Wizard wants it all? Apparently so.
Interestingly, not a week after San Diego Comic-Con International, Wizard Entertainment (publishers of many comic and toy related publications) announced they will host a comic convention in the ATL (that’s Atlanta, GA for you who are in the dark). This is both good news and bad news.
I lived in Hotlanta for five years and enjoyed going to my favorite comic book store on a weekly basis. The only bad thing about Atlanta is until the Wizard announcement they never had a comic book convention. Sure they had Dragon-Con, but that was a Fantasy/Role Playing/Comic book/Sci-Fi convention. Dragon Con is pretty big, but having a stand alone comic convention is great. What’s more Wizard World (fill in city here) conventions generally rack up around 50,000 attendees each.
Now for the bad news. Since 1982, Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC has been the longest running comic book convention in the United States. This in itself is an interesting bit of trivia since one would think comic book conventions have been around a lot longer. Wizard in all their infinite wisdom has decided to run Wizard World Atlanta on the same weekend as Heroes Con – even though Wizard has known for months the date of Heroes Con.
“So what,” you say, “Wizard World Atlanta seems to be the one to go to.”
While fighting with 50,000 other comic fans over rare and hard to find issues and con exclusive may sound fun, this appears to be a direct attack on all independent comic book conventions. If successful, Wizard World Atlanta could cause Heroes Con to close forever thus wiping out that convention and leaving Wizard the winner. It isn’t enough for Wizard to already have conventions in Texas, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and so on, they appear to be making a play for all conventions – in other words a comic-con monopoly.
What’s next? Wizard World San Diego in an attempt to close the world’s largest comic con? It could happen.
So what can we do? As hard as it may be, we need to swallow the urge to run to Atlanta and boycott Wizard World Atlanta.
The following is a letter sent by Gaijin Studios to comic professionals that may be thinking about jumping ship and migrating south to Atlanta.
Sorry for the mass e-mail, but we just feel that this is too important not to try to mass some support for our friend.
Well, it seems that Wizard World Atlanta’s finally been made official, according to ICV2. This is great in theory, because Atlanta needs a good, large comics show.
The problem here is that they’ve chosen the exact same weekend as the long-running Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. They’ve done this after being apprised of those dates months ago by Heroes organizer Shelton Drum, with an offer to support their new show in any way possible as long as they didn’t try to run him over. WWA coud’ve chosen a number of other dates, but they’ve decided instead to try to shut down Heroes, one of the friendliest, most family-oriented, and now longest-lived conventions in the country.
Our opinion is that they know exactly what they’re doing, and we think it’s unconscionable and overtly hostile. They have no reason to do this other than to try to crush the other guy. This is just low.
We’ve never done anything even close to organizing a protest or a boycott before, but it seems to us that Shelton and his crew are our people, and we owe them at least our public support in the face of abject greed. We’re all for Wizard in Atlanta, but not at the expense of Shelton’s bread and butter. So, we propose a very public show of support on the part of every Atlanta-area comics professional that we can get in contact with. So, if you agree, please forward this to as many professionals and retailers as you can in and around Atlanta.
Hopefully, we can rally enough attention to get them to change their dates.
I agree with the guys from Gaijin Studios. Don’t go to Wizard World Atlanta. Urge them to change the date. You can email Wizard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the e-mail I sent:
I hear you have scheduled Wizard World Atlanta to be on the same date as Heroes Con. Heroes Con has been around for a very
long time, and scheduling WWA at the same time as Heroes could hurt it so much that it may be forced to close.
Please reconsider the date, and if possible change it to an earlier or a later time, but not at the same time as Heroes Con.
Thanks for your consideration.
Save the Con!