Oh no not again. With the San Diego Convention Center’s expansion plans spiked, and Comic-Con’s contract up in 2016, people are once again asking will Comic-Con stay in San Diego? but the question does seem to have a more perfunctory tone than last time. As Lori Weisberg reports, Mayor Kevin Faulconer is all about keeping Con in San Diego and trying to get local hotels to keep their prices at the 2016 level for 2017 and 2018—and many are going along, but only because pretty much everyone realizes that keeping Comic-Con in San Diego is in everyone’s best interest. Anaheim is trying to jump into the mix again, but after a few WonderCons in Anaheim, I think everyone realizes that Anaheim is not San Diego, and the show would become a very different event if it moved. And besides, WonderCon is developing into a more significant event on its own.
Among the countries most taken by comic con fever is India. A lengthy email offering pr on this year’s Mumbai Film and Comic Con 2014, taking place at the Bombay Exhibition Centre from 19th December-21st December arrived in my mail box. Among the facts revealed: Guests include Nick Spencer, Nicolas Wild and Dan Goldman. She show will offer a 50,000 sq feet show floor and 100 exhibitors, including Amar Chitra Katha, Orange Radius, Pop Culture Publishing, Holy Cow Entertainment, Crimzon Studios, Simon and Schuster India, HarperCollins Publishers, Aayumi Productions, Shamik Dasgupta, Jazyl Homavazir, Pepper Script and Raj Comics.
San Diego Workforce Partnership, a local employment consultant, has released some stats on the con’s impact on local employment, concluding that convention center staffers are paid $320,000 for working during the con, which requires 100% of the staff where other cons only need 80-90%. This information was highlighted in some PR released by CCI, which I’ll quote below, but Con scholars will probably want to read the original report. Among other figures, SDWP estimates for $178 million in economic impact for the 2014 show. I believe this is the highest estimate I’ve yet heard for his metric.
With attendance of 151,000, this year’s NYCC is now the biggest reported North American comics convention, surpassing the San Diego Comic Con’s 130,000. According to show runner Lance Fensterman, the increase of 20,000 from last year was due to selling tickets for a full day Thursday, which was previously a half-day “pro day.
I’m told neither number includes pros and exhibitors and ‘industry support” however, so the exact number of numb and yet enthused people wandering the halls of either Comic-Con has not been released. Given the number of lookie-loos who hang around in San Diego, that event would still seem to be the biggest.
Many people wondered how NYCC could be bigger than SDCC when the Javits Center is smaller than the San Diego Convention Center. I’m sure Torsten can give us the exact dimensions, but on most lists I’ve ever seen, the Javits is actually larger than SD Convetion Center. This stat is misleading however.
The NC Comicon will be held this year November 15-16 in Durham, NC. I’ve attended the last two years and to be blunt, it’s a blast: a comics focused show in a great setting with lots of artists and enthusiastic fans. The show is expanding this year with more animation screenings—including the US premiere of a Kung Fa Panda short— as part of the second ComiQuest Film Fest. But there are also a ton of great comics artists including Fiona Staples, Sean Murphy, Bob Fingerman and John Paul Leon. John Barrowman provides nerdlebrity appeal. The show is run by retailer Alan Gill and artist Tommy Lee Edwards, and they put the effort in to make this a well rounded event.
I know you thought the “con kerfuffle” had faded away, but I think it’s definitely an ongoing burning issue for the industry, in a rapidly evolving field, and Chris Butcher, retailer and a show runner himself for TCAF, as well as booth runner for Udon, has posted a brilliant summation that puts all the eggs in one basket and then hits that basket out of the park:
Butcher identifies several trends, which I’ll list for argument:
OK, comicsphere, we need to talk about conventions. This convention hubbub that’s flared up in the last week or so is a fairly complex one. Just for the sake of the arguments that are still going on, let’s break this down into the individual issues that are affecting creators that are exhibiting at comics shows.
Issue #1 – CCINO
Yes, I’m borrowing from political rhetoric. “Comic Conventions In Name Only.” Ever been to an alleged comic convention that had little-to-zero comics programming, few (if any) comics publishers exhibiting and pretty much all the comics content was artists alley and anyone selling comics in the dealers area?
Last week Denise Dorman, wife of veteran artist Dave Dorman, who is best known for his excellent painted covers, wrote a post on her blogm which is called Comic Book Wife. The post was titled: The Hidden TRUTH About Comic Book Convention Earnings: For Creators, Have Comic Book Conventions JUMPED THE SHARK? in which she pointed out that sales for her husband were off at several shows this year, and given the costs of exhibiting—hotels booths, food, travel—it made more sense to stay at home and do actual money making work.
I’m not sure if this is a brand new thing, but hotels for the increasingly ginormous Emerald City Comicon how require a night’s deposit on booking. The main hotels are still pretty affordable—even the ultra swanky W Hotel where you get free Bliss facial cleanser and they change the rugs twice a day, is under $150 a night. But I guess given the popularity of the show and the early sell outs, some “hotel room jockeying” is taking place, necessitating a deposit to keep people from stockpiling hotels.
Following yesterday’s post on Salt Lake Comic Con’s attendance this weekend—widely reported as somewhere between 120,000-130,000—in which I examined some doubts about this number that have been expressed to me, I received a press release on the numbers, and some clarification from Bryan Brandenberg, Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of the show. He told me, “We feel real good about our numbers. The capacity for the Salt Palace is 150,000 not 82,000. We not only were in the Convention Center, but our film festival was at the Gateway two blocks away and our gaming tournaments were offsite as well. Besides ticket sales, we gave away over 15,000 tickets to schools, military, first responders and charities and we counted free kids.”
The third Salt Lake City Con was held this weekend, and it was by all measures a success, becoming the largest convention in Utah, with a reported 120,000-130,000 people attending. This is up from the 72,000 that attended the first one a year ago and the 100,000 that attended the spring FanX sister event. Stan […]
It’s the crazy fall season for comics and graphic novels, as the Baltimore Comic-Con blends into the Small Press Expo and then barnstorming cartoonists head north to the Brooklyn Book Festival, before everyone dons their waders for New York Comic Con. Baltimore is underway as you read this! What a great show1 I’m a bus […]
Summer 2014 behind us it’s time to move on to 2015 planning, as Wizard World has confirmed two more dates for 2015,
adding Louisville, KY and Reno, NV to its 2015 and bringing the total number of planned shows to 24. Tickets are now in sale for the first seven events of 2015, which will feature such nerdlebrities as Stephen Amell (“Arrow”), Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Tyler Posey (“Teen Wolf”), William Shatner (“Star Trek”),The Bella Twins and Michael Rooker. Get em while they’re hot! Here’s the complete 2015 schedule — new events are noted with an *. Still no return to New York City.
I can’t say this was unexpected, but here we go again: after the threat of endless legal battles, environmental group opposition, the lack of any real financing plan and perpetual local conflict, after spending $10 million in six years, the planned expansion of the San Diego Convention Center has been killed. KILLED. One of the […]
It was recently revealed to us olds that YouTube and other social media stars are actually more popular with teens than celebs old enough to be funny old aunt/uncle. Some of these stars are but teens themselves, and in the internet era it’s not surprising that video stars untether from network wisdom are very popular. […]
Yesterday I pointed out some negative tweeting about last weekend’s Intervention in Rockville, MD, a small webcomics/blogging focused show in its fifth year. Past guests Andrew Farago and Shaenon Garrity showed up in the comments to defend InterventionCon from complainer Jon Rosenberg, and then there was a bit of a sub-tweeting war between Rosenberg and […]