Wizard World Chicago

By | Friday, May 09, 2008 1 comment
I was chatting with a lady-friend last night, and we got on to the subject of comic book conventions. She noted that she'd be curious to attend one to see what the deal was. I mean, when pictures like these aren't uncommon...
... it's easy to get an "OK, I just have to see this for myself" idea.

It didn't take a huge leap of imagination for me to realize that her relative proximity to Chicago would make a trip to Wizard World Chicgao an easy solution. And, hey, it's only in a month and a half! That's almost pretty good timing.

I haven't been to WWC for about five years, so I swing by their site to see what's what these days. A cursory glance suggests that it has changed that much. And I notice that Warren Ellis will be making an appearance, and I'd be curious to hear him speak in person. But one of the things that I figured would make WWC a more interesting con experience for my lady-friend would be to see some of the cross-media population that occurs. But as I'm looking through the list of guests and exhibitors, I'm not seeing much of anyone: the fan relations guy from Lucasfilm and actor/stuntman Felix Silla. No offense to either of those two gents, but it doesn't exactly carry the same impact as, say, a Robert Downey Jr. or a Guillermo Del Toro.

The other thing I noticed was that there doesn't seem to be any convention programming solidified yet beyond the screen of Gotham Knight. Since she and I both tend to prefer planning this type of stuff in advance, I'm kind of disappointed that more hasn't been published/promoted on this front. Granted, some scheduling issues take a while to work out, but how about a "here's what we have lined up so far" page? If you update that as needed, then you get the word out about the types of panels and whatever that you're having and, more significantly from their perspective, you give people a concrete reason to return to the web site repeatedly. Basic internet marketing: you need to keep your content fresh and update it fairly regularly. Publishing promo information as you get is a win/win situation.

This type of thing is probably old news for a lot of you. I've heard rumblings of issues/problems people have with Wizard and their conventions, but I'm not usually inclined to go to the mega-huge-cons, so I don't pay much attention to them. But it's probably not a great sign that I can start to see what those rumblings have been about with so little investigation.

That said, I'll most likely be there at least one of the days, if anyone else will be swinging by. Let me know if you'll be there, and I'll let you buy me an over-priced lunch on the convention floor!
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Wizard World Los Angeles has definitely been going downhill the last couple of years. The majority of dealers and patrons I've talked to attribute at least part of it to the move from the Long Beach convention center to the Los Angeles convention center.

Sales are down, attendees now only go to one day instead of all three. This year, I had friends who said they saw everything they wanted to see in less than three hours, and then went home.

That's a disadvantage of the LA convention center. It's no where near as "pedestrian" friendly as the LB convention center. No one can figure out why Wizard decided to move there.