that it takes the creators away from doing their jobs (this should really be a contract stipulation for people like Phil Jiminez and Ethan Van Sciver, who goes to more conventions than issues he pencils each year).

    With Wizard World Conventions it's not about meeting with the creators like these smaller conventions are (the one in Florida and in Charlotte come to mind, can't remember their names), it's about the news and CBR and Newsarama trying to make it a big deal and interviewing people on a boat and some such.

    In my perfect world it would be like tennis: 4 big conventions spread out each quarter, the rest are smaller conventions where it's about meeting the creator and getting stuff instead of trying to have big news reveals. Ideally NYCC would be a hard court, SDCC would be played on grass, Philadelphia would be indoor rubber, Chicago would be clay. In December the top 8 publishers play each other in a round-robin format in London to decide the year ending champion.

    TexiKen on
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  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    thanks for putting Philly in there

    we just have Wizard World and it's pretty much a joke

    edit: although Kevin Maguire was here last year

    Keith on
  • TexiKenTexiKen we are all individuals Thanos, in the hoooouuuusseRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I thought Philly was big? Or is Chicago bigger?

    Because they do them one week after another to the point where stuff they could just tell at one convention they spread out for three, like one place is a Spidey news, the next week X-Men.

    It's convention decompression.

    TexiKen on
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  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    you'd figure it'd be big since it's so close to New York but nope

    Keith on
  • smokmnkysmokmnky Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Not sure why they moved NYCC back but it might have something to do with weather. I know I've read complaints from people talking about weather and NYCC being so early in the year. They also moved Wonder-Con back this year from late Feb to early April which I thought was strange but not unappreciated

    smokmnky on
  • FeathersMcGrawFeathersMcGraw Registered User
    edited January 2010
    This isn't the first time something like this has happened. Several years ago, Wizard tried to schedule a show the same weekend as the Charlotte Heroes Con (you can read about it at Matt Fraction's blog). On the plus side of things, many pros (rightly) took the move as a power grab on Wizard's part and deliberately chose to attend Heroes instead, resulting in one of the most impressive guest lists for that show ever (off the top of my head, Warren Ellis, J. Michael Straczynski, and Greg Rucka all made appearances).

    FeathersMcGraw on
  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The big anime con and NYCC actually combined forces for this year, which may have something to do with the rescheduling. Together they were able to book almost the entire Jacob Javitz center. I don't know if any of you have ever been to the Javitz, but it is utterly massive. I went there for a Fangoria Weekend horror convention and only took up one tiny wing.

    Gundabad on
  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Keith wrote: »
    you'd figure it'd be big since it's so close to New York but nope
    I think this should be Philadelphia's new slogan

    Gundabad on
  • wirehead26wirehead26 Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Reading that Fracton blog makes me glad I went to HeroesCon in 2008 and 2009.

    Regarding the Wizard World con, do they plan on running one in Georgia? Because I got an email from a very well respected convention organizer who runs a seasonal one day con near Atlanta reporting that he's helping Wizard World get a con set up. He acknowledged what WW did in the past but believes they are being sincere this time.

    wirehead26 on
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  • CadeCade Eppur si muove.Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    As stated up above Wizard has done this before, they like to toss their weight around although in the last few years they have been bleeding out big time, they even fired most of their staff at one point and began to hire people from their message boards to provide content, people who did not get paid either. A lot of people know that Wizard has tried a few power plays before, hell in the 90's they even wanted to label the current age of comics The Wizard Age (to follow the Gold, Silver and Bronze Ages). They were rightly laughed at when they dared to suggest it.

    But yeah their rag has become nothing more then a fluff mag(some will say it was only that to begin with) and they are circling the drain so in their last effort to remain relevant you can bet they'll try to use the cons to get as much as they can while they can and if it means squeezing out others they will do it or make the attempt at any rate..

    Cade on
  • Worsel96Worsel96 A Castle in the SkyRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Philly seems to fluctuate in size, being impressive at times to absolutely tiny like it was last year. Marvel and DC didn't even show, if I remember correctly, or at least they didn't have big booths.

    NYCC, on the other hand, is just plain gigantic. I love that show.

    Worsel96 on
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'd like to go a con some year.

    DouglasDanger on
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  • cshadow42cshadow42 Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'd like to go a con some year.

    Me too, but I seem to be in this weird con bubble area of the country wherein all the decent Cons are too darn far away.

    I live in Central Virginia.

    cshadow42 on
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  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    It's possible that the NYCC was moved because PAX East is happening in March. NYCC usually happens in late February, so maybe Reed didn't want to do two huge shows with less than a month in between them.

    Also, as I understand it, this year a single ticket will get you into both NYCC and the anime con next door. Which, if true, will lead to hilarious conflict between those who are comics fans exclusively and those who are anime fans exclusively.

    Delduwath on
  • TachTach Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm still considering wheither or not to go to the Anaheim (Wizard World) Comic Con. I took my friend to his first con in decades (Long Beach Comic Con) in October, and it was really neat, if small.

    I just don't know if my desire to attend another con before SDCC overwhelms my reluctance in supporting Wizard.

    Tach on
  • GeddloGeddlo Registered User
    edited January 2010
    TexiKen wrote: »
    In my perfect world it would be like tennis: 4 big conventions spread out each quarter, the rest are smaller conventions where it's about meeting the creator and getting stuff instead of trying to have big news reveals. Ideally NYCC would be a hard court, SDCC would be played on grass, Philadelphia would be indoor rubber, Chicago would be clay. In December the top 8 publishers play each other in a round-robin format in London to decide the year ending champion.

    Actually, if I recall correctly, when they announced the move from february to october they had something like what you mentioned in mind.

    NYCC would be the last major con of the year and round everything up.

    Geddlo on
  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Worsel96 wrote: »
    Philly seems to fluctuate in size, being impressive at times to absolutely tiny like it was last year. Marvel and DC didn't even show, if I remember correctly, or at least they didn't have big booths.

    NYCC, on the other hand, is just plain gigantic. I love that show.

    Yeah they didn't have any booths

    I think the only "huge" name there was Garth Ennis. It was pretty big the one year that had Bendis and Michael Turner

    Keith on
  • FeathersMcGrawFeathersMcGraw Registered User
    edited January 2010
    cshadow42 wrote: »
    I'd like to go a con some year.

    Me too, but I seem to be in this weird con bubble area of the country wherein all the decent Cons are too darn far away.

    I live in Central Virginia.

    Consider going to Baltimore Comic Con. I haven't actually been myself due to scheduling issues, but every single year I look at the fantastic guest list and wish I was there. Maybe this year.

    FeathersMcGraw on
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