Via PR, we haven’t had a Wizard World tour expansion announcement in a while — and several shows, as you will see, have yet to be scheduled — but they’ve just started growing again with the announcement of a show in New Orleans, set for January 29-30, 2011. Unlike several previous WW expansions, this does not seem to be an acquisition of an existing show.

Although an immensely popular spot for tradeshows, jazz fests and bacchanals, New Orleans has resisted comic book conventions in the past — even before Katrina took a chunk out of the local economy, there was just too much else to do that was fun besides listen to comickers yap on and on.

Maybe that will change with this show.

Gareb Shamus, CEO of Wizard Entertainment, today announced the addition of New Orleans Comic Con to the world’s largest pop culture convention series.  The event is scheduled for January 29-30, 2011, at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The event will be the first on the 2011 Wizard World Comic Con schedule, and the first Wizard World convention in “The Big Easy.”

“We followed the Super Bowl Champions all the way to New Orleans this year,” said Shamus.  “We are thrilled to come to the home of Mardi Gras, the Saints and World Famous Bourbon Street.  New Orleans is the perfect place to create the type of pop culture event called Wizard World.  We look forward to seeing all our fans there!”

The freshly renovated New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is an essential component of what makes the city’s major business events so successful. With 1.1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space, the Convention Center is the sixth largest convention facility in the nation, and it consistently ranks in the country’s top ten of facilities that hold the most conventions and tradeshows annually.


  1. The last large show there I remember was Roger Price’s Big Easy Comicon, back in 2000. It was right around Memorial Day, as I recall, and incredibly hot that week. January is an improvement on that score!

  2. Yes, I was at that convention — my last time in New Orleans, alas. It was known for its big wide open aisles and scant attendance at panels.

    There were NO fans there.

    But I had a fantastic time. Little of which I can talk about publicly.

  3. While Wizard World isn’t taking over an existing show, it will have competition of sorts in the NOLA Comic-Con (http://www.nolacomic.com), a show that’s in its third year and already scheduled for May of 2011. It’s not a big show, but has been building steadily over the past couple years–last year’s attendance more than doubled the previous year’s total and it’s moving from an out-of-the-way hall twenty minutes out of NOLA to a downtown hotel in 2011 (and the May dates keep it from going against Jazz Fest, which it did the first two years). Last year’s guests included Dave Johnson and Darick Robertson, with local shops and a few other vendors. The Big Easy Con days are well-remembered flops (though we all had high hopes for it and in and of itself they weren’t bad shows, just poorly attended) and this show has done the best job of anything in recent years of bringing together the NOLA comics crowd.

    It’ll be interesting if Wizard World can supplant the NOLA Comic-Con as the go-to comics event of the year for local fans, as we can be very loyal to other locals and NOLA Comic-Con is put together by one.

    However, if Wizard World brings in out-of-towners for the con it can be a big success (who doesn’t want an excuse to head to New Orleans for a weekend?), but it’ll be interesting to see if that happens. You can pull in people from along the Gulf Coast, but what’ll bring them to a con in NOLA rather than any other Southern con?

  4. Is a person traveling from outside New Orleans more likely to spend more time and money outside a convention than inside?

    I wouldn’t visit for Wizard (I live in NYC, and have already experienced their brand). Would I for a bigger show, like C2E2? Perhaps.

    It looks like a great convention center, perfect for a huge pop culture con. Would N’Orleans rival San Diego?

  5. Thinking about it — I seem to recall one of the problems with the last Big Easy was that I-10 into the city was completely closed for some reason. It was interesting — Anne Rice had the booth right next to ours, and people had plenty of time to chat.

  6. There are no bad reasons to go to New Orleans… but I can’t imagine being in a convention center all day when there’s that whole wonderful city beyond its walls.