Home Conventions Con wars: Shamus retreats, moves Big Apple

Con wars: Shamus retreats, moves Big Apple

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Are the Con Wars East over, or at least moving into a new, less militarized phase? The Beatand his Wizard army have announced a MAJOR pullback from hostilities, moving the 2010 Big Apple Con, which has been scheduled directly opposite and 20 blocks north of the New York Comic Con on October 7-10, to October 1-3, a week earlier.

The Wizard shows had been planning a major offensive against Reed Exhibition’s New York Comic Con, with a slate of three East coast shows in a row — the New England Comic-Con in Boston on October 1-3, Big Apple the same weekend, and the new New Jersey Comic-Con the weekend after on October 15-17.

However, while the main surge has been called off, NYCC will still be surrounded by local shows, with the revamped Big Apple Con — now held back at its original locale, the Penn Plaza Pavilion — held the week before, October 1-3, and the New England Con held the week after, October 15-17. New Jersey, as so often happens, has been consigned to the limbo of “Date to be announced.”

According to PR, Shamus made the move thanks to industry support: ““We spoke with the publishers and their creators, and they worked with us to help facilitate new dates. They pledged their support, and we liked what they had to say.”

If what they were saying to Shamus was anything like what they were saying to us — “It’s nuts to hold Big Apple directly against NYCC and no one is going to support it” — then he must have REALLY liked it.

This infusion of reality to Wizard Central will come as a huge relief to the comics industry, which was increasingly, and uncomfortably, being asked to take sides on the matter. While planning your show a week before a show in the same town is still a jerk move, it’s the kind of jerk everyone can still talk to in the bar.

As noted above and in the PR, the Big Apple is also moving to the Penn Plaza Pavillion, which has had a major renovation. This facility is a good bit smaller than Pier 92, which has 280,000 sq, feet of exhibition space, way too much for a band of tiny Ewoks and hobbits, or the actors who once played them. According to their website, the PPP has over 50,000 square feet of conference space. We haven’t been to the renovated Penn Plaza, but it sure needed one, as previously the roof leaked.

PR below:

Wizard World CEO Gareb Shamus today announced changes to three of the events on the North American Wizard World Comic Con tour.  The Big Apple Comic Con will be held on Oct. 1-3 at the newly renovated Penn Plaza Pavilion in New York City.  The new dates for the New England Comic Con are now Oct. 15-17 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston, and the New Jersey Comic Con will move to a date to be announced shortly.

“We spoke with the publishers and their creators, and they worked with us to help facilitate new dates. They pledged their support, and we liked what they had to say,” said Shamus.

The new schedule will allow Wizard Entertainment to take advantage of the larger and newly refurbished Penn Plaza Pavilion (7th Ave. at 33rd St.) in New York for Big Apple Comic Con.  Located across the street from Penn Station, the Penn Plaza Pavilion is one of the most convenient destinations in all of New York City, and is also one of the highest trafficked areas in the entire country.

“We are excited about the move to the Penn Plaza Pavilion for the Big Apple Comic Con,” added Shamus.  “After we saw the upgraded and larger facilities, we knew we had a winning venue for the fans.  We are also thankful to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston for accommodating our change for our inaugural New England Comic Con.  We look forward to making an announcement regarding New Jersey Comic Con when details are finalized.”

The first guests scheduled to appear at Big Apple Comic Con 2010 are iconic artist Joe Madureira, as well as legendary actors Adam West and Mickey Rooney.  Expect a massive guest presence, as is customary with all Wizard World shows.

Fans are encouraged to check the Wizard World Website at www.wizardworld.com to see which special guests, celebrities and artists are scheduled to attend each event, as these will be updated as they confirm. Tickets are available now for Big Apple Comic Con and New England Comic Con.

Tickets purchased for any of the affected events will be honored for the new dates, or fans can request a refund or exchange if the new dates are no longer convenient for them.

  1. Then again, in Wizard’s defense, wasn’t the Big Apple-con’s big show usually held in October/November? NYCC started as a February/March thing, so it seems like they threw the first wrench into the works.

  2. Doesn’t change a thing. I won’t be going. It’s too late to try and make amends. Although I doubt that’s what Wizard is really trying to do anyway.

