Wizard World has returned to Texas, but in indie-friendly Austin, as opposed to Arlington/Dallas the venue of the previous Wizard World Texas. according to a press release, Gareb Shamus is launching the Austin Comic-Con this November — the same time frame as the canceled Wizard World Texas.

Despite being an indie hotbed, and home to several video game and animation studios — Austin is HQ for Richard Linklatter and Robert Rodrigeuz, not to mention Harry Knowles — Austin has yet to become a national stop on the comics tour — perhaps because SXSW, the indie music festival, has such a huge presence. Existing comics events include the very well regarded indie show STAPLE! in March and Webcomics Rampage in December.
PR follows:

Gareb Shamus, CEO of New York based Wizard Entertainment, today announced the launch of Austin Comic Con 2010 Wizard World Convention, to be held at the Austin Convention Center from November 12-14, 2010.

Fans have been asking for this event for some time. In an e-mail to Shamus, Larry Nickels Jr. wrote, “There are many people that I know of personally who would love to attend the convention if it is returned to our great state.”

Another fan, Matthew Adamic put it more succinctly with, “Bring back Wizard World Texas.”

“The fans have spoken and they want us back in Texas. We previously had a great experience here and are thrilled to be back,” said Shamus. “It’s a great city with a top-notch convention center and we’re really looking forward to seeing our fans at the type of pop-culture festival only we can bring.”

Austin is now the seventh city in the Wizard World Comic Con tour. Attendees can anticipate the strong caliber lineup of stars and exhibitors that fans across the nation have come to expect.


  1. Once upon a time, Austin seemed like a hotbed for all things indy comics. I’m not as sure if you can say that now, however. Still, this is a good move by Shamus as convention space will be cheaper there than in Houston or Dallas and Austin is a destination hot spot, cheaper and more centrally located.

    One oversight the Shamus/Wizard didn’t consider: They scheduled the show on a UT home football game weekend against Okla. State. The newly renovated stadium seats about 100,000 and a lot of those folks stay in hotels overnight. And the battle for parking, traveling on I-35 and just getting around the DT area can be horrific on game days. Not sure if geeks will have the testicular fortitude to brave “Longhorn Gameday.”

  2. Smart move by Shamus. Austin is full of comic lovers, crazy indie kids, and good vibes.

    And very noncommittal. I moved to New York because of the LACK of a solid, driven community in Austin. There’s a few published writers and a few pencilers for DC, and a shitton of startup webcomics creators (who don’t make a living at it), but that’s really about it. And I’ve LOOKED. It was lonely in that city.

    However, maybe this will at least help spark more interest in the younger community, at least. They have plenty of passion, and I’ve seen some incredibly promising talent, just not a lot of reasons to build a self-publishing community like there is in cities like Portland or Chicago or New York. Every anime convention held in Austin has failed within the course of a few years, not to mention finding a decent-sized convention hall that is neither too large nor too small is something of a feat, and a complaint I’ve heard for years from people trying to set up shop in this midsized town. The only comics consistency in Austin is Staples, and well … most everybody I’ve known who’s attended has been unimpressed.

    A lot of people use the word “Indy” when talking about Austin, but they’re not talking about comics. Or even art, because the art community sucks just about as much. Indy in Austin is Music.

    But damn if I wouldn’t like to see that change!

  3. They scheduled the show on a UT home football game weekend against Okla. State.

    Eek. Ouch. I know I would stay home! NOT a good day to be about town in Austin. Unless you like running into drunk revelers and angry/pissed losers and traffic, traffic, and more traffic. Plus, the stadium and the school or right smack downtown, and people pay premium money for hotel rooms during that time. Public transportation in Austin is next to nonexistent, so don’t count on staying cheap somewhere on the edge of town!

    If they can, they should hold it sometime in either April or May. The weather at that time is gorgeous, and everywhere you look is blooming with wildflowers. Plus, not a lot going on then. SXSW happens in the summer and ACL Fest now happens in the fall. And they would NOT want to compete with either! Or melt all the comics fans in the scorching 100 plus degree summer weather!

