The Wizard Toronto Comic-Con must have been a blazing success, because as this widely circulated pull quote indicates, Wizard con organizer Gareb Shamus is planning to ramp up his show schedule even more:
…Gareb Shamus, the CEO of Wizard, said Monday that the reach and duration of the 12-city schedule is alluring to publishers, studios and game makers who might get lost in the din of the San Diego scene.
“We want to create an atmosphere that’s different than San Diego, one that has real access to the stars and is about celebrating these characters in many media, which includes Hollywood films but goes well beyond that,” Shamus said. “San Diego has done a spectacular job. It took them 40 years to build it up to what it is. But there’s other ways of doing things, and people are responding to that. We have 12 shows that we started or bought, and next year we expect it to be 20 to 25. There’s a lot more coming.”
Just where those 8-13 extra shows might go is open to question — Wizard’s schedule is currently big in the Midwest and East with only the Anaheim Comic-Con next weekend representing the West Coast. And as the article quoted above shows, the concept of “comic-con” is getting to be a popular activity with many different groups, not just comics fans, so a tour isn’t necessarily impossible.
Already, the Anaheim convention has lined up more than 150 special guests, ranging from reality-show stars and 70s T.V. actresses to pop singers and sci-fi heroes. But the most-established Wizard event in Chicago for the 15 years had about 100 television and movie stars, Shamus said. Wizard is still adding more stars to its Anaheim convention every day. Organizers are unsure exactly how many attendants will show up. The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau is expecting between 8,000 and 10,000 convention goers, while Wizard projects an attendance of up to 30,000. “We are getting a tremendous response to the event,” Shamus said. “Not only from celebrities, but from our fans.”
No matter who’s right, it’s a great preview for the proposed move to Anaheim for San Diego. Where will people eat? Where will they sleep? Where will they pee and put on their armor?
So who’s going to Anaheim? We’re looking for on site reports!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.