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A print ad in Wizard magazine announces the dates and venue for the Toronto Comic-Con (formerly Paradise Con) as March 26-28, 2010. However, a picture of Warren Ellis floating at the bottom does NOT mean he’ll be at the show, asl Ellis blogged:

First I’ve fucking heard of it.

I’m presuming this is some kind of impossibly convoluted but innocent mistake, as opposed to “well, if we just SAY Warren Ellis is showing up, then he’ll HAVE to.” But I’ve had no contact from Wizard World about this or any other show, so, god knows what actually happened for this to have somehow gotten printed…

Ellis WAS once a guest at the Paradise Con, so it might be logical to assume he could POSSIBLY be again, but that doesn’t mean he will be.

The revamped Wizard World convention slate currently includes this weekend’s Big Apple Con, Anaheim April 16-18 (the same weekend as C2E2), Wizard World Philadelphia June 11-13, and Chicago August 12-15.

We heard a lot of scuttlebutt this weekend regarding how Wizard shows are going about getting some of their guests, including reports of poaching. Several announced guests for this weekend’s Big Apple Comic-Con have yet to get their travel arrangements, and several others who were invited pulled out when such arrangements were not forthcoming.

In addition, Celebrity Authentic, which handles a number of A-listers including Christian Bale, announced a few weeks ago that they were pulling their guests out of Big Apple for unnamed reasons:

Please be advised that due to circumstances beyond our control, we have canceled all talent scheduled to appear at the Big Apple Comic-Con including Willem Dafoe, Taylor Kitsch, Jamie Campbell Bower, Cameron Bright, Robert Patrick, Lynn Collins, Ioan Gruffudd and Scott Speedman. We realize that this comes as a great disappointment for we were all looking forward to the show and these talented artists. This is the first time we have had to cancel a scheduled show appearance for our talent however, we must take this necessary action.

Finally, there is the matter of attendance. According to the New York Post, the show expects “20,000 to 30,000 people,” and “700 companies from film, TV, video games, toys and comics.” Which should be interesting, since the capacity of the venue, Pier 94, is 6500, according to this website.


  1. Is that capacity for sit down banquet events? It seems that there have been many trade shows held at Pier 94 without any controversy. 175,000 square feet… Hall 1A and 1B of Javits (the space used by NYAF) totals 150,000 sq. ft. In any case, the Fire Marshall must approve the plans (remember the Coliseum show?). Of course, the size of the space and crowd does remind me of the first NYCC, so we shall see.

    Floor plan here:
    Do the aisles look wide enough?

    (And no media kit on the website…hmm….)

    I hope it succeeds. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a comics event every month in NYC? BEA, MoCCA, NYCC/NYAF, King Con, Brooklyn Book Festival, Kid’s Comic-Con, Big Apple…

  2. Well, 6500 for 3 days is 19,500, almost 20,000. And 20,000 is between 20,000 and 30,000 inclusive (to bring into use a Math term).

  3. Betcha in Toronto they have a big sign at the show saying it is unfortunate that Warren Ellis couldn’t make it. And, in fine print, it might say no refunds.

  4. That’s the way Wizard has always inflated its
    numbers. A 3 day pass counts as 3 people. Lies. Damned lies. And Wizard statistics. Plus lots of local papers doing puff pieces on Shamus as local boy done good.

  5. You have to admit, if Wizard was going to stretch the truth, at least they were smart enough to pick someone well known for his enthusiasm about attending conventions and without any sort of web presence of the kind that might be useful to correct the misstatement.

  6. I’m surprised Wizard would let Willem Dafoe get away from this con, considering I’m pretty sure I received at least 3 separate press releases touting his being there.

  7. I wondered if the Big Apple Comic Con might be using Pier 92 as well as Pier 94, since events commonly use both. That is apparently the case.

    However some worry that the Pier 94, location of the show, can only take 6500 guests at a time is slightly mollified by the fact the show is extending across, taking Pier 92 as well. I hope there’s wi-fi. We could set up a Pier To Pier network.

    Using Pier 92 expands the floor space by about 75,000 square feet. There are wireless Internet and high-speed Internet services available.

    On the downside, blogger Ryan Joe doesn’t think much of the con:

    I wish I could muster up some excitement for this. But comic conventions are now what one might charitably call a dime a dozen, and tend to cater to fans of cult television shows, video games, and genre movies instead of actual comics. To the extent that these events center around comics at all, it’s the superhero-centric output of the Big Two – ie Marvel and DC. The words “cluster” and “fuck” were likely first amalgamated at a comic convention. (MoCCA alternatively throws a smaller but really cool and creator-focused comic festival every year).

  8. Within the next year or three, some enterprising sort will be able to pick up the Wizard conventions en masse for a song. Anybody want to form an investment group?

  9. Quick correction, Heidi — that ad was in ToyFare, not Wizard. I know, “six of one…” and all that, just letting you know.

    And as far as “scuttlebutt” this weekend, there was a lone Wizard rep at the retailers summit (me) you could’ve talked to. Granted, I wouldn’t have said anything on the record, but next time say hi and ask me some questions.

  10. New York Comic Con used 84,000 sq ft. of exhibit space last year and claimed they had 77,000 people. San Diego uses fives times that amount at 500,000 square feet and maxes out at 126,000 people. So predicting 30,000 with 175,000 square feet of space sounds easier to imagine then 77,000 people and 84,000 sq. ft. I think most conventions with the exception of maybe San Diego inflate their numbers, and Wizard has been doing it for years.

  11. And let’s remember that capacity means how many people you can jam into a given space AT ONE TIME. Assuming it’s not just the same 6500 people milling around all day, the actual daily capacity can be considerably higher.

  12. Was there any attempts at contacting Wizard for their official response to these accusations?

    I find it rather unfair to throw around these kind of one-sided accusations without getting the other side of the story first.

  13. Alan & Augie, I thought it was standard to count 1 person attending 3 days as 3 attendances. San Diego doesn’t hit six figures at any given moment, does it?

  14. I’m prepared to give Wizard the benefit of the doubt on this one at the moment, if only because you’d have to be an absolute cretin to do it deliberately and expect to get away with it. A case of crossed wires does seem more plausible.

  15. does anybody know why marvel,dc or any other significant publishers dont come to the shows? if the events are marketed as comic-cons, why no comic publishers?

    oh yeah did anyone notice the bait and switch at their last two conventions? Peter Facinelli was pimped for months then disappeared from the website days before the chicago wizard world. Willem Dafoe same deal for the big apple…