Shamus buys Toronto Comicon

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Confirming a rumor that was going around this morning, a press release has confirmed that Wizard CEO Gareb Shamus has purchased the Toronto Comicon. Also known as the Paradise Comicon, the show is run by Peter Dixon of Paradise Comics, who will stay on, and while it has maintained an excellent reputation among guests (we were a guest there in ’06 and it was tremendous fun), the show had run into some financial difficulties in recent times, with this year’s show canceled and no date for 2010 announced.

Toronto is also–uncharacteristically–the scene of one of the most heated con rivalries on the continent, with Aman Gupta’s Fan Expo Canada a much larger and, frankly, more Wizard-like show. Accusations of dirty tricks on both sides have flown for years, so any escalation would be pretty ugly.

As with other recent Wizard-related activities, the Toronto con has been purchased by Shamus and not Wizard itself. However, with this, the October Big Apple Con and the just announced FunFare magazine, Wizard is showing it’s not as moribund as a lot of folks had predicted. PR follows:

Gareb Shamus, CEO of New York based Wizard Entertainment, announces today that he has purchased the Toronto Comicon, a show that has been consistently awarded The Best International Comic Book Convention (non-USA) by ComicBookConventions.com, for the last 5 years.

“We’ve always had a strong following in Canada, so buying the Toronto Comicon is something that allows me to give back to our fans. These attendees are known to be serious collectors and comic industry followers,” said Shamus.  “I am thrilled to offer the guests, celebrities, artists, dealers and exhibitors to our Canadian audience for the very first time.”

Peter Dixon, owner of Paradise Conventions and former owner of the Toronto Comicon, will still be intimately involved in the show production, his friendly manner ensuring the continuation of the trademarked relaxed atmosphere of the show.

“Wizard brings greater industry recognition and star power to the show. I’m excited about having the fans get this bigger experience,” said Dixon.

The next show dates have not been set yet, but the newly managed Toronto Comicon is expected to debut in 2010.

Comments

  1. brian says:

    I love the Toronto show, and I hope this event is very successful. I was quite sad to see it canceled this year, though I thought the reason was a date conflict? Anyway, still glad to hear this will be back.

    Cheers,

    B

  2. Alan Coil says:

    Peter Dixon — be wary.

  3. Mark Coale says:

    Could this be why the other Toronto show announced there would be a show next year and not wait a year until 2011?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] According to the Beat, Wizard has announced that it has purchased the Toronto Comicon. “We’ve always had a strong following in Canada, so buying the Toronto Comicon is something that allows me to give back to our fans. These attendees are known to be serious collectors and comic industry followers,” Shamus said in a press release.  “I am thrilled to offer the guests, celebrities, artists, dealers and exhibitors to our Canadian audience for the very first time.” [...]

  2. [...] As Heidi MacDonald points out, Toronto Comicon comes with baggage of its own: Namely, a bitter feud with larger rival Fan Expo Canada. Archie Comics [...]

  3. [...] Random Comics News Story Update Placeholders/Quick Links, for which you have my further apology: * Ismet Vehit Guney, a prominent cartoonist and designer of the Republic of Cyprus flag, died on Tuesday at age 77. * although best known as a prominent and influential animator, obituaries for the late Jaime Diaz suggest a newspaper strip among his many accomplishments and that his studio also performed Disney comics work. * a recent interview with Jim Borgman over shrinking strip size garnered some attention. It’s a subject worth engaging, although I’m not sure how much blame for the current state of newspaper cartooning I’d lay at its feet. * A smattering of Yen Press titles apparently fail to make Diamond order minimums. * finally, Gareb Shamus buys the troubled Toronto Comicon, which although suggested in arch terms as a kind of revival mechanism for the beleagured Wizard Entertainment business could also be a next step in Shamus’ business career following Wizard, as this makes another show he’s purchased rather than facilitating a purchase under his best-known company. All eyes — well, all eyes that take in the convention business — should be on WizardWorld Chicago, a big show with numerous potential difficulties. It not only has to come off, but one would imagine as the Wizard longtime convention flagship, come off well. [...]

  4. [...] Comicon sold Jump to Comments The Beat reports that Toronto Comicon is changing hands after Wizard CEO Gareb Shamus has agreedto purchase the show from Peter Dixon who owns Paradise Comics in the city. Toronto has another big mainstream show Fan Expo that has sci-fi and manga components. Heidi talks about the financial difficulties of Comicon and bad blood between the two shows in her blog post. [...]

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