Robot 6

What if you changed your convention’s name and nobody noticed?

WizardWorld Chicago Comic-Con

WizardWorld Chicago Comic-Con

A Wizard Entertainment press release announcing a convention guest of honor is turning a few heads, not for the name of the creator — Mark Millar — but for the name of the event: Chicago Comic-Con.

That, of course, was the name of the Chicago-area convention before it was purchased in 1997 by Wizard and rebranded WizardWorld Chicago.

The change would seem like fairly significant news, bigger even than the announcement of a headliner.

But a quick search of Wizard’s message board reveals the return to the former name — the debranding? — took place, quietly, as early as mid-October. At least that’s when one forum member noticed the appearance of “Chicago Comic-Con” on the company’s website. The change was reinforced in late November when advanced tickets went on sale.

A modified logo on the tickets page reads “WizardWorld Chicago Comic-Con”; however, the Millar press release refers to the event simply as “Chicago Comic-Con.”

The name change comes at a turbulent time for Wizard Entertainment, as it finds its brand greatly diminished. The company expanded its empire in 2005 with WizardWorld Boston, only to cancel it the following year, aborted plans to launch an Atlanta show in 2006, greatly expanded its online presence only to revert to its previous format, and laid off numerous staff in its convention and magazine divisions.

Last month, Wizard postponed its Los Angeles convention, and canceled its Texas show.

What’s more, New York Comic Con seems to have quickly replaced Wizard’s Chicago event as the No. 2 U.S. comics convention. (Just this week, NYCC organizer Reed Exhibitions announced it will launch Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo in April 2010 in downtown Chicago.)

WizardWorld’s Chicago Comic-Con will be held Aug. 6-9 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.



As a Chicago native, I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear the news about the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo in April 2010. Aside from all the good things I’ve heard about the New York event, my hope is that it will sound the death knell for the crap that is Wizard.

Sorry to double-post, but I just had to add the fact that Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con (or whatever they want to call it) is scheduled on the same weekend as Lollapalooza again this year pretty much assures that attendance will be abysmal.

Any idea when the LA convention has been rescheduled for? Last I heard it was cancelled outright.

Not that I want to give Wizard any money but I was looking forward to getting some artist sketches in an environment a little less crowded than SDCC.

Wizard’s official statement on the LA and Texas shows made a distinction between “canceled” and “postponed.” I took it to mean Texas is dead, but that Los Angeles could return in 2010. But I made be reading too much into that.

Looks like Wizard was careless in purchasing a domain for
Reed purchased the domain for their event.

Will someone at Wizard get a clue to running an event?


Nothing more needs be said.

[…] Per the press release, Big Apple’s fall show, called The National, will move from its traditional November date to Oct. 16-19 at Pier 94 in Manhattan. Also building on a partnership they announced for Wizard’s Philadelphia show, Wizard will also partner with the Video Game Expo on both the Big Apple show and the upcoming Chicago Comic-Con. […]

[…] magazine and the cancellation of conventions in Dallas and Los Angeles, Shamus & Co. have rebranded WizardWorld Chicago, purchased New York City’s Big Apple Con, and revealed plans for a new, […]

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