We;re ve been telling you for a while now that the Shamus Brother, Gareb and Stephen, were looking to get back into the convention game. And they are back, with the Ace Universe.
Gareb, founder of Wizard magazine and the Wizard World shows, got out of the con game years ago to pursue his art career.
Stephen stuck on with Wizard World until he was bounced, amid some ugly legal maneuverings. That was all settled a while ago, but word on the street was that Stephen had good relationships with a lot of top celebs and was walking with them to start a new line of cons.
And now that line is here; Ace Universe. The first show is planned for December 8-10 at NYCB Live, the area around the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island (New York), and then on to Glendale AZ on January 13-15.
The Long Island date is the same weekend as the Walker Stalker show in New Jersey. GAME ON. The Long Island venue is the site of Long Island Comic Con/EternalCon, held in the summer, and the date is a week after WinterCon in Queens, so as always some mini turf wars.
As opposed to the current Wizard World brand which is scaling down to smaller venues and a potential 40-show roster, the Ace Universe brand is a lot more 2017, with arena-sized events, live streaming of all events, and a guest roster that includes Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miler, and other current DCEU and MCU stars.
UPDATE: Henry Cavill actually confired this with an Instagram post which, troublingly, showed a drawing of Superman with a moustache.
View this post on Instagram
So, there is this little movie coming out in November called Justice League. It may have come up on your radar once or twice. It involves a group of superheroes doing super heroic stuff. Facial hair is involved. Anyways, I'm here to let you know that you lovely people (who will undoubtedly have watched said movie at least 6 or 7 times by this point) will have an opportunity to come meet me, Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher and Ciaran Hinds in December at ACE Comic Con in Long Island, NY!! Whaaaaat? I hear you say. Yes dear friends, get all your moustache related questions ready because I will be there to answer them. I can't wait to meet you all and to also wax lyrical about DC on the big screen. @PrideOfGypsies @Gal_Gadot @Rehsifyar @AceComicCon #EzraMiller #CiaránHinds #JusticeLeague #ACEComicCon Photo: @Jfabok
Stars of this calibre normally get minimum gurantees in the low six figures. I’m told the Shamuses have been looking into funding for a while, and looks like they got it; given their connections and pedigree getting back into the space would SEEM like a slam dunk. Yes, the space is crowded, but stars of this calibre will bring out fans.
Gareb Shamus was back at Newsarama with his first interview :
What we’re doing is, we’re creating a more curated and immersive type of event. And someone who’s interested in superheroes – whether they’re a beginner or they’re in advanced stages of knowledge – they’ll be able to come to the event and be incredibly engaged in the experience of it and being a part of it. We’re switching the venue. Typically, comic cons occur in convention centers. We’re going to be in arenas. That creates a much more intimate space for people. And also, when you go to our arena, you feel like you’re going to an event. People typically go there for sporting events or concerts … and when they go there, they have this level of excitement that being in an arena creates. We’re going to be totally taking advantage of that aura of feeling that people have. It also gives us a chance to re-think how we want people to engage in this world. So rather than saying that we’re going to have these huge open floors where we have this obligation to fill up the space, we’re creating a much more curated environment.
The website is live, and the countdown has begun.
Ace is one of several con ventures that have sprung up, Former Wizard World President John Macaluso launched Fandemic, a Walking Dead heavy line of shows, unfortunately Hurricane Harvey scrapped the first event, in Houston, which has been rescheduled for next year.
And of course, there’s the general idea that the con market is softening. Will the Shamuses, who wrote the book on the autograph/flea market modern ”
comic con” be able to go Con 3.0 with streaming arena events?
We shall see!
Brothers Stephen and Gareb Shamus, the world’s most experienced producers of the wildly popular Comic Con conventions, today announced the launch of their new groundbreaking experiential company – ACE Universe. With 20 years of experience and 175 Comic Con shows to their name, the Shamus brothers have smashed the old model, which they pioneered, and developed a new immersive approach that will redefine the industry going forward.
ACE Universe is also announcing the dates and locations for its first events: December 8-10, 2017 at NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island (New York), and January 13-15 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ. VIP tickets for the Long Island event are on sale now, and General Admission tickets for NYCB LIVE will go on sale Friday, September 22, all via www.aceuniverse.com on Ticketmaster.com, nycblive.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the Ticketmaster Box Office located at the Coliseum.
Tickets for the Glendale, AZ, event will be on sale soon. Stay tuned to the website for more details!
Confirmed guests for the Long Island event include: Henry Cavill (Superman, Justice League), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman, Justice League), Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Justice League), Ray Fisher (Cyborg, Justice League), Ezra Miller(The Flash, Justice League), and Ciarán Hinds (Steppenwolf, Justice League), with more guests to be announced.
ACE Universe has secured partnerships across key sectors including Technology, Media, Entertainment, Gaming, Publishers, Manufacturers, Licensors, and Retailers to help create a robust experience for fans. The Comic Cons will be hosted in world-class Arenas, which bring a completely new set of aesthetics and benefits for attendees, including programming shown on the JumboTron, which means the fans will never miss a panel, regardless of where they are.
ACE Universe will be the first to provide free global live streaming to fans with wall-to-wall coverage of the entire Comic Con. Now, all fans can enjoy access to top-tier talent, breaking news and on-site programming as every aspect of the show will be fully streamed, social media friendly and available on mobile devices.
“We revolutionized the Comic Con industry in the 90’s, and we’re thrilled to do it all over again in 2017,” says Gareb Shamus, ACE Universe Chairman & CEO. “We believe this is the optimal time to shake up the industry and recalibrate with a complete and total emphasis on the fan experience. Our new platform is centered on creating an unforgettable experience for fans by featuring meet-and-greets with stars from the latest hit superhero movies, quality vendors, professional creators, superior venues and immersive programming.”
“We can’t wait for seasoned Comic Con fans to experience our events, and we’re excited to introduce all new types of fans into this incredible world, many of whom have never enjoyed a Comic Con before,” says Stephen Shamus, President of ACE Universe. “Families can now enjoy a curated experience with access to top name Film and TV talent, artists, writers and other creative professionals.”
In addition to the upcoming show in Long Island, ACE Universe will be announcing the full 2018 schedule, including dates, cities, tickets and VIP Admissions on www.aceuniverse.com. Stay tuned! Connect with ACE Comic Con at Facebook.com/acecomiccon & @acecomiccon on Instagram and Twitter.
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.