But it was not just India that had a con, the US con season continued with the New Orleans Comic Con, a Wizard show that, as the above Instagram shows, had tons of people to see Matt Smith talk Doctor Who and so on. More on the Wizard World Instagram account. If the number of tweets from comics pros excited about eating at Commanders Palace is any indication, the early February time frame for this show is a popular one.
In reading the usual enthusiastic reports on the show, I was amused to see a piece by Rebecca Doctor for the LSU college paper which did not get the memo about not mentioning certain things:
Despite the low turnout on day one, Friday at “The Con” still held adventures in the form of panels and the miraculous number of people in costume. One of the highlights for many in attendance was cosplaying, the act of dressing up as a character from a comic book, video game or movie, and on the first day of the event, many were dressed in full garb.
The panels as a whole had few in attendance, but that didn’t detract from the engrossing information provided by those speaking. One of the most fascinating panels was “Getting Respect: Comics Go To College,” a talk focusing on the comic book’s place in academia. It was led by scholars from Henderson State University in Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana University, all of whom use graphic novels in their courses (both psychology and English).
And Doctor was also disappointed with another element of the show:
The main letdown of the entire event was “Sci-Fi Speed Dating.” From this title, many would imagine a large room complete with a stage and an announcer, but the charade consisted of only two lines of chairs facing one another with un-costumed people having basic conversation.
I don’t know what those college kids are doing these days, but “basic conversation” seems more typical of dating than a large room with a stage and an announcer.
The LSU Reveille had two other reports on NOCC, though proving that college journalism is alive and well and the show was overall a good time.
I can second the notion that it was a good show–our sales were better than the three previous shows, and the crowd was definitely bigger (Matt Smith maybe had a tiny bit to do with that, as by far the most-seen costume was some form of a Doctor).
Friday was brisk, and a couple vendors mentioned doing Saturday numbers despite the show running from just 3pm-8pm. Saturday was nuts, and Sunday sales were better than Friday’s.
The key (for us at least) is grabbing a chunk of the casual fans and turning them into readers–with a ton of potential readers showing up, it was a fun show for us.
I’ve been hearing better things coming out of Wizard this past year. I personally haven’t attended one of their shows in two years but gauging the comments made by artists and exhibitors they seem to be moving in a different direction then the old Wizard. They have stepped up their guest list celebrity and comic creators alike. I always judge a convention by the programming that is offered, and there is a night and day difference from the Wizard of old and now. I personally would have loved to go to this panel and a bunch of others.
11:00 – 11:45AM 1939: THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING (BATMAN WAS JUST THE BEGINNING!)
75 years ago, as fateful events that would lead to the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 were coming together in Europe, the U.S.A. was experiencing, in the same year, an explosion of popular culture. In 1939, Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27; Timely (later Marvel) Comics released Marvel Comics #1, showcasing the first Marvel superheroes, Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch; and Hollywood produced classic films including The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and Stagecoach. Discussing historical and cultural factors that made that year so important is a panel including Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson (granddaughter of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, the founder of DC Comics); Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans; Blade), Travis Langley (author of Batman and Psychology); Eric Bailey (Henderson State university) and Danny Fingeroth (author of The Stan Lee Universe.) (ROOM 238)
Thanks, DianaC. The panel ended up being pretty incredible. We’re doing it again at the Sacramento Wizard World con, March 7-9. This version will consist of Thomas Andrae (Batman and Me), Mel Gordon (Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero), Trina Robbins (Lilly Renae), and yours truly. Hope people in the area get the chance to come by. I’ll be doing other panels, too, about a variety of topics, with folks like Chris Claremont and Humberto Ramos! Plus: A special Will Eisner Week event! (And I’ll have an artist alley table, too.)
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