X-POSITION: Phoenix, Upstarts & More Tear Up Bowers & Sims' "X-Men '92"
Conventions | The San Diego Tourism Authority is asking hotels in the Comic-Con International room block to freeze their rates at the 2016 level for the following two years, as part of its bid to keep the convention in the city. Already, 30 of the 50 participating hotels have agreed to do so. Meanwhile, Mayor Kevin Faulconer will attend the next Comic-Con board meeting to make an appeal to organizers to remain in the city; Tourism Authority CEO Joe Terzi said Anaheim has made a bid for Comic-Con, but the city’s convention bureau wouldn’t comment.
A plan to expand the San Diego Convention Center collapsed after the hotel-tax funding scheme was ruled unconstitutional, but Anaheim is preparing to break ground on its own 200,000-square-foot expansion. However, Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer said, “Some people had mistakenly implied that an expanded convention center would be the thing that solidified our decision to stay or go, but there are a number of factors to be addressed: hotel room rates, available space within hotels and outside the center, things that could mitigate the issue of having outgrown the convention center. An expansion would be great for the city and us, but if it doesn’t happen we’ve been able to make do without it, and if we can mitigate the concerns we do have we’ll be able to stay here.” [U-T San Diego]
Settling into an apparent “every other year” pattern, D23 focuses on “what’s new and what’s on the horizon from theme parks, television, music, games and films, including Pixar, the Muppets, Star Wars and Marvel.” At past D23 Expos, Disney has brought out everyone from Johnny Depp, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow to announce the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, to the almost-complete cast of Avengers. Last year saw Tom Hiddleston singing “Bare Necessities,” while Disney and Marvel teased their “Seekers of the Weird” comic project.
Advance tickets for D23 Expo 2015 will go on sale at D23Expo.com beginning Aug. 14, 2014.
Conventions | WonderCon was held in Anaheim, California, this year because the traditional venue, San Francisco’s Moscone Center, was closed for renovations. Heidi MacDonald wonders whether the shift will be permanent, and a lively debate ensues in comments. SFBay, meanwhile, informally surveyed exhibitors, and found many retailers saw a steep drop in sales from last year, while many artists saw an increase in revenue. [The Beat]
Retailing | ICv2 sees an uptick in manga sales in comics stores and speculates that the Borders bankruptcy has led readers to a variety of different channels, including the direct market, which could be an opportunity for comics stores to expand their customer base. [ICv2]
Digital comics | Digital distributor comiXology will offer HD versions of all its comics for readers who use the new third-generation iPad, and Jason Snell says the new retina display and the HD comics make for a much better reading experience. [Macworld UK]
Although Comic-Con International’s yearly WonderCon show usually likes to spend its springtime in scenic San Francisco, this year it’s taking a road trip down south to spend some time in the happiest place on Earth … or right next to it, anyway. WonderCon runs this weekend, March 16-18, at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center.
Special guests at this year’s show include Arthur Adams, Renae De Liz, Mark Evanier, Michael Golden, Joe Hill, Rebekah Isaacs, Carol Lay, Jim Lee, Mike Mignola, Todd Nauck, Steve Niles, Eric Powell, Humberto Ramos, Bob Schreck, Scott Snyder, Ryan Sook, Fiona Staples, Richard Starkings, J. Michael Straczynski, Mark Waid and Marv Wolfman. On the media side, the con will welcome Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Jorge Garcia, Joshua Jackson and John Noble, among many others. No Mickey Mouse, but Disney is offering special deals on tickets to the park for WonderCon attendees.
You can find the complete programming schedule on the CCI site, and here’s a round-up of various things you can do, buy and expect to find out about at the show …
Advance registration has opened for WonderCon 2012, which will be held March 16-18 at the Anaheim Convention Center while the event’s traditional venue, San Francisco’s Moscone Center, undergoes renovations.
Three-day adult badges cost $40 in advance ($50 onsite), while junior/senior badges go for $20 ($25 onsite). One-day passes for Friday or Saturday are $20 for adults ($25 onsite), and $10 for juniors/seniors ($13 onsite); Sunday badges are $10 in advance for adults ($15 onsite), and $5 for juniors/seniors ($7 onsite). Badges can be purchased on the convention website.
Special guests for WonderCon 2012 include Sergio Aragonés, Mark Evanier, Matt Fraction, Michael Golden, Mike Mignola, Steve Niles, Eric Powell, Bob Schreck, Fiona Staples and J. Michael Straczynski.
Despite a report that WonderCon will be held next year in Anaheim, Calif., because of renovations to San Francisco’s Moscone Center, event organizers say no final decisions have been made.
David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations for Comic-Con International, tells The Comics Reporter that while the organization is considering the Anaheim Convention Center as one of the possible locations for 2012, it’s possible that WonderCon could remain at the Moscone Center, its home since 2003.
He explained that although organizers were initially told there would be no dates available next year because of the construction, that recently changed. Now, with Comic-Con over, officials will turn their attention to the dates and facilities included in the new proposal.
Conventions | A labor union that represents hotel workers embroiled in a fight with Disney hotels has warned organizers of Comic-Con International that if they move the convention to Anaheim, they could find their “future events caught in the middle of a bitter labor dispute that could jeopardize their success.” Unite Here Local 11 has been been in a standoff with Disney over the company’s proposal to increase the amount hotel workers contribute to health-insurance coverage to a level that would represent a week’s pay for employees who make $11 an hour. [LA Weekly]
Passings | Mark Evanier reports that Howard “Howie” Post, a mainstay of comics and animation, passed away last week, reportedly due to Alzheimer’s. He was 83. He wrote and illustrated funny-animal comics for DC beginning in the 1940s, and is often credited with helping to create Spooky, Hot Stuff the Little Devil and other characters for Harvey Comics. He worked for Marvel in the 1950s and again in the ’80s, drawing titles like Heathcliff and Strawberry Shortcake for the publisher’s Star kids line. Post also created the comic strip The Dropouts, which was syndicated from 1968 to 1981. [News from ME]