Category Archives: newsarama

The Last Wizard World Philly?

Comic Widows has been a guest of Wizard World Philadelphia since 2001. That’s right, before we were even a website about comics, before we had our vision clear, and we were filming a sadly aborted documentary called Comic Widows, we were their guest. That weekend of filming and interviewing folks about their experiences, whether they were an entire family all dressed as Thor to the baby-overdue woman outside the main room who didn’t “know nothing ‘bout no Green Lantrin,” was my first time at the show. At the time I was amazed and dazzled by the wonder of it all.

Now I don’t think it’s that I have become jaded, but in the last couple years, the con just isn’t what it used to be. There’s been a name change. It’s now the Philadelphia Comic Con. That’s notable. Not only does it invoke the New York Comic Con, the new gold standard for conventions in the industry, but it lacks the words Wizard World, almost as if they are bad words.

The last few years Wizard World Philly has had a hard time competing with Heroes Con in Charlotte, the same weekend, and fighting for guests. While they are not the same weekend this year, the Con is at the same time as the Philadelphia Writers Conference, and had the Flyers won, there could have been serious competition there in the city. And it’s no secret that Wizard has had some financial problems and it’s also fairly obvious glancing at a schedule that there are very few comics-related guests.

There are only two meeting rooms being utilized this year, not counting gaming, and only one was used today. Wow, that alone says something is wrong. There is no presence from DC Comics or Marvel Comics, so no breaking news, and if you were to take a peek at Newsarama – you couldn’t even guess that there was a major convention going on this weekend. What is the problem here?

Upon arrival and looking at the program guide I was again disappointed. Quite honestly, other than the “What You Need to Know” article, I have never seen a more useless program guide for a con. It barely even rates that title. The map of the Convention Center was more useful, and it makes me wonder why that information wasn’t in the guide?

The Press Room, that only a few people knew about, was locked for most of the afternoon. And while there were at least two friendly and helpful volunteers, the majority were either clueless, didn’t want to be there or didn’t care. Usually when I do a con report, I break it down by day, mostly because so much is going on on any given day. The sad truth is however, there was hardly anything going on today. I’m not paying for a photo or an autograph, and I’m not paying con prices for comics-related goods – so I am sadly leaving early. I have no idea what I will write about the next two days. Maybe it was a slow Friday, maybe not.

I hate disparaging the con, I really do. It is local, and I would rather have a lackluster con than none at all, but… this is kind of embarrassing. I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds, etc. I really wonder if this article will put me on some kind of blacklist for next year, and that this is Comic Widows’ last time at Wizard, but I gotta call ‘em like I see ‘em. I hope that this is not the last time in Philly, but it might be at this rate.

Next: The Other Side of the Coin – Let’s Save Wizard World Philly!

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The Mouse Turns 80

Eighty years ago, on November 18th, one of the world’s major cartoon icons was born – Mickey Mouse!

The cartoon short, “Steamboat Willie,” was released theatrically on this day and was notable for being the first syncronized sound cartoon.

The creation of animation genius Walt Disney as well as a few of his friends, Mickey has gone on to worldwide fame. Surely there are not many in this world who don’t know the Mouse.

More info can be found here.

Happy Birthday, Mickey!