Robot 6

Wizard reportedly cancels L.A. and Dallas conventions [Update]



Wizard Entertainment has canceled its Los Angeles convention, originally scheduled for March, and will do the same with its Dallas show, Newsarama reports.

According to the website, the L.A. Convention Center already has been notified of the cancellation of the March 13-15 event. Unnamed sources confirm to the site that the planned Nov. 6-8 event in Dallas has been called off as well.

That leaves the troubled Wizard Entertainment with only two conventions:  Philadelphia and Chicago.

It’s been a rocky few years for the company, during which time it canceled WizardWorld Boston after a lackluster debut, aborted plans for an Atlanta show, greatly expanded its online presence only to revert to its previous format, and laid off numerous staff in its convention and magazine divisions.

Update: Wizard has posted a brief statement on its website confirming the cancellation of WizardWorld Texas but describing the Los Angeles show as “postponed,” “due to the current economic climate.”



The cancellation of the Los Angeles show doesn’t surprise me. It’s first year in Long Beach felt good. Lots of traffic, some good panels, overall a good first showing. Their second year in Long Beach wasn’t as impressive, with fewer big name guests and panels (IIRC “Sin City” had premiered that weekend and there was no presence for that film), but it still showed promise. Ever since the move to Downtown Los Angeles, the show has been weak at best based just on looking around a rather empty convention hall. Some retailers told me their sales were good, but attendance seemed sparse.

Promotion for it in local Los Angeles media was also rather sparse — while comic shops were given some free tickets and flyers, I don’t recall seeing ads in any of LA’s alt-weeklys and very little mention or poorly timed mentions in local papers and on local radio stations. It seemed there were a lot of missed opportunities for promotion.

It’s too bad. Yes, Los Angeles can be a tough place to hold a show of this sort due to the enormity of the city and the number of competing events going on at any given time, but it’s not impossible. It takes careful and, frankly, aggressive planning, neither of which I saw with WWLA.

I’ve never been Wizard World Texas, but I’ve been to the last two shows in LA, and I’d only say that attendance was sparse when compared to San Diego (at least on Saturday). On the other hand, I also considered that a positive, since it made for a much less frantic experience.

Scheduling may have been a problem, since this year WWLA was going to be only 2 weeks after WonderCon, which is just 6 hours away in good traffic. I went to both shows last year, and definitely saw some of the same people at both, so they could be pulling from the same extended pool of “locals.” I’ve written some more thoughts on WWLA’s cancellation/postponement on my blog, if you’re interested.

I had a good time at Philly last year.

If you’ve never been; the Skeletor Karaoke after party is a lot of fun.

[…] is interesting news for a few reasons, not the least of which is that Wizard recently canceled their Dallas show and postponed their Los Angeles show. They also shut down Anime Insider and have had many, many layoffs over the last couple of years, […]

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