Press Release

Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and Skybound, Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics, today announced that The Wretch and The Coffin creator and Iowa native Phil Hester has drawn the 11th in a yearlong series of Limited Edition Exclusive Variant Covers of The Walking Dead #1 comic, to be provided free to all full-price attendees at Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines, June 12-14. Skybound’s The Walking Dead created by Kirkman, the groundbreaking, Eisner Award winning comic book series, continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

TWD1-DesMoines-333The exclusive The Walking Dead #1 edition will be produced in extremely limited quantities and is available at registration to fans at the Iowa Events Center only while supplies last. VIP attendees will receive an additional black & white sketch version of the comic.

Hester has been making comics for over two decades, beginning while a student at the University of Iowa. He spent many years on the indie comics scene, culminating in his Eisner Award-nominated series The Wretch . Phil broke into the mainstream with a long run as penciler on DC’s Swamp Thing. He also drew Kevin Smith’s revival of Green Arrow with long time inker Ande Parks. He created The Coffin with artist Mike Huddleston, and Firebreather with artist Andy Kuhn, now a television feature for Cartoon Network. Phil lives in rural Iowa with his wife and two children.

Phil’s more recent work includes writing Kirkman’s Invincible Universe, IDW’s THUNDER Agents, and Dynamite’s The Shadow , as well as drawing DC’s Batman Beyond and The Flash TV comic. He has also written Mythic for Image comics.

The artists for future books will be announced as they are selected. A similar series in 2013 featuring exclusives of The Walking Dead #1 proved to be wildly popular with fans. The full schedule of 2015-16 Wizard World shows is available at http://www.wizardworld.com/wizcon.html.

The Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines celebrity roster includes “The Walking Dead” star Michael Cudlitz (“Sgt. Abraham Ford), as well as William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker”), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Brian’s Song ), Cassandra Peterson (“Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”), Jewel Staite (“Firefly,” “Stargate: Atlantis”), Alex Kingston (“Doctor Who,” “Arrow”), WWE® Superstar Seth Rollins™ and Diva Paige™ and many others.
In addition to Hester, Artist Alley in Des Moines will feature Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Mike Zeck (“Spider-Man,” “Punisher”), Michael Golden (“Spider-Man,” “Daredevil”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”), James O’Barr (creator, “The Crow”), Renee Witterstaetter (“She Hulk,” “Avengers”), Dean Haspiel (“Bored to Death,” “Billy Dogma”), Kenneth Rocafort (“Superman,” “Action Comics”) and more.

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, cosplay, comics, television, sci-fi, toys, video gaming, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The 12th of 26 events currently scheduled on the 2015 Wizard World calendar, Des Moines show hours are Friday, June 12, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, June 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, June 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more on the 2015 Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines, visit http://www.wizardworld.com/home-desmoines.html .

About Robert Kirkman
Robert Kirkman is the creator of many popular comic books, including the Eisner Award-winning The Walking Dead, long-running Invincible, all-ages Super Dinosaur , and the new exorcism comic, Outcast which was released in June 2014 and recently received a pilot pickup for CINEMAX with Fox International.
Since entering the comics scene with his self-published cult-hit Battle Pope in 2000, the Kentucky native has risen to fame as one of the most successful names in comics and entertainment. In 2008, Kirkman became a partner at Image Comics, and in 2010, he opened Skybound, his own imprint at Image, which publishes his titles as well as other original work.

That same year, Kirkman continued to expand his presence in the entertainment industry, becoming a creator, executive producer and writer on The Walking Dead television show.

The show is in production on its fifth season and has become the highest-rated basic cable drama of all time. To date The Walking Dead is the #1 on television among the coveted 18-49 demo.

Kirkman is also slated to executive produce AMC’s upcoming The Walking Dead companion series.

Under the Skybound Entertainment umbrella Kirkman wrapped production on his first feature film, Air, starring The Walking Dead ’s Norman Reedus and Academy Award-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou.

About Skybound Entertainment
Since opening its doors in 2010, Skybound Entertainment has grown into a multiplatform entertainment company. Skybound CEO Robert Kirkman is creator of the award-winning The Walking Dead comic book series, the inspiration for the hit TV show of the same name where he serves as creator and executive producer. To date The Walking Dead is the #1 on television among the coveted 18-49 demo.

Skybound Entertainment and Kirkman just wrapped production on their first feature film, Air, starring The Walking Dead ’s Norman Reedus and Academy Award-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou. The film is slated to be released in the spring of 2015.

Skybound released Kirkman’s new exorcism comic, Outcast , in June 2014 which recently got the green light for a television pilot with CINEMAX and Fox International. Kirkman will serve as creator and executive producer of the series.

Skybound Entertainment and digital entertainment company Maker Studios recently announced a deal for the studio to produce and air four digital series based off Skybound IPs.
Comic book titles published by Skybound include The Walking Dead, the superhero-comic Invincible, all-ages comic Super Dinosaur, the revenge drama Dead Body Road, and heist comic Thief of Thieves .

Skybound also creates a wide range of merchandise, including video games, apparel, board games, and action figures.

For more information, please visit Skybound online at www.skybound.com and www.thewalkingdead.com .

About Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD)
Wizard World, Inc. (http://www.wizardworld.com ) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, television, cosplay, comics, graphic novels, toys, video gaming, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A’s, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also launched CONtv, a digital media channel in partnership with leading independent content distributor Cinedigm™ (NASDAQ: CIDM), and ComicConBox™, a premium subscription-based monthly box service. Fans can interact with Wizard World on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.

The 2015 Wizard World Comic Con schedule is available at: www.wizardworld.com/wizcon.html .

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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