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Conventions | The inaugural Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo drew an estimated 27,500 unique attendees, slightly less than the 30,000 expected. “We felt it was an excellent launch,” Lance Fensterman, Reed Exhibitions vice president, told ICv2.com. “For the last year this show has been a theory. For the last three days people have been able to walk around and experience what the event, the concept, and the community are about, and now we can grow from here.” Christopher Borelli, Brent DiCrescenzo and Heidi MacDonald file wrap-ups from the show. [C2E2]
Publishing | According to ICv2’s annual white paper, presented during the Diamond Retailer Summit at C2E2, sales of comics and graphic novels in the United States and Canada fell 5 percent last year as the total market declined from an estimated $715 million in 2008 to $680 million in 2009. In the book channel, manga sales dropped by more than 20 percent, while sales of kids and young-adult graphic novels jumped by more than 50 percent. [ICv2.com]
While the inaugural C2E2 is getting the lion’s share of the attention, it certainly won’t be the only comics convention going on this weekend:
• The Anaheim Convention Center, one of the venues vying for Comic-Con International, will play host to the first Wizard World Anaheim Comic-Con Friday through Sunday.
Comics guests include Simon Bisley, Tim Bradstreet, J.M. DeMatteis, Glenn Fabry, Ale Garza, Phil Jimenez, Drew Johnson, Stan Lee, Rob Liefeld, Mike Mayhew, Arthur Suydam and Bernie Wrightson. Media guests include LeVar Burton, Yvonne Craig, Michael Dorn, Richard Hatch, Kato Kaelin, Juliet Landau, Lee Meriwether, Julie Newmar, Nichelle Nichols, William Shatner, Helen Slater, Brent Spiner, Lindsay Wagner, Billy Dee Williams and the kid who played Young Ben Linus on Lost. Doors open at 3 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
• Denver ComicFest kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn Tech Center in Denver, Colorado, and continues through Sunday. Guests include Dan Brereton, Amy Reeder Hadley, Zach Howard, Jon Boy Meyers, John Porcellino, Whilce Portacio, Fiona Staples, Matt Sturges and Noah Van Sciver.
• The ninth FLUKE mini-comics festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Ciné, 234 W. Hancock Ave., Athens, Georgia. Flagpole has a preview of the event, which will feature such cartoonists as David Mack, Eleanor Davis and Devlin Thompson.