Originally scheduled for Sept. 24-25, Wizard’s site now says the dates are “TBD,” while the Los Angeles Convention Center site still lists the show. Despite the fact that they’ve been very active on Twitter and Facebook the last few days promoting last weekend’s Wizard World Chicago show, Wizard has made no mention of a change in date, a cancellation or whatever is going on with the L.A. show.
“So, Wizard pulls the plug on the LA show, just five weeks out, after inviting me and inducing my purchase of a non-refundable room?” creator Ande Park tweeted earlier today. And in the comments section at The Beat, Simon Fraser wonders if he should cancel his flight or not.
Wizard initially announced a show in Los Angeles two years ago that ended up being canceled; this latest show was announced in April and already had a fairly large guest list in place. And as CBR noted earlier this year in a piece by Josie Campbell, the L.A. convention scene has grown considerably; the Long Beach Comic Con is scheduled for Oct. 29-30, while the Comikaze Expo is scheduled for Nov. 5-6. Comic-Con International is also considering Anaheim as a possible location for WonderCon next year.
Legal | As he promised he would do last month after a federal judge declared the heirs of artist Jack Kirby had no claim to copyrights on the superheroes he co-created for Marvel Comics, Kirby family lawyer Marc Toberoff filed an appeal Monday with the Second Circuit Court of Appeal.
“Specifically, the estate of comic book superhero legend Kirby — co-creator of Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, The Silver Surfer and Thor — sent notices terminating copyright to publishers Marvel and Disney, as well as film studios that have made movies and TV shows based on characters he created or co-created, including Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures,” Deadline reports. [The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline]
A few different news items related to comic news outlets have come across my desk recently:
- According to the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital site, News Corp. is planning to spin off the pop culture/video game site IGN, and in anticipation will acquire another pop culture/video game site, UGO.com — both of which cover comics.
- Publishers Weekly Comic Week, the weekly email newsletter edited by The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald, is switching to a monthly frequency. Per a post from MacDonald and PW’s Calvin Reid: “Although we are changing the frequency of the newsletter, the change will not diminish our overall comics coverage. Publishers Weekly will continue to cover graphic novels and comics in the book industry and traditional comics industry, publishing news and feature stories through the PW website and PW Daily as well as in our new monthly graphic novel newsletter.”
- And finally, via press release, Co-Chief Pop Culture Editor of Wizard World Mike Cotton has announced his last day with the company was April 29. By my count, that leaves Senior Associate Producer Carlos Mejia as the last man standing on the now-digital magazine‘s in-house editorial staff.
Wizard World Philly was a big success.
That little nugget of information comes straight from the mouth of Gareb Shamus himself, who introduced himself to me while I was furiously typing up one of the panel reports in the “media room” on the second floor. Apparently the rain, which had been coming down in buckets all morning, had been a contributing factor, keeping people in the city and avoiding outdoor activities. The end result, Shamus said (who by the way reminded me a little bit of Gary Groth, at least physically), was double the patronage they had last year.
I have to take Shamus at his word. I really didn’t get to spend much time on the ground floor except for occasionally circumnavigating the area once or twice, looking for anything that might catch my eye. My schedule was pretty much: get there, check out the first panel, write report, see a little con, eat, hit second panel, write report, go home.
Still, I did come up with some with some potentially worthwhile observations that I’d like to share if you have the time. You do? Excellent!
This past weekend Philadelphia welcomed Wizard World, while Charlotte hosted HeroesCon. Two East Coast conventions, separated by more than 500 miles and a couple of states. If you were away from your computer, then you may have missed some of the announcements that sprang from both venues:
• For years people have been asking for an “iTunes for comics.” Well, it looks like we might actually get one. Rantz Hoseley’s Longbox will be a free download available later this year for PC, Macs and Linux. Comics can be download for a suggested price point of $.99 per issue, with the potential for block and subscription pricing. BOOM! and Top Cow have already signed on.
• Marvel had a lot of announcements at the show. Spinning out of the Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover that kicks off any day now will be a series of one-shots that fall under the heading of Dark Reign: The List. Basically Norman Osbourn starts making a list of everyone standing in his way who he needs to do dirty, nasty things to.
The eight one shots and the creators working on them are:
Dark Reign: The List – Daredevil by Andy Diggle and Billy Tan
Dark Reign: The List – Wolverine by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic
Dark Reign: The List – Hulk by Greg Pak and Ben Oliver
Dark Reign: The List – Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert
Dark Reign: The List – Avengers by Brian Bendis and Marko Djurdjevic
Dark Reign: The List – Uncanny X-Men by Matt Fraction and Alan Davis
Dark Reign: The List – Secret Warriors by Jonathan Hickman and Ed McGuiness
Dark Reign: The List – Punisher by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.
The project was announced at around the same time both in Philadelphia and in Charlotte. For more info, check out CBR’s interviews with Bendis, Fraction and Remender, as well as Pak, Hickman and Aaron. Also, Aaron talks a little bit about his Wolverine one-shot on his blog; it will feature both Marvel Boy and Fantomex, as well as a new Weapon XVI.
Wizard World returns to Philadelphia today and runs through Sunday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Guests on the comics side for this weekend’s con include Dan DiDio, Walt Simonson, Garth Ennis, Kevin Maguire, Howard Chaykin, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Dan Slott, Joe Kelly, Fred Van Lente, JG Jones, Steve Dillon, Dennis Calero, Phil Jimenez, Alex Maleev, Jeff Katz, Mike McKone, Greg Pak, Paolo Rivera and more. On the media side, you can meet Edward James Olmos, Ray Park, Doug Jones, Michael Hogan, Max Brooks and many others. Check out the full guest list here.
Programming highlights include:
Wizard Entertainment has canceled its Los Angeles convention, originally scheduled for March, and will do the same with its Dallas show, Newsarama reports.
According to the website, the L.A. Convention Center already has been notified of the cancellation of the March 13-15 event. Unnamed sources confirm to the site that the planned Nov. 6-8 event in Dallas has been called off as well.
That leaves the troubled Wizard Entertainment with only two conventions: Philadelphia and Chicago.
It’s been a rocky few years for the company, during which time it canceled WizardWorld Boston after a lackluster debut, aborted plans for an Atlanta show, greatly expanded its online presence only to revert to its previous format, and laid off numerous staff in its convention and magazine divisions.
Update: Wizard has posted a brief statement on its website confirming the cancellation of WizardWorld Texas but describing the Los Angeles show as “postponed,” “due to the current economic climate.”