Zeitgiest-baring tidbits keep creeping out regarding last weekend’s Wizard World Chicago. As the “end” of “big con season” it’s a time for reflection and observation.
First, Kate Willaert teases with the provocative title What You Didn’t Read In The Chicago Panel Reports, namely, fans confronting Marvel’s Joe Quesada with Mary Jane questions for 25 minutes at a stretch.
Newsarama at least mentions in their report that we were on the topic for 25 minutes or so, and Comic Book Resources comments on it in their report’s title. But one thing that neither site mentions, is that the moment it came up, with Joe Q naming it as his third genie-in-the-bottle, the sound of low “boo”s filled the audience! And ended up being “boo”ed two more times before the whole discussion was over! At a panel that was filled more with *X-Men* fans than Spidey fans!
I didn’t hear any “boo”ing from the crowd at the Mondo Marvel panel, but the MJ marriage once again dominated the Q&A portion of the panel, though you wouldn’t guess from the three-sentence summary it gets in Newsarama’s report. The CBR report actually mentions a few of the specific questions/answers addressed, but misses what I thought was the money-quote of the hour, which at least Newsarama paraphrases in their aforementioned three-sentence summary. When asked why we need Spidey unmarried in the regular books, when you can read new young-unmarried-Spidey stories in Ultimate Spider-Man, Joe responded that there are all sorts of things you can do with regular Spidey that you can’t do with younger, Ultimate Spidey, because younger Spidey can’t do things like “have sex, or download porn.”
Todd Allen finds the show kinds of drowsy and raises something we’ve heard several people say: move the show to Navy Pier, while observing the flow of retail at the show:
Wizard World Chicago, from a retail stand-point is now a liquidation show. Normally, Sunday is the day you bargain shop at a convention. Not so at Wizard World. Well, perhaps some of the single issue bins didn’t start out at a quarter each, but they came down pretty fast. Still, starting on sneak peak opening Thursday night, most of the heavily discounted material was already at 35% – 50% off, and the bulk of that didn’t drop further. If you wanted trade paperbacks that were 1-2 years old, especially Marvel and DC, you could get them cheap. As low as $5 a pop. If you weren’t discounting, well, it sucked to be you. Who’s going to be paying retail when there’s a fire sale going on? And there continues to be attrition of retailers. A fellow at the Hyatt Bar rattled off 5 or 6 names to me Thursday night, but two names non-locals might recognize that I didn’t see were Chicago Comics and Forbidden Planet.
The TwoMorrows blog also says something we’ve been hearing a lot, the timing of the show was to soon after SD.
Why they feel the need to go up against other cons is beyond me; it just ends up hurting their own show. There are plenty of weeks from May-August to choose from, without causing everyone to get burned-out by too many, close together. And as great a city as Chicago is, Rosemont (where the con is held) just isn’t the kind of vacation destination that San Diego and Southern California are.
The New York Comicon is rapidly becoming the new “must-see” con, and next year’s move to April should insure even better attendence than their successful ‘07 con (and considering NY is charging MORE than Comicon for their booths—while Comicon has at least 4x the number of attendees at NY—they better bring in more people!). I won’t be surprised to see NY blow right past any of Wizard’s shows in popularity, to become the new #2 show. We’ll be in New York in April ‘08, and we’ll be in Charlotte for Heroes Con in June. But at this point, I can’t say for sure we’ll be in Chicago the following week. And I know we won’t be at any of the other Wizard shows. Chicago’s by far their best attended one, and when you factor in airfare, booth rental, hotels, and shipping costs, the others don’t make sense, at least for us.
That last link via Johanna who throws in her own two cents. BTW: every time we tout the NY Comic-Con we’re accused of being cheerleaders for Reed, but in all honesty, we’re hearing this kind of thing unbidden by us, more and more. And as we always say, we are rooting for the home team, no matter who throws the show.