Sunday, June 2, 2013
An Open Letter to the Wizard World Philadelphia Organization
Problem #1: Over Priced Tickets
The Baltimore Comic-Con 2 day weekend pass is on sale for $40.00 on their website. New York Comic-Con is charging $65 for a 3 day pass ($85 for a 4 day). The Megacon Convention is charging $60.00 for a 3 day online pass. A one day Wizard World Philadelphia was a whopping $50, $85-$95 for a three and a half day pass. The ticket price is absurd.
Problem #2: Lack of Comic Talent
While other shows feature such guests as George Perez, Gail Simone, J. Scott Campbell, Adam Hughes and many others, Wizard would rather focus on booking actors who charge for photos and autographs. I'm not saying that actors should not be permitted. I like seeing Hollywood celebrities and if you have the extra cash to "meet" them, go for it. But it appears that Wizard has lost it's roots. It's not about comics anymore. It's about Hollywood. At this year's show, Stan Lee was the big comic draw and.....that's it.
Problem #3: Missing Publishers
It appears that even the publishing gods have abandoned Wizard. Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Top Cow, Aspen and other major publishers stopped attending the show roughly 5 years ago.
Problem #4: Zero Exclusives
There was a time where you could purchase exclusive statues, comics and toys at the Philadelphia Show. Hunting and buying exclusives makes any show more enjoyable. Now the vendors consist of items easily purchased at Toys R Us and Target for double price.
Problem #5: Denying the Press Access
This year Wizard denