Con Wars 2: Pacific Northwest edition

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Not too long ago a brand new show on the busy convention circuit was announced: Wizard World Oregon, to be held February 22-24. While the dates didn’t seem to conflict with an existing Portland, OR show, what we failed to notice at the time is that these dates are just a week before Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon. And that has definitely created yet more scuttlebutt on the con circuit.

Con Wars 2: SoCal edition

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While the indie comics world was swooning over Chris Ware in Bethesda last weekend, yet another assault was being made on tapping the LA comic-con market with Stan Lee’s Comikaze. It was by most accounts an enjoyable show in the nerdlebrity mold, with comics pressed up against Adam West and Elvira. Having Stan Lee running around didn’t hurt, of course.

2013 WonderCon will be in Anaheim — or maybe San Francisco

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This answers some questions yet raises more:

CON WARS! Hobby Star Sues Wizard over "Toronto Comicon"

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Oh man! We thought the epic Con Wars of the Aughts were settled? But it seems Canada’s Hobby Star is not happy with how Wizard has used the phrase Toronto Comicon. Hobby Star throws the huge Fan Expo in Toronto every year, and, as CBR reports, had been engaged in a feud with the former Paradise Comic-Con…which was eventually acquired by Wizard and morphed into the Toronto Comicon…while things had been peaceful for many a moon, the fight is on again!

SCOOP: New chairman talks about the new Wizard World

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Wizard World without Gareb Shamus. The entire idea would have seemed ridiculous until just a few days ago when an SEC filing revealed that Shamus, the owner and founder of the company, had been removed as CEO. It was startling news which left everyone wondering what would become of the Wizard brand — once mighty in both media coverage and entertainment shows.

Answers are beginning to emerge. In an interview with The Beat, Wizard’s executive chairman Mike Mathews revealed that a new era has already begun at Wizard World, which will include outreach to the entire industry in a move to repair damaged relationships with both other industry players and fans.

In one of the most notorious examples of the bad blood which the old Wizard had given rise to, subscribers to the print magazine had not been given any make-up subscriptions for issues paid for but never mailed. However, according to Mathews, a letter is being sent out to old subscribers offering them a $100 credit towards Wizard shows.

Retailer files complaint against Wizard AND posts dramatic video on YouTube

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The Mid-Ohio Con was held this weekend — the first one to be run by Wizard since taking over the show last year — and based on reports, it was very well attended. But, in an echo of long ago scars from Con Wars, it was not quite as well attended as its organizers seem to imagine in their own worldview.

Wizard World LA postponement surprised guests and exhibitors

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Yesterday’s revelation that the Wizard World LA convention has been postponed — only five weeks away from its original Sept. 24-25 dates — was just the latest strange twist in the last real outpost of Con Wars: the SoCal market of LA, Anaheim and Los Angeles. As detailed in this CBR piece from May, three cons in a three month period — WWLA in September, the Long Beach Comic-Con in October and the new Comikaze event in November — left an already tough market swamped.

Wizard scales back to more realistic 7-show schedule

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Wizard World New Jersey…you were just not to be.

Cincinnati Comic-Con — I’ll see you in my dreams.

On its website, Wizard has removed many never-to-be-scheduled conventions — and even its upcoming Los Angeles convention, in favor of a more modest, feasible list including proven shows. The current schedule calls for:

Con Wars: MoCCA vs Stumptown

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In a rather surprising turn of events, New York’s MoCCA Festival has announced their 2012 dates — and not only are they a change from previously announced dates, but it’s the same weekend — April 27-28 — as Stumptown Festival, the alt-comix festival held each year in Portland.

The Stumptown dates were announced months ago, so the change comes as a surprise. As one exhibitor who forwarded the letter told us, in previous years MoCCA and Stumptown were a week apart, which was hard enough, but now the already small pool of indie comics publishers and creators are going to have to skip one or the other.

Con Wars: Wizard World redoubles efforts on the Western Front, fires accountant

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Since Tokyopop all but got wiped from the map, an informal “cadaver derby” for comics publishers has sprung up in chat rooms and bars of the comics biz. One name frequently heard: Wizard. So let’s see what’s going on in the Shamus Empire, shall we?

Con Wars! Hobby Star vs UFC/Reed Pop for "Fan Expo"

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Just when things looked all lovey dovey on the convention front, Kiel Phegley reports that Canadian convention organizer Hobby Star has filed a lawsuit against Reed Pop and Zuffa LLC, owner of the UFC over the use of the term “Fan Expo,” which Hobby Star claims to have trademarked. Reed and the UFC, the hugely popular mixed martial arts organization, have been putting on a series of “UFC Fan Expo” events in conjunction with their fight shows. However, Hobby Star puts on the Fan Expo Canada every year, generally considered the third biggest comic-con-type show in North America. The suit probably only covers the Canadian use of the term Fan Expo, however:

Wizard cons expand potential guest pool

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Is Wizard World trying to turn into TCAF? Of late, the convention tour has been reaching out to indie cartoonists, suggesting a rather unlikely team-up.

Comic-Con International manages to sell 1000 tickets in 60 seconds. UPDATE: Next announcement in January

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Well, the test seems to have worked in that Comic-Con International was able to actually sell 1000 tickets. But it all happened so fast.

People logging into the TicketLeap site were able, after some hanging, to get in and register for tickets. But according to Jonah Weiland, who joined with others to attempt to buy tickets, within moments, a “Checkout failed: Not enough tickets remain for the event to fulfill your purchase” result came up. So about 1000 tickets were sold in 60 seconds. Given the 250-requests-a-second that David Glanzer referred to yesterday, that’s not hard to believe.

San Diego Pass-o-ween: David Glanzer on selling tickets

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While the annual internet meltdown for getting a hotel room at the Comic-Con International in San Diego is now an annual tradition, it still came as a surprise to many this year that just selling passes to the mega-entertainment/comics event got too big for a server to manage. On November 1, tickets went on sale for the first time, and the con’s website couldn’t handle the number of requests. On November 22, a second attempt with a new, professional event seller was made, but the demand melted their servers to slag, too.

With the expeditioneers set up at base camp, and looking anxiously at the snows about to come, San Diego is about to make another attempt to scale Everest. The con is trying a test tomorrow at 8 am PST with a two tiered system – Logging onto the site of Ticketleap – a ticketing company Ticketmaster alternative specially set up to handle huge web demand – will get you registered. Once the horde of hits is managed, an email from Epic Registration – which was handling ticket sales in the last attempt — will allow you to buy two tickets.

It’s a crazy solution for a crazy situation. We talked to David Glanzer, the CCI Director of Marketing & PR to find out what’s happening and how the con is growing this time.

Wizard officially buys Mid-Ohio-Con

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After some mysterious seeming confirmations, Wizard has made official its purchase of the Mid-Ohio-Con, which will be held October 22-23, 2011 in Columbus, OH. Official PR below.

Mid-Ohio-Con/Wizard update

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According to numerous reports, the “acquisition’ of the Mid-Ohio Con by the Wizard convention group was a hot gossip topic at this weekend’s Mid-Ohio Con, and several message boards as well. The page we linked to has been taken down but, oddly, this ticket price list has been left up — Johanna has more and reactions, as does the comment thread at our original story (which for some reason we can’t edit.)

We asked Wizard spokesman Jerry Milani for comment and replied “We don’t have any formal announcement yet.”