    Sucks when you get a divorce and your other half gets your toys.

  3. As I said when Wizard bought Big Apple…
    If they keep the same business plan of Big Apple–a dealer show with celebrities to catch people’s attention and a decent selection of comics pros–they will succeed.

    To compete against NYCC, a behemoth which is impossible to match, is folly.

    Yes, Big Apple cost a pretty penny to enter. However, I could always find unusual stuff to justify the cost, and since the comics guests are ALL artists alley tables, it was possible to chat leisurely with well-known artists and writers. Big Apple always seemed to be rooted in the tradition of hotel conventions from the 1970s. Publishers don’t have a presence, but lots of pros show up, along with dealers. It’s sort of like Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium relocates to Brigadoon.

    Even if the Penn Plaza wasn’t renovated, it was much better than last year’s locale at Pier 94, even with the plethora of columns. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt (Mickey Rooney?).

    Hmmm… what if there was a dealer show/bazaar which drew 50,000 attendees? Nothing but shopping…

  4. I never attended the Big Apple Con, but I remember being handed a card at NYCC and I think the date was usually in July.

    And as I recall, NYCC ’10 was announced the week of NYCC ’09 for October, explaining that the 17 month lag between shows was due to the availability of suitable space at the Javits Center.

    Shamus’ Big Apple Con was originally announced for Oct. 16-18 (http://www.newsarama.com/comics/040908-Big-Apple.html) and moved the show in Oct ’09 to match the NYCC dates (http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/10/world-war-con-big-apple-2010-scheduled-for-same-weekend-as-nycc-2010/).

  5. Remember when Wizard World shows were the #2 con in the country? Now they’re relegated to the sad cons that The Simpsons mocked. This is what happens when you burn bridges by trying to grub money from fans at every step and fire the hard working, dedicated staff who cared about putting on a good show.

  6. sorry,holding the big apple a week before the nycc is still too close for comfort. i’m sure many folks out there (myself included) only have enough dough for one con or the other. i’m saving my pennies for the nycc, which is a shame. if the big apple were held a few months before or after the nycc, i’d probably go to both. i really don’t get all this drama. it would be great to get three or four cons a year in this town (as was the case some years back with the carbonaro shows), one every few months or so. cons held this close together for the purpose of knocking out the competition just hurts everyone involved. sad and dumb.

  7. Mickey Rooney? Really? That’s the best they can do? It’s NYC fer cryin outs — I’ve seen bettter talent in Penn Station men’s room.

  8. I’m just a by-stander, watching the circus parade, so I’m not taking sides…

    4.5 months to go.
    The Wizard site promotes Adam West and Mickey Rooney (Black Stallion, Night At The Museum).

    Dunno who the comics GOH will be… that’s probably why Wizard changed the dates.

    Will Artist’s Alley (Ghetto?) be a ghost town with artists budgeting their money to NYCC?

    I do not know if Big Apple can still host smaller shows. Wizard should schedule four seasonal shows a year. Summer: celebrities and pop culture, to entice tourists and locals. Late Fall (October/November): a shopping bazaar to promote new toys and holiday shopping. Spring: Comics celebration, old and new. Antipodean from NYCC. At least three weeks away from MoCCA. At least one week away from C2E2. Winter: Anthology show…a little bit of everything. Perhaps reserve space and offer a first-timers discount for new exhibitors.

    Kids under 12 are free with an adult. (Heh… what if cub scout troops invaded Wizard World? What if Brownies invaded Wiazard World!!)

    I know I’m spoiled living in NYC…. there’s a comics show for almost every aspect… MoCCA, NYCC, Kid’s Con, SVA Meet Market, Big Apple, BEA, and a host of smaller “let’s put on a show” events.

    I want Wizard to succeed, because there are a lot of cities without decent shows (like Omaha…. 600,000 people… hello?) which are waiting to be Seduced. If there’s a national chain of shows, it makes it much easier to get the message out. (Yeah, we can debate how that message is presented.)

  9. Yay— the REED EXHIBITIONS’ Pop Group comics convention hegemony is nearly complete! Let the Nerds rejoice!

    Today the East Coast; tomorrow— the West?

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