    Though considering the sub-freezing temps in NYC right now, I’d be happy to trade! :D

  4. how well does STAPLE do?
    does it do well enough to make people think that the city might support a Wizard World style show?

  5. One oversight the Shamus/Wizard didn’t consider: They scheduled the show on a UT home football game weekend against Okla. State.

    I suspect it’s no oversight. How else would Wizard get such a deal on the convention center?

  6. The UT stadium and gameday traffic aren’t downtown, they’re several blocks north. There are plenty of shuttles for football fans that lessen traffic even further. I-35 will be messy, but it’s messy every Saturday. And assuming a home football weekend will fill the town with drunk, angry losers is as accurate as assuming a con will fill it with losers – neither is accurate.

    I attended the 2009 Fun Fun Fun Fest on a game day, an independent music festival staged in Waterloo Park (far closer to the stadium than the convention center, and with several thousand attendees), and it was fine.

    I’ll grant that hotel space will be an issue, so book soon. Otherwise, it’s not a big deal.

  7. I look forward to it and the chance to chat with more people reading the ANGEL comic which sold pretty well here in Austin. While there is a ballgame in that three day weekend, I am sure that there is a chance people will work in time for the show depending on the guest list.

    I’m much more in the let’s-try-it camp than the I’ll-pass-because-it-might-suck camp.

  8. The convention center calendar expects 10,000 attendees. Wizard World conventions are destination events, drawing regional crowds. Will people travel from Dallas and Houston and San Antonio? Probably.

    Suggestions: change the name to Texas Comic-Con, to emphasize the region, and to allow the Con to be relocated if necessary. (Quarterly Cons, rotate cities, San Antonio in Winter, Dallas in Spring, Houston, Austin…) Also, work the state flag colors and Lone Star into the logo. Brownish red? Yech. Red, white, and blue? Score!

  9. Texas already has the Dallas Comic Con. It was here before Wizard World Texas, and it’s still here. More importantly, it’s a great show and very accessible for fans, and they get phenomenal guests. Does Wizard honestly think by going to a different city that everything will fix itself? Their show failed here for a reason. All they are doing is bringing back their failure, just slightly more South though. If you haven’t heard about it, you should check out the next Dallas Comic Con info here http://www.dallascomiccon.com – they have Tim Sale, Adam Hughes, and more.

  10. Rivkah, not sure who you’ve been talking to but I get just the opposite response from people I know who’ve attended STAPLE.

    Last year was my first STAPLE, which “buoyed my spirits” about the Austin alternative comics world. A refuge from the last big Austin indy comics boom (in the 90s when I served as managing editor for Blackbird Comics and MOJO Press), STAPLE is THE event I’d been hoping for during all those years of failed cons– a gathering of a wonderfully diverse talents.

    (I chronicled my STAPLE experience here http://www.sfsite.com/columns/graphica293.htm and my radically different experience at the last Dallas Wizard World http://www.sfsite.com/columns/graphica285.htm)

  11. Mike: You’re so right about hotel space. Spent a late October weekend working the LiveStrong show and hotel space was at a premum even though UT was playing at Missouri. Just the possibility of dealing with Longhorn Gameday will keep lots of people away.

    Rivkah: Agree on the woeful lack of public transportation in Austin, which amazes me considering the area. I also agree with you about the discrepancy in perception between indy crowds in Austin. Yes for music, yes for better overall lifestyle, no for comics.

    Gettysburg: You nailed it. A show run by a local individual or group will do better than WW in the long run, I think.

    Torsten: Great suggestion about the TEXAS Comic-Con. If there was a way they could add COWBOYS to the name, no doubt it would sell out… ;)

    Everyone: I’ll throw this one out for comments. I think proximity to a world class comic shop that promotes all kinds of books trumps today’s convention experience. I love going to conventions, mainly to see friends, not to buy books I can find somewhere in Central or South Texas.

  12. 1. SXSW is in March, usually during spring break.

    2. The UT campus and stadium ARE downtown.

    Just wanted to point those mistakes out. Have fun.