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    Entries in Wizard World (2)

    Monday
    Mar292010

    Wizard World Toronto 2010... really?

    I was excited to be attending Wizard World Toronto this weekend, and although it was an improvement over Paradise Comics last outing, it's a far cry from being a worthwhile comic convention experience.

    One of the most upsetting parts of the convention was the price of admission. If you were going for one day and were paying at the door, a ticket would set you back $34. That's the same price as a greatest hits video game. That's the price of two movie tickets, popcorn and a drink. That's the price of over 16 X-large Tim Horton's coffees. That's expensive. Even buying online, and with the coupon code, TORONTO, a ticket still cost $24.

    What did $24 get you? Not much. The Convention still carries the monicker of Toronto Comic Con, but I call it Wizard World Toronto for a reason: Comics took up a seemingly small portion of this trade show. There seemed to be a lot of mid to lower tier TV celebrities, lots of former pro-wrestlers, and a whole section devoted to reality TV stars. And if course, each of these celebrities were happy to autograph a photograph of them... for a price. This was not what I was looking for in a comic convention. Interesting that Fan Expo, which promotes being Pop Culture event that covers scifi, horror and comics has more comic content than the Toronto Comic Con did.

    Also missing from this convention was publisher presence. Chicago, San Diego, and to a lesser degree Fan Expo, have done a good job of bringing in the big comic publishers, and having them there adds a LOT to the experience. Wizard World Toronto didn't even have much of a Wizard booth (where was the wheel of shame?) and there were no publishers of note.

    Artist Alley was 'ok' if you had never been to a Toronto Convention in the past 3 or 4 years, and at one point Gail Simone didn't have a line, so you could have probably had a lengthy conversation with her if you wanted. But most of the artists were the Toronto Artist Alley mainstays, so nothing much new. Phil Jimenez had a table, and from previous experience, he's one of those nice guys you should take the opportunity to meet.

    The convention does show some promise: An increase in size from the Paradise Toronto Comic Con means hopefully they'll get bigger, and Wizard does have some pull in the industry to maybe get those publishers to show up. But this convention was NOT worth $24+. Not even close. Considering it took less than 2.5 hours to experience the entire thing, the price should have been closer to $16 for a day pass, and maybe $24 for a whole weekend (but you wouldn't need a whole weekend).

    I look forward to Fan Expo later this year, but I think I will pass on future Wizard World Torontos until the price is more reasonable for the size.

    L8r
    Paul

    Saturday
    Mar202010

    Big two Toronto comic cons (and TCAF)

    The above photo was taken of me at Fan Expo in front if the TRON Legacy Light Cycle. I was ready to play some classic 'snake'.

    I recently posted the following on my Twitter feed:

    Which I think I should clarify to mean that at some point in time, on separate occasions, I'd given up on each of the big two comic cons - Fan Expo and the Toronto Comic Con - but not that I'd given up on them simultaneously.

    Someone then asked me about TCAF on Facebook.  My response:

    I have a history with all of these cons:
    Fan Expo - first attended in '96, when it was still in a hotel, and when it was ONLY comic books. Stopped attending in 2001 after attending San Diego (a MUCH better con), and after being disgusted by Hobbystar's Anti-Competitive methods and poor treatment of attendees.
    Decided to give it a second chance in 2008 after Paradise's poor showing, and thoroughly enjoyed it, and again in 2009.

    Toronto comic con / paradise comic con / wizard world toronto - went to each one since the first year until it's last when it was apparent that there was no room for growth, it had become stagnant and Joseph Michael Linsner, who had done NOTHING for about 7 years was a guest of honor. Had also attended 4 days of Wizard World Chicago and had a blast, so excited to see what Wizard will bring to this convention.

    TCAF - attended all of them. The first year in the church for most artists and in some other building for panels (and getting a sketch of powdered toast man from creator of Ren and Stimpy) was awesome! The one in the church with great air circulation was also fun. The library is TOO crowded, too stuffy, and there doesn't seem to be that *it* factor there once was... Also, if they show no forward movement, then they might face a result like Paradise did. I'll attend, but I don't have my hopes up for that one.

    Also, I don't count the misc tiny one day cons since they're all off shoots of the big two or TCAF.

    It's indeed exciting again in the Toronto Comic Convention world with Wizard World taking over the Toronto Comic con.  They have the legs in the market throughout North America to really provide some competition to Fan Expo in Toronto.  Also, Fan Expo has gone from a cruddy convention that thought it was big in 2001 - the Fan Expo table in San Diego was no bigger than my desk at home - to a seemingly well run show.  TCAF seems to be gaining traction, but I hope they turn on some air conditioning in that stuffy library next time around.

    L8r
    Paul