Home Conventions Wizard World confirms acquisition of PIttsburgh Comicon

Wizard World confirms acquisition of PIttsburgh Comicon

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Despite a Twitter non-denial denial, from owner Renee George, Wizard World has confirmed they have acquired the long running Pittsburgh Comicon, to be held September 11-13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

“We are excited to have acquired the long-standing and popular Pittsburgh Comicon from Renee,” said John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO. “We are excited to inject the Wizard World flavor in the Pittsburgh market, a city we’ve been wanting to expand to for many years. We are looking forward to seeing all our fans in September!”

“I am pleased that Wizard World will be able to continue the two-decade tradition of our show,” said George. “It’s a great opportunity for all of our loyal attendees in the area to take part in an even bigger event with more of what they have enjoyed for many years.”

As with the recent ECCC/ReedPOP deal, the existing Pittsburgh Comicon staff will continue to be involved with aspects of the show. According to George, “Our family and friends will continue to run the charity events, including Charity Quick Sketch & the Make-A-Wish Auction. All current contracts between the Pittsburgh Comicon & exhibitors or artists will be honored at this show. The Pittsburgh fans have been asking for bigger and better media guests and Wizard World will be able to provide that for them.”

The Pittsburgh Comicon has a long history, going back to 1994 when it was founded by Renee George and husband Michael George. It had a rep as a very creator friendly show and even hosted the Harvey awards from 2000-2002—ironically, perhaps the most famous event ever at the show was the Harvey Awards banquet where Frank Miller ripped a Wizard magazine in half while decrying its emphasis on speculation.

The show continued on even when co-owner Michael George was charged and then convicted of the 20-year-old murder of his former wife. Renee George continued to run the show throughout the legal proceedings.

5 COMMENTS

  1. While I am extremely happy for Renee and her family, I have to say that this really hurts what was a real family-friendly show with affordable rates for creators and fans. I have attended all but the first show, and the friends we’ve made there became family, and it was the one convention we always looked forward to. I will miss that feeling of family since it will now be more of a corporate whore show with expensive fees, more celebrity guests, and nothing at all to do with comics anymore. I just wish we had known in September it was the last real Pitt-Con so we could have gone out in style! The end of an era has arrived. Sorry Wizard, but I will not be attending.

  2. Wow… 26 shows a year. Looking at the guest list, It’s unlikely to surpass 52, unless WW adds more contracted guests to the tour. (Which would be good… you alternate them each year to keep the local show fresh and exciting.)

    Hmmm…. Wizard World (Las) Vegas. At the LV Convention Center! Not an easy location to hold a comic con. Me, I’d have selected one of the hotels with convention space. Yeah, it’s April, but it’s a bit out of the way from everything, even the local monorail stop!
    Hurm… the Las Vegas Convention Bureau doesn’t list WWLV on their calendar (which includes the LVCC and hotels). Cinema Con is the week of (ending on Thursday), and there is a Car Wash Show (Thursday – Saturday, using C1-3).

    Most of WW’s shows are in the mid-atlantic/mid-east states.

  3. Wizard World isn’t really running comic conventions. They running a sort of traveling carnival with celebrities. TV and movie folks making public/autograph appearances has a long history and Wizard is just centralizing it. Comic conventions used to be something fanboys would save up all year to go to Chicago or Atlanta or San Diego. Wizard is going for more of a walk-up, looking-for-fun-on-the-weekend audience.

    The challenge is that these shows are still comic dependent. Celebs and cosplay may get the attention but comics provide the programming, the dealers and the Artists Alleys. Take that stuff away and you’ve got a lot of con attendees standing around with a lot of time to kill.

    Last year, Wizard held the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival during Wizard World Chicago. It was great and this year they’re going to hold a whole horror sub-convention during the comic-con. That might be a way to differentiate shows in major cities, giving them separate sub-conventions so it’s not like the same show over and over and bringing in more varied dealers and exhibitors.

    Mike

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