Are there too many comic cons?
Apparently not because John Macaluso, who was the showrunner at Wizard World until about a year ago, is launching his OWN line of shows, Fandemic. The inaugural show will be held Sept. 15-17 in Houston, at the NRG Center. The nerdlebrity A-lists guests are out for this, with Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Bruce Campbell, Michael Rooker, Jon Bernthal and more. listed as appearing. On the comics side the list is smaller but the Renee Witterstaetter crew is on hand, with Art Suydam, Michael Golden and so on.
Macaluso was always a straight shooter with me when he was at Wizard and I was happy to see him get back into the space. In a phone conversation he told me the goal for Fandemic is a series of no more than 2-4 shows a year. He’s targeting under-served con areas — which are hard to find he admits. Texas would not seem an underserved region but it can be as far as GOOD shows in some areas go at times. Edited to add: I understand the only major show in Houston at this time is Comicpalooza which has some flaws, so a fairly open territory.
He told me that one thing he was proudest at of his days at Wizard was that “people always felt comfortable at our shows, from the guests to the vendors to the fans. And that’s our philosophy: take care of the fans first. No long lines. Good programming.” He added, “When I do a show it’s like you’re coming to my house. The place had better be clean and we’re going to treat you like a guest.”
Fandemic has lined up some experienced folks to help run the show, and Macaluso shared a few details off the record which…if they pan out could definitely make some noise in the con space. Yes, even at this crowded time.
And they are actively looking for more guests and exhibitors, so if interested contact info is on the website.
Here’s the Fandemic mission statement from the website:
It is with great pleasure that we bring the FANDEMIC tour to you. Our core values place you, our fans, first and foremost. Every member of our team is committed to our mission. We pledge to present events that bring the highest tier celebrities, artists, and exhibitors and to create immersive programming that is both fun and educational. Our mission is simple: take care of the fans.
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.