So it is that time of year again, Wizard World Chicago has hit the area, this Thursday night thru Sunday. Of course, it's official name has been changed to "Comic-con" as the new logo illustrates so nicely. One problem with that, it WAS indeed called Chicago Comic-con back in the day before Wizard bought the show, you know back when it was a good con. Obviously Wizard is trying to take those days back, but it might be a little too late for that I'm afraid. The other obvious thing is Wizard Magazine has not been doing all that well of late and the company is most likely thinking the name of the con "Wizard World" has a negative connotation at this point. So there is some thought behind this name change.
I am not currently at Wizard World, I mean "Comic-con" tonight, but I'll be there for the rest of the show at the Moonstone booth of course. This year will be very interesting, since we have no DC or Marvel. The con floor just won't look the same without the mega DC booth as far as I'm concerned. Wizard did manage to get a few extra publishers to come out at the last minute. So besides Moonstone, Avatar, and Top Shelf, Ape will now be there along with Aspen. I do see that Zenescope and Dynamite will be there but their presence will only be felt at some panels, no booths for those guys.
Something new for Wizard is the new "Night Time Programming." Nice idea, but man those prices are killer. Basically what they are doing is offering special after con hours "parties" with various celebs that are attending the show, such as a Nichelle Nichols meet and greet for the low low price of $99.99 per person. Believe it or not that is one of the cheapest events I see listed! The only night time event that I can truly endorse is the John Ostrander fund-raising event, an auction that hopefully will give ALL of the proceeds to John Ostrander, that event only costs $40.00 to get into. I hope John gets at least HALF of that $40.00 entrance fee along with any of the auctions proceeds. You can also "Dine with Demons" for $175.00 per person. No explanations as to what they means exactly, but OK. I'm sure it means something to someone out there. You can also "Meet the Stars of Battlestar Galactica" for the affordable sum of $150.00 per person. But my absolute FAVORITE of the after hours "events" is the "Twilight after Twilight" event, which costs..... (sit down for this price)....$250.00!!!! WOW! Do they give massages too, maybe do your nails? I mean REALLY wtf? I'm sure the tweens and moms will be lined up to get the chance for the rare rare opportunity to meet and great a couple of the supporting stars from Twilight. God help us. This is what comic conventions have come to. It was the same bullsh#@ at the San Diego Con, with the THOUSANDS of Twilighters camping out for the Twilight panel. Instead of this kind of crap why don't they host some after hours event with some comic creators, you know the guys and girls that the whole show is SUPPOSE to be about? Why not a George Perez after hours event? Hang out with George for an hour or two, share some drinks, share dinner, or something like that. It could be more fund-raising for the Hero Initiative (George is doing LOTS of fund-raising for that cause throughout the whole con). But why would we want any of these after hours event to be about comics at the "Comic-con", I mean really, why? Out of the twelve after hours events offered, ONE is a comic-related event and that is the John Ostrander fund-raiser. Dear god, can't we please just talk about COMICS? I remember when comic conventions were all about comics. You couldn't walk five feet without running into massive amounts of long boxes or walls of back issues. Gone. Where did those days go? Maybe things like Ebay took a lot of that away from the cons, but still I miss it. Yes, this show does have A LOT of comic creators attending, which is very cool, but not nearly as many comic book dealers as years past or not nearly as many comic book publishers as back in the day.
I've heard the same gripe about Comic Con International, the San Diego Comic-con that just wrapped up two weeks ago. Where oh where did the comics go? That show has become so much about Hollywood there is talk of more comic-related events and panels taking place off site in nearby hotel next year. Hell, there has even been talk of taking the comics out of Comic-con itself and moving all those booth of dealers, publishers, and creators to another venue. Is that a good idea? Maybe, it's purely hypothetical at this point. Would it be better for the COMIC BOOK fan to wander away from the sprawling con floor to a smaller more comic-centric venue? The Hollywood insane fans could take over the hall on their own then. Maybe booths would cost less, so the smaller publishers could more easily afford a booth. But would it be any different than other smaller comic shows that already happen all over the country? Again, hard to say, until they decide to do something like the current "talk." It's all still speculation at this point.
Tune in tomorrow when I report back on day one of the the Chicago con. Hm, on second thought I might not be able to report back until the end of the con on Sunday night. It depends on how many "After hours" events I go to. I want to go to ALL of them. Wheeeeee!!!! Yeah. No. Couldn't catch me dead at ANY of them, again with the exception of the John Ostrander event.
Fingers crossed that this show doesn't turn our as bad as expected. Maybe going with low expectations will help. There are lots of local fans that are just waiting for both the Windy City show in September and C2E2 in April, that are taking a pass on Wizard Chicago this year. So attendance will most likely be down for the comic fans, but up for the fans of Twilight and Different Strokes, oh and don't forget the Wrestling fans!