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Conventions | MorrisonCon and the Las Vegas Comic Expo aren’t the only comic conventions this weekend (more on them shortly): There’s also Wizard World Ohio Comic Con in Columbus, and Asbury Park Comic Con in New Jersey. Last year, Wizard took over Mid-Ohio Con and turned it into Wizard World Ohio Comic Con, and on the eve of this year’s event, the local alternative weekly looks at how the event has changed and what to expect. Meanwhile, Saturday’s Asbury Park Comic Con gets back to basics: “The problem that I have with the big comic conventions is that they’ve turned into pop culture conventions and it’s anything goes —anything from video games to wrestlers and bands, stuff that has nothing or very little to do with comics. What we want to do is bring it back to what brought us all together — our passion for comics,” says co-founder Cliff Galbraith. The event, which is being held in a rock club/bowling alley, features such comics guests as Larry Hama, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Dean Haspiel, Seth Kushner and Reilly Brown. [The Other Paper, Asbury Park Press]
Creators | The Hero Initiative offers an update from colorist Tom Ziuko, who was hospitalized earlier this year for acute kidney failure and other health conditions, and then returned to the hospital for emergency surgery about a month ago. “I can’t impress upon you enough how frightening it is to actually come up against a life-threatening medical situation (not to mention two times in less than a year), and not have the financial means to survive if you’re suddenly not able to earn a living. Like so many other freelancers out there, I live paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford health insurance. Without an organization like the Hero Initiative to lend me support in this time of dire need, I truly don’t know where I would be today,” Ziuko said. [The Hero Initiative]
Publishing | CNN asks the question “Are women and comics risky business?” as Christian Sager talks to former DC editor Janelle Asselin, blogger Jill Pantozzi, Womanthology organizer Renae De Liz and others about the number of women who work in comics, the portrayal of female characters and why comic companies don’t actively market books to women. “Think about it from the publisher’s point of view,” Asselin said. “Say you sell 90 percent of your comics to men between 18 and 35, and 10 percent of your comics to women in the same age group. Are you going to a) try to grow that 90 percent of your audience because you feel you already have the hook they want and you just need to get word out about it, or b) are you going to try to figure out what women want in their comics and do that to grow your line?” [CNN]
Conventions | San Diego City Council President Tony Young and Comic-Con International staff are working together on a “marquee event” at Balboa Park that around the time of Comic Con. While convention organizers are interested in a Balboa Park event, they don’t support Yong’s original proposal, a nationally televised parade that would kick off or end the con, saying that the logistics, traffic and crowding would be problematic. [Sign On San Diego]
Conventions | Ohio State University’s student newspaper covers this past weekend’s Mid-Ohio Con. [The Lantern]
Awards | The Visual Effects Society has named Stan Lee as the recipient of the VES 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors individuals whose “lifetime body of work has made a significant and lasting contribution to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry by way of artistry, invention and/or groundbreaking work.” Previous recipients include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen and James Cameron. The award will be presented Feb. 7 at the 10th annual VES Awards. [press release]
Organizations | The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund reports it raised $12,500 last weekend at New York Comic Con. [CBLDF]
Awards | Comic-Con International has opened nominations for the The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, which awarded to “an individual retailer who has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large.” [CCI]
Retailers | Little Island Comics — “the first kids comic book store in North America–maybe even the world” — opens its doors today in Toronto. The store is owned and operated by The Beguiling, and is located around the corner from the flagship store. The store will hold an official grand opening in a few weeks. [The Comics Reporter]
Publishing | DC Comics co-publisher and Justice League artist Jim Lee discusses his work on DC’s flagship title, which came out in digital form last Wednesday, the same day it hit comic shops. “It’s also setting records digitally. I can’t give numbers, but on the first day it set a record for us,” Lee tells Heidi MacDonald.
That leads Tom Spurgeon to throw a flag on the play: “… it looks like DC won’t be releasing its New 52 digital numbers but will feel confident in making claims on their behalf. It also looks like comics sites will then repeat this claim as news, perhaps qualified by source or as a claim but still putting that information out there. This should stop. I think DC has a really dubious history with using the hidden portions of their numbers to PR advantage — call it the ‘I have a girlfriend in Canada’ of sales analysis. My take is that this practice has intensified slightly ever since the numbers have become smaller and therefore more crucial. When in the 1990s sales on mainstream comics dipped to the point where people questioned the profitability of certain issues of certain titles, perhaps leading to a line of analysis about mainstream publishers making books at a loss for market share advantages or to knock other comics from the limited stand space, we were sometimes assured that there were sales elsewhere we didn’t know about that pushed certain comics over this projected threshold.” [Salon, The Comics Reporter]
Bone creator Jeff Smith’s busy travel schedule only begins at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. The creator will also hit Baltimore, Toronto, New York, Ohio and Italy this year in support of the 20th anniversary of Bone and the release of the Bone: 20th Anniversary Full Color One Volume.
In addition, he shares that the Bone One Volume Slipcase Edition, which is the same book that’s included with the $350 box set without the extra bells and whistles, will debut at the Mid-Ohio Con in October. Check out a picture of it after the jump.
Comics guests include Sergio Aragones, Kurt Busiek, Frank Cho, Todd Dezago, David Finch, Adam Hughes, Lora Innes, Barry Kitson, Tony Moore, David Petersen, Craig Rousseau, Billy Tucci, Ethan Van Sciver and Matt Wagner.
The event continues through Sunday.
Congratulations to anyone who had “Cleveland” on their Wizard World Tour bingo card: Wizard Entertainment CEO Gareb Shamus has announced “the re-launch of North Coast Comic Con as Cleveland Comic Con Wizard World Convention.”
In the now-traditional mode for Wizard’s aggressive convention-circuit expansion, former North Coast owner Roger Priebe will remain aboard as an advisor and consultant.
The new show’s venue and dates have yet to be announced, but depending on when Wizard’s Cleveland and Cincinnati conventions end up falling, we may see another front in the Con War develop, this time against the Columbus-based long-time regional player Mid-Ohio Con.
The Mid-Ohio-Con is holding a charity auction to benefit the Hero Initiative:
I wanted to let you know that the Mid-Ohio-Con charity auction is now up and running on eBay. The auction features original art and other work, including books and DVDs from our creative guests at Mid-Ohio-Con 2009, many of whom made incredibly generous contributions of their talent and time. Of particular note, the auction includes all the giant sketches (19″ x 24″) done by artists on the Main Stage easel during last October’s show.
Among the artists whose work is featured in the auction are Dave Aikins, Arvell Jones, Dick Ayers, Art Baltazar, Darryl Banks, Andy Bennett, George Broderick, Pat Block, Jacob Chabot, Jay Fife, Sean Forney, Michael Golden, Chris Giarrusso, Fred Hembeck, Lora Innes, Scott Kolins, Gary Kwapisz, Ren McKinzie, Todd Nauck, Chris Sprouse, Steve Scott, Mark Texeira, Billy Tucci, Uko Smith, Chris Yambar, and Thom Zahler.
All proceeds from the auction will go to benefit the Hero Initiative, a nonprofit organization that creates a financial safety net for comic creators who need emergency medical aid, financial support for the essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work, so I’d really appreciate it if you would spread the word so that we can get a lot of attention and proceeds for this year’s auction.
You can check out all the auction items here.