Home Conventions Shamus takes New Jersey

Shamus takes New Jersey


Most probably building off the pop culture phenomenon Jersey Shore, Gareb Shamus and the Wizard Convention tour are hitting New Jersey — but the locale will not be the piquant environs of the A.C., but rather Edison, an industrial/shopping complex near the spot where Thomas Alva Edison claims to have invented the light bulb in Menlo Park. Actually, Edison’s nickname was the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” so it is obviously a place where magic can happen.

The cumbersomely named New Jersey Comic Con Wizard World Convention is the NINTH announced WIzard show for 2010, and will take place October 15-17 at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center. These dates are, of course, one week after the great NYCC/Big Apple Con showdown when both Shamus and Reed Exhibitions have conventions planned for the same weekend and same street 20 blocks apart. Because what the Northeast needs is ANOTHER comics show right after the double whammy of these two shows.

Now, speaking as someone who grew up in the Garden State, all we can say is…a three-day show in EDISON? Sure, it is a transportation hub — but is anyone going to go to Turnpike Con for three days? And right after the two biggest local shows of the year?

On the pro side, according to the PR, the Shamus family has lived in New Jersey, making it an ideal spot for a fest.

Gareb Shamus announces today that he will produce New Jersey Comic Con Wizard World Convention this fall.  
“Much of my family lives or has lived in the Garden State. All my hometown friends there were bugging me to do this for them and their kids.” said Shamus, CEO of New York-based Wizard Entertainment. “Launching this event is exciting because it gives our fans in New Jersey a show to call their own.”
The NJCEC is the largest and most accessible convention center in the region. This venue will ensure fans have a comfortable and modern venue experience.  New Jersey Comic Con fans can expect a family entertainment-focused event with a concentration on comics, games and toys, while all aspects of pop-culture will be represented.
Tickets will be on sale shortly. New Jersey represents the latest in the ever-expanding Wizard World Comic Con tour.


  1. Hmmm… The Country Folk Art Craft Show is the same weekend… maybe the cosplayers can learn some new techniques…

    There does not seem to be any public transportation to the convention center. NJ Transit does run trains to Edison Station, but a taxi is required to get to the convention center. (Hiking is discouraged, as I-95 gets in the way.)

    “The NJCEC is the largest and most accessible convention center in the region” Uh… which region? Middlesex County?

    Given the cost to travel to New York City from New Jersey, this show might be successful as a regional show. Myself, I would schedule it in the summer, to encourage Friday attendance. Nothing is in the region during the summer (empty from April to October), making it a cheap alternative to San Diego or Chicago. Staff it with local talent, maybe one or two headliners.

  2. This is a suburban, drive-to destination. I believe there are several one-day dealer shows throughout Jersey — a Wizard show would surely succeed as a one-day Dad show. As a three day “comic-con”? Even without the timing I’m not sure.

    The annual Chiller Con takes place at Halloween a few weeks after at the Meadowlands, also in Jersey, so there is already an existing autograph show as well.

  3. Actually, the Edison train station is much further away from the convention center than the Metuchen or Metropark stations. A taxi from Edison station to the center would likely run $40-50 one way.

  4. Uhhhh…what?

    Agree 100% with Heidi, that a THREE-day show in NJ (we grew up there, too!) alone evokes an, “Ummmmm…okay…,” but a WEEK after the two competing NYC shows?!

    Tri-State area residents will primarily choose just to go to the big NYC show(s). If they’re looking for their local fix to hunt down back issues at small “dealer” shows, in NJ for example there’s the Clifton and East Hanover shows, that are similar to the Wayne, Paramus, and Springfield shows that Great Eastern did in the late ’80s / early ’90s. (We actually just started posting scans of those “Copper Age” schedules on the VeryFineNearMint.com blog.)

    Perhaps the Wizard people are shaping a discount deal for exhibitors and retailers for buying space in both the NYC and NJ shows? A big break on the cost of packing / shipping their stuff from one show to the next, if they go for both?

  5. Um..that’s a really big Wizard tour..

    I used to live by, & have gone to shows at, the center in question (Sugarloaf Crafts art shows). Nobody in Central Jersey can get –anywhere– via most mass transit. That is a really odd spot to have chosen. Perhaps the thinking is, it’s close to Rutgers, so, college kids?

    the other locations announced all make some sorta sense to me; there’s nothing big/comics in Austin, & even if it’s a kind of a Chicago showdown, I can see why that would happen. A Central Jersey – not North Jersey, like Chiller, where there’s transit to/from – I dunno. Plus it better be a one–day show: I have done three-day shows in Jersey back in the day, & even regional/smaller ones tanked badly because of insisting on holding to the 3-day stereotype. (NJ Super Mega show, anyone? Meadowlands?)

    Promoters lookin’ to do regional sized shows (Pittsburgh is a good exmaple) – be like ECCC (Emerald City Comic Con) that does a really tight 2-day show. Busy, happy, attended. What good does that third day do most shows, really? Friday = dead. Then Sunday =dead, as opposed to two BUSY days.

  6. Just to echo what Gary said — if you’re taking public transit, go to Metropark or Metuchen station. Edison’s a big sprawl, and the “Edison” station is too far away.

  7. There used to be another convention company that had more and more conventions over the years, but it got so big it imploded. Hard not to see that happening with Wizard.

  8. As I was reminded of today (coming back from the Ritz at Voorhees), you can get into Jersey for free but you have to pay to leave.

  9. Having lived in Edison most of my life until I moved to Los Angeles in 2000, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to go to Edison for any reason ever. There is no downtown, there are no fine hotels, there is nothing. It is an ugly, nondescript suburban nowhereville, and I mean that in the nicest way.

    When I returned to NJ in 2004, you can bet I didn’t head back to Edison, but a place with some character — Red Bank. There are great places to have a convention in NJ, one of them being New Brunswick, just a few mile down the highway. New Brunswick has a beautiful Hyatt Hotel, and several other hotels. It has Rutgers University, lots of restaurants, music venues, bars, a brew pub, a great place to hang out. And a major train station from NYC.

    Another location would be Asbury Park, again– they have plenty of nightlife, bars, music, restaurants, boardwalk, shops, and a convention center. Also a train station from NYC and Philly.

    Is it possible the Wizard people went the Detroit Con, found it was out in Novi, Michigan (near nothing) and figured if those guys could throw a con, you could throw one anywhere. Because Novi is the absolute worst spot on Earth for a con. And the last time I went, the toilets were overflowing.

    While I would love to see a con in my state, an event in Edison will only fuel the misconceptions about New Jersey.

Comments are closed.

Exit mobile version