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As promised, the online floodgates opened this morning to get tickets to Comic-Con International in San Diego. And while the past several years have often seen anger-inducing hoops to winning a chance at attending America’s biggest pop culture event pop up, the show seems to be locked in to a workable — if still flooded — system for its 2015 outing.
With the show’s Open Online Registration window being the chief way to gain access to Comic-Con one day at a time, hopeful attendees are refreshing browser windows loaded to the EPIC Registration page and checking both the SDCC Twitter account and the #SDCCOOR hashtag.
But amidst the typical outcry over frustrating load times and missed opportunities, many have also picked up the banner of the positive accentuating hashtag #BeTheCheerio. Seemingly originating from SDCC blogger An Englishman In San Diego, the phrase is meant to keep hopeful attendees’ eyes focused on the prize. As you wait to see if you made it in, check out some of our favorite Twitter responses to this year’s madness below the jump.
[Update: As we note below, the show sold out of badges in one hour, besting the previous year’s record by nearly 30 minutes.]
With the record-breaking attendance at New York Comic Con 2014 and the hit parade of Comic-Con International, it’s no doubt that comic conventions are big business. But as some who attend these events can attest, it can sometimes be difficult to find the comics amid the multimedia blitz. Not so with the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. The event is celebrating its 10th consecutive year May 8-10, with ambitious plans for the fiture.
If you had already had plans for Saturday morning, you’ll probably want to change them — at least if you’re hoping to buy badges for Comic-Con International.
Open online registration will begin shortly before 9 a.m. PT, although the EPIC Registration landing page will be accessible starting at 8 a.m. to allow hopefuls to enter their personal registration code and authorize their device or browser to enter the waiting room.
The president of last year’s festival, and the winner of the previous year’s Grand Prix d’Angoulême, was Willem, a staff cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo. He didn’t like to attend staff meetings, so he wasn’t in the office on Jan. 7 when two gunmen killed 12 people, including another Grand Prix winner, Wolinski.
“The 2015 festival will be a time to remember but we also want to demonstrate that life goes on,” said festival director Franck Bondoux. The commemorations include a special exhibit on Charlie Hebdo, a virtual album with contributions by artists from around the world, and a new award, the Charlie Prize, which will be awarded posthumously to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists this year, and in future years will recognize creators who have fought for freedom of expression. The town of Angoulême will also festooned with posters of Charlie Hebdo covers.
Just a week after announcing the acquisition of Pittsburgh Comicon, Wizard World Inc. has added another event to its rapidly expanding roster — the awkwardly named Wizard World Comic Con Presents Fan Fest Chicago.
Set for March 7-8 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois (longtime location of Wizard World Chicago), Fan Fest Chicago is billed as “a ‘thank you’ to loyal Wizard World fans.”
The admission price for Fan Fest Chicago will be considerably less expensive than most Wizard World conventions, at $25 for the weekend or $15 for either day. Additionally, those who have purchased VIP or four-day passes to the Aug. 20-23 Wizard World Chicago will be admitted for free to Fan Fest.
Wizard World Inc. it has acquired the 20-year-old Pittsburgh Comicon from co-founder and owner Renee George, although there apparently is some question as to what that means. A message tweeted Sunday from the Pittsburgh Comicon account stated, “the show did not sell out to Wizard. A statement will be coming from Renee regarding the situation soon.”
However, while there’s still no statement on the convention’s website or Facebook page, George is quoted extensively in the press release trumpeting the renamed Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh, scheduled for Sept. 11-13.
The addition of Pittsburgh brings the number of Wizard World events in 2015 to 25.
Comiket attracted a reported 560,000 attendees over the course of three days (Sunday to Tuesday), according to Anime News Network. That’s a record for the winter edition of the biannual event — it’s held in August and December — but about 30,000 shy of the all-time high set in summer 2013.
Held at the massive Tokyo Big Sight, the 39-year-old Comiket (aka Comic Market) is the largest comics festival in the world (Lucca Comics & Games is second, with paid attendance of about 240,000).
For comics fans in Southern California, this Cyber Monday deal may rise above the others.
Long Beach Comic Expo is offering 50 lifetime passes for the annual event for $249.99 each through Dec. 13. After that, you’ll have to shell out $349.99 for one.
Not to be confused with its fall counterpart Long Beach Comic Con, the two-day expo is moving from its traditional late-spring dates to Feb. 28 to March 1 for next year’s sixth-anniversary show.
Held at the Long Beach Convention Center, the event also plans to expand exhibit space and its creator and programming lineups. Announced guests for the 2015 convention include Chris Claremont, Brian Wood and Greg Weisman. The passes can be purchased on the Long Beach Comic Expo website.
