Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chicago Comic-Con Reflections

Well, another year has come and gone. I have many questions, but I also have some good memories. This was my seventh trip to Rosemont, IL. Each year had something great to remember and this one wasn't an exception. However, this year is leaving a bittersweet taste in my mouth, that I will get to in just a little bit. So, let's start with the great parts of this year's show:

1. With the lack of major publisher presence, Artist Alley was the place to be for signatures and sketches.
There were some great creators hanging out and willing to chat with you about their projects. I've read on some message boards that some felt people were being pushy, but I didn't really experience that. Most of the people who got my attention and asked me to check out their stuff were kind and pretty cool to talk to. Also, the bigger name artists were there always hanging out and singing books, so it was easy for me to get signatures on stuff done by Shane Davis (Rage of the Red Lanterns artist), J.G. Jones (Final Crisis artist and 52 cover artist) and Jim Cheung (Young Avengers artist). Most of the weekend, J. Scott Campbell's (Danger Girl creator) line was a bit too long for me to want to wait in, but I knew I could have and gotten siggies on his stuff too if I wanted.

2. People in costume!
There were many great costumes this year. People really worked hard to look good and it really showed. Each person was very kind when asked to have their pictures taken (besides, why dress up if you don't want your picture taken?)

3. George Perez sketch... finally!
'Nuff said.


1. The lack of Marvel and DC booths
I mentioned this before at the start of the convention, but there are some really big questions swirling about now. First of all, I read that Marvel originally had a booth and backed out. They asked for a refund and was not a fan at all of how Wizard Entertainment handled that. Not sure if Marvel has yet to receive that money or not. This has people wondering if Marvel is done with the Wizard shows for good. Word on the street is that both Marvel and DC have signed exclusively to begin appearing at the new convention in Chicago, C2E2, and if that is the case, have we effectively seen the end of the WizardWorld shows as they once were? The lack of Marvel and DC's presence really hurt the panels at the convention as well. The panels scheduled weren't the comic creators talking about what they are working on as much as it was a guy from one of the publishers talking about stuff coming up, so details on that stuff could be sketchy (I'm not sure about that because I didn't want to find out first hand).

2. NOTHING going on at the Wizard booth itself.
Okay, there were some signings going on there, but they used to have a wheel that let people win prizes. You used to be able to go there and renew your mag subscription and get goodies for doing so. If there weren't signings going on, there wasn't much of anything happening there. There was more going on at the GenCon booth and that isn't even the same convention peoples! Which leads me to my next, and most worrisome critique...

3. Is something going on with Wizard that us readers don't know about?
The magazine hasn't really been up to snuff the past few years. It supposedly got bigger, but we didn't really get much more than what we used to get before. Wizard has laid some people off due to either lower sales or bad economy, but it certainly seems like what made the convention so awesome the past few years also got the axe. I can tell you the exact moment the magazine started its steady descent in quality. Back in 2004, there was a big storyline happening in The Avengers known as "Avengers Disassembled". The mystery villain causing all the bad stuff to happen was a mystery that would not be revealed until the final part of the story arc. That final issue came out one week after Wizard hit the streets. Wizard revealed the villain to be Scarlet Witch, one of the longest running team members in Avengers history. The surprise ending was no longer a surprise. Some of this could be Marvel's fault for shipping the issue late, but some of the blame could go to the magazine for having story that detailed the ending and could have still been read before the final issue came out (think about subscribers who might have gotten the magazine in the mail before they could go to the comic shop or the people who do online subscription for the comic and bought Wizard at the grocery store before getting the comic in the mail). Things seem to be getting progressively worse at the magazine since.

Overall, I don't want to be a hater of the convention. I had a great time despite not doing all the things I would have liked to have done at a con. My only question is whether or not I will go to a Wizard convention again. This kinda seems like a fitting close to this chapter. Perhaps C2E2 will give me the type of con I prefer and I will still be attending a show in Chicago after all. Good thing I have some time to think about it.

Thanks for reading. I will be writing a lot of reviews this week. I have a couple books that I picked up at the convention that I'd like to review. Plus, there are some big books coming out this week too, so count on seeing a Blackest Night #2 review along with Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 and Walking Dead #64!

No comments:

Post a Comment