Salt Lake Comic Con
Organizers of Salt Lake Comic Con, whose sold-out inaugural show in September attracted a reported 70,000 attendees, have announced two events for next year: Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience (April 17-19), and the second annual Salt Lake Comic Con (Sept. 4-6), both at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Fans in and around Utah have spoken and made it clear that one event a year is not enough,” Dan Farr, the convention’s producer, said in a statement. “This FanX will build upon the accomplishments of the first Comic Con and has expanded into virtually the entire Salt Palace Convention Center. With continued support from the fans we can rival the largest Comic Cons in North America.”
The success of the first show, characterized as Utah’s most well-attended convention, reignited discussion of a new mega-hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. The proposed $350 million project, which would have been funded in part with tax dollars, was narrowly defeated by the state legislature in March.
The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus will headline April’s FanX, joined by his co-star Chandler Riggs, Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members Brent Spider and Marina Sirtis, X2 actress Kelly Wu, and Firefly actor Adam Baldwin.
Publishing | Viz Media, the largest U.S. publisher of English-language manga, is poised to jump in to a new market: India. Kevin Hamric, the company’s director of publishing and marketing, was there this week, and he says the demand is there. “With India’s growing book and reading sector we have identified it as key to our growth,” Hamric says. “We receive many, many requests each and every month from fans in India to bring our product here.” [The Hindu Business Line]
Comics | As the Avengers turn 50, Noel Murray recounts their history and explains why they work so well as a super-team. [Hero Complex]
Conventions | The founder of this month’s incredibly successful Salt Lake Comic Con — it drew about 70,000 attendees in its first year — is planning a spinoff event for Jan. 9-11, the weekend before the Sundance Film Festival. [Salt Lake Tribune]
Publishing | Sales of comic books and graphic novels to the direct market dropped sharply in August, compared to the same month in 2012 (10.39 percent and 24.55 percent, respectively), but ICv2 attributes the decline — at least as far as periodicals is concerned — to August 2012 having five Wednesdays while last month had just four. Year-to-date sales are still up over 2012, although things seem to be slowing down a bit. DC Comics shipped more comic books, but Marvel won in market share, and the top-selling graphic novel was the first volume of The Walking Dead, which points to a dearth of new graphic novel releases. [ICv2]
Conventions | Attendance exceeded 50,000 at the first Salt Lake Comic Con, held over the weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah. This article focuses on families with children who attended, and includes some interesting conversations with parents who are obviously fans themselves and take an active interest in their children’s comics reading. [Deseret News]
On the eve of Salt Lake Comic Con, which kicks off today in Salt Lake City, Utah, organizers added one more person to the already-bulging guest list for the inaugural event: legendary writer and editor Stan Lee.
He’s certainly the biggest name in a creator lineup that includes Greg Horn, Ryan Ottley, Batton Lash and Mike Baron, who’ll appear this weekend amid television and film personalities like William Shatner, Adam West, Burt Ward, Dean Cain, Nicholas Brendon and Henry Winkler. Lee will make a nice addition on Saturday, but it’s not as if Salt Lake Comic Con need the boost at this point.
According to organizers, 30,000 tickets have already been sold, with founder Dan Farr predicting last week predicting last week (when just 20,000 had been sold) that attendance will far exceed 40,000. By comparison, New York Comic Con attracted 33,000 people in its first year (although organizers had anticipated just 10,000).
Still, Farr has had Lee in his sights for a while. “Literally for months we’ve wanted to have Stan come,” he tells The Salt Lake City Tribune. “He’s the father of comic books. He’s done so many shows for so many years — I knew at some time he’s going to start tapering back, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity.”
Conventions | Next week, Salt Lake City will get its first comics convention, Salt Lake Comic Con, which has already sold a reported 23,000 tickets (the event’s website says 20,000). But founder Dan Farr expects attendance to far exceed 40,000, surpassing the 33,000 recorded for New York Comic Con’s inaugural year.[Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune]
Conventions | Oni Hartstein, the co-founder of Intervention, talks about why she established the Washington, DC-area convention and why its DIY aspect sets it apart. [Comic Riffs]
Graphic novels | ICv2 has the July BookScan numbers, and six of the Top 10 titles are from Image Comics (four Walking Dead, plus both volumes of Saga). The latest volume of Sailor Moon tops the list, and the first volume of Attack on Titan shows up at No. 12, which is pretty good for a book that came out more than a year ago. The only DC Comics or Marvel titles to crack the Top 20 were Hawkeye, Vol. 2 (No. 18) and perennial bestseller Watchmen (No. 19). [ICv2]
Conventions | Fans are gearing up for next month’s Salt Lake Comic Con (which another article estimates will attract more than 25,000 attendees), but the announcement that professional cosplayer Jessica Nigri will be there has caused a minor controversy. [The Salt Lake Tribune]