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Fandom | Twelve-year-old Cameron Bippen was looking forward to attending Tampa Bay Comic Con, but had to miss the event due to unexplained seizures. Following his release from the hospital, Cameron’s neighbors in Riverview, Florida, threw him his own comic convention, complete with costumed guests and a visit from members of the Tampa Bay 501st Star Wars Legion. [Fox 4 News]
Tampa Bay Comic Con was scheduled to kick off this morning with a bid to set a new Guinness World Record for largest gathering of people dressed as comic book characters.
As you may recall, Washington, D.C.’s Awesome Con made the same attempt in April, but with just 237 fell significantly short of the record of 1,530 set in April 2011 at the opening of World Joyland theme park in China. And like the Awesome Con effort, Tampa Bay’s comes with restrictions — in this case, that the characters must have originally appeared in comics, rather than on television, film, video games, etc. Apologies in advance to all of the Harley Quinn cosplayers …
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]
Although many eyes this weekend will be on Fan Expo Canada, where DC Comics will reveal more details about the newly announced Justice League Canada, about 1,300 miles south Tampa Bay Comic Con is quickly emerging as an event to watch.
As the Tampa Bay Times notes, the fledgling convention has grown from about 550 attendees in 2010 to, based on advanced ticket sales, more than 20,000 for this year’s edition, which kicks off in an hour at the Tampa Convention Center.
The rapid growth is attributed largely to the increasing number of television and movie stars — actors from The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones headline this weekend — but Tampa Bay Comic Con hasn’t forsaken comic books. Guests of honor George Perez and Frank Brunner will be joined by the likes of Pat Broderick, Greg Horn, Joelle Jones, Mike McKone, Jimmy Palmiotti and Mike Perkins.
Tampa Bay Comic Con continues through Sunday.
Legal | Archie Comics Co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit is in court again, this time claiming sexual harassment by former friend Sam Levitin, who was her liaison to Archie after her legal feud with the company and C0-CEO Jon Goldwater was settled last year. Levitin has responded that Silberkleit “lacks functional communication skills and has an unstable temperament” and has a “venomous and destructive effect” at the company. Levitin asked the court in December to remove Silberkleit as a trustee of the company, and she responded in April with the allegation of sexual harassment against both Levitin and Archie Comics. An outside firm hired by Archie determined that her claims were “unfounded,” and the publisher is not a party in the latest lawsuit. [New York Daily News]
Legal | Jeff Trexler takes an in-depth look at the copyright battle between Marvel and Jack Kirby’s children. [The Comics Journal]
Comics sales | The direct market continued its rise last month, with comics and graphic novel sales up 22.59 percent compared to March 2012, according to Diamond Comic Distributors. Marvel routed DC Comic in this month’s sales, claiming 40 percent of the market to DC’s 27 percent. [ICv2]
Conventions | The fire marshal had to turn away hundreds of people Sunday from the DoubleTree Hotel in Tampa, Florida, where the two-day Tampa Bay Comic Con was being held. An estimated crowd of 4,000 were crammed into the lobby and the ballroom (which is designed to hold a maximum of 1,200 people), with many hoping to see The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan. Organizers conceded they need a larger venue for the twice-yearly event. [Tampa Bay Times]