UPDATE 11/25/2014 3:25 PM PT: A Comic-Con International representative has provided CBR News with the following statement:
There is no excuse for offensive or threatening behavior. The fact that it comes from a purported member of our committee is clearly upsetting. Even though we cannot control what an individual says, we can address issues that have a direct effect on our organization or persons affiliated with our organization. We would also like to mention this individual no longer holds a volunteer position with our association. We encourage any individual who feels threatened by these comments or others to seek assistance from law enforcement.
The reaction to the announcement Monday night that a grand jury chose decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown sent thousands to social media to voice their feelings on the decision. Within the comics industry, much of the discussion on Twitter has involved a self-identified Comic-Con International volunteer known as “Bill in San diego,” who has posted a series of inflammatory and disturbing tweets.
In case you weren’t able to make this year’s Thought Bubble: The Leeds Comic Art Festival, ROBOT 6 has rounded up snippets of the overall experience through social media. The festival, now in its eighth year, was held Nov. 9-16, ending with a two-day convention on Nov. 15-16. Beyond the final two-day event, Thought Bubble offered more than 80 comics-related opportunities — some in cooperation with the 28th Leeds International Film Festival.
Even as we try to figure out just how many people attended New York Comic Con and whether that number is really more than Comic-Con International’s 130,000, more than 400,000 people descended on Lucca, Italy, over the weekend for Lucca Comics & Games.
Paid attendance to the annual comic book and gaming convention was 240,000, but local reports indicate an additional 200,000 people flocked to the Tuscan city. As you can see from the photos provided to ROBOT 6 by art dealer Sal Abbinanti, the streets were jam-packed with people
– so packed, that the city of 87,000 closed the gates. Some attendees even climbed the city walls.
New York Comic Con is now the largest pop-culture convention in North America, with producer ReedPOP reporting it sold tickets for this weekend’s event to 151,000 unique individuals.
Comic-Con International has been forced to cap attendance at about 130,000 due to the capacity San Diego Convention Center, leading organizers to turn to nearby hotels and Petco Park for additional space. New York Comic Con last year strained the limits of the Javitz Center with 133,000 attendees. However, ReedPOP Global Senior Vice President Lance Fensterman told ICv2.com that by expanding Thursday to a full day this year, organizers were able to sell another day’s worth of tickets.
This year’s figure doesn’t include the inaugural New York Super Week, the weeklong series of 110 events held at 25 venues across New York City, Fensterman said.
Like most pop-culture conventions, New York Comic Con has a fairly extensive weapons policy — one that prohibits the obvious, like functional firearms (yes, BB and air soft guns are included) and, perhaps, the not so obvious.
Under the heading of “obvious” also falls firecrackers and fireworks, chemical weapons, any kind realistic firearm that could be mistaken for a real one, sharpened metal-bladed weapons, brass knuckles and the like. Less obvious, and sure to complicate more than a few cosplay plans, are functional longbows and crossbows, clubs, water guns, nunchaku, whips, and “hard prop weapons” made of metal, fiberglass and glass.
New York Comic Con producer ReedPOP, which just last month expanded to India, is now setting its sights on France.
The division of Reed Exhibitions kicked off its New York show today with the announcement of Paris Comic Con, set for Oct. 23-25, 2015, at the Grande Halle de la Villette. A partnership with Reed France and Japan Expo organizer JTS Group, it marks ReedPOP’s first European event.
ReedPOP, whose stable of events includes Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, PAX and Star Wars Celebration, has been expanding its international presence with the addition of the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention, Australia’s Oz Comic Con, PAX Australia and Star Wars Celebration Europe.
MICE, the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, is small but mighty. On Saturday and Sunday, the show will take over the second floor of Lesley University’s University Hall, better known to locals as the Porter Exchange. Admission is free, and the roster includes a mix of local creators, aspiring artists just out of school, and some big names, including special guests James Kochalka, Emily Carroll, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman and Box Brown.
We talked with one of the organizers, Dan Mazur (a comics creator and publisher in his own right), about the challenges of running a small indie-comics show in general and the unique qualities of MICE in particular.
Brigid Alverson: What is the focus of MICE, and how is it different from other comics festivals?
Dan Mazur: MICE is an independent/alternative comics show, in the vein of larger shows like SPX, MoCCA Fest and APE, and others like TECAF, CAKE, MECAF. … So it differs from the mainstream comic cons for its lack of superheroes, cosplay, etc., and for the preponderance of minicomics. But for those familiar with the alternative scene, I guess we do have more of a focus (though not exclusive) on a local comics scene, and also on kid-friendly material and activities, to a degree.