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Shamus and Wizard expand into Atlanta

Atlanta Comic Con Wizard World Convention

Atlanta Comic Con Wizard World Convention

More than four years after abandoning plans for an event in Georgia’s capital, Wizard Entertainment CEO Gareb Shamus has purchased Atlanta Comic Convention, a one-day show founded in 1994.

Renamed (deep breath) Atlanta Comic Con Wizard World Convention, it joins Shamus’ rapidly growing stable of eight events that includes Chicago Comic Con, Big Apple Comic Con and the recently announced Austin Comic Con. No date or venue have been announced for the Atlanta convention.

According to the press release, Atlanta Comic Convention founder Will Tillander will remain as a consultant for the show, which will expand from one day to three.

Wizard’s previous attempt at an Atlanta convention, announced in July 2005, triggered a backlash from retailers, creators and fans because its inaugural show was scheduled for the same weekend as Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shamus quickly dropped plans for a 2006 Atlanta show, but said Wizard would seek an event there the following year. None materialized.

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This is a bizarre move. The Atlanta Comic Convention is a tiny show. It’s not much more than a dealer’s room, honestly. Not to say it’s bad, that is; you can get some great deals there and the atmosphere is much more laid back than bigger cons. It’s just not something that I would think could be spun into a larger con.

I have to wonder if they’re thinking of going up against Dragon*Con. If so, good luck. Us Atlanta geeks are viciously protective of D*C. Even if they get some choice guests, they won’t be able to reproduce the atmosphere. It’s been called dork Mardi Gras, and the truth isn’t too far off. Sure, you might be able to meet Brian Bendis at a Wizard convention, but you can get laid at Dragon*Con.

Finally some great news for those of us here in Atlanta!!! I was always disappointed that I had never been to a Wizard con and they cancelled the rumored Atlanta show because of the date conflict. Then, nothing. I was thinking they had forgotten about Atlanta. I had usually try to get to Atlanta Comic Convention once a year as my budget allows. The last few years saw DragonCon try Atlanta Comics Expo and the people from Florida Supercon try Atlanta Supercon. It was so depressing to see them try to put on cool shows here which fans here never attended. I couldn’t understand the really shocking low turnout at those shows because I know there are a ton of comic fans here in Atlanta. My guess is that it takes a while for a show to get attendance here for whatever reason. The only big comic guest from out of town that I met at the old one day Atlanta Comic Convention was Roy Thomas many, many years back. It seemed that since then, they featured one guest who was usually local. Though he has had many cool guests over the years, they were all people who always came to DragonCon, so there wasn’t a guest that you would miss meeting if you didn’t go to Atlanta Comic Convention. The real draw was the huge deals in the dealer room. This makes perfect sense to me. If you want to start a big con in Atlanta, start with the only small con that has had success here. This gives Wizard the ability to sign up dealers who have done really well at the show before, while also making use of their existing lineup of fans who regularly attend. The problem with the other small cons was attendance. So Wizard has both their name recognition as well as the email list of everyone who goes to Atlanta Comic Convention. Makes perfect sense. And they get to use the name: Atlanta Comic Convention. As long as they keep it in the city not the burbs and don’t schedule the things against DragonCon or HeroesCon, this will be huge for Atlanta comic fans.

We went to the Atlanta show a couple of years ago, and it was very much a small, local show. Dealers, a few local artists (mostly from Gaijin), and a couple ex pro-wrestlers. Though I’ve done a lot of shows, I’ve never been to a Wizard World, and always assumed they were on a slightly grander scale. Who knows? As big-two-centric as Wizard seems to be, we’ve got a huge comics population and precious few avenues for the folks round here to meet outside the occasional drink-and-draw. I give the show my best wishes, and hope it does well.

Got this email from Tillander via his convention email list that clarifies the deal some:

HELLO EVERYONE,
IF YOU HAVENT HEARD WIZARD HAS BOUGHT ONE…..ONE ….OF THE ATLANTA COMIC CONVENTIONS 4 SHOWS A YEAR….THEY ARE GOING TO PUT A SHOW EITHER IN JULY OR DEC…THEY ARE LOOKING NOW FOR A DATE… THE WIZARD SHOW WILL BE CALLED THE “ATLANTA COMIC CON..WIZARD WORLD” AND WILL BE A 3 DAY SHOW.

.MEANWHILE ,
WE ARE STILL GOING TO HAVE OUR OTHER REGULAR 3 SHOWS PER YEAR…..THE FEB 7TH 2010 SUPERBOWL SUNDAY SHOW IS STILL ON….DEPENDING ON WHEN WIZARD SECURES THEIR DATE OUR OTHER SHOWS WILL BE AROUND APRIL/MAY, JULY, AND NOV/DEC….IF WIZARD CHOOSES TO DO A JULY SHOW…OUR SHOWS WILL BE FEB 7TH, 2010…APRIL/MAY AND NOV/DEC…..THEY ONLY BOUGHT ONE SPACE IN OUR SEASON.
AT THE END OF THIS EMAIL , IM GOING TO INCLUDE THE SECTION OF THE CONTRACT I SIGNED /WITH SHAMUS DETAILING THE SITUATION AND MY INVOLVEMENT WITH THE WIZARD SHOW.
WIZARDS /SHAMUS’S NEWS RELEASE WAS THE WORST WORDED / CONFUSING STATEMENT ANYONE COULD MAKE…
WIZARD DID NOT BUY THE ATLANTA COMIC CONVENTION…THEY BOUGHT INTO JUST ONE SHOW PER YEAR…AND I AGREE THE HELP THEM WITH THEIR 3 DAY SHOW…..
WIZARD SOUNDED SINCERE ABOUT TRYING TO DO A GOOD SHOW IN ATLANTA AND NOT STEPPING ON TOES LIKE THE PAST WIZARD CREW (I.E. HEROES CONVENTION) …I PLAN TO DO WHAT I CAN TO KEEP THEM TO THEIR WORD…BUT I HAVE A GOOD FEELING ABOUT THE WIZARD AGREEMENT AND THEIR PLANS FOR THE ATLANTA SHOW , OR I WOULDNT HAVE MADE THE AGREEMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE…

SORRY FOR ALL THE CONFUSION

AGAIN THE SUPERBOWL SUNDAY FEB 7TH , 2010 SHOW THE JOSEPH MICHAEL LINSNER AS THE GUEST IS STILL ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BELOW IS THE ACTUAL SECTION OF THE CONTRACT EXPLAINING THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF THE AGREEMENT …I WANT ALL RUMORS SQUASHED AND ALL FIRES PUT OUT!! SO READ THE AGREEMENT BELOW…AND I WILL SEE YOU ALL FEB 7TH, 2010…WE WILL PUT SOMETHING ON THE WEBSITE MAKING SURE EVERYONE , NOT ON THE EMAIL LIST ALSO GETS THE WORD…BUT IF YOU COULD, PLEASE TELL EVERYONE WHO ASKS …WE ARE STILL HERE AS LONG AS YOU GUYS AND GALS WANT US!! THANKS FOR 16 GREAT YEARS !!\

WES TILLANDER
http://www.ATLANTACOMICCONVENTION.COM

HERE IS THE ACTUAL WIZARD CONTRACT SECTION

….It is understood and agreed that Tillander shall be permitted to continue to promote , host, or otherwise run his current comic convention show in its present form. More specifically, it is understood that Tillander shall be permitted to continue to run his current comic convention show, known as Atlanta Comic Convention, and that Tillander shall be entitled to continue to promote said show no less than four occasions in a calendar year and Tillander shall be permitted to continue the name “Atlanta Comic Convention” along with the symbols and marks of the ACC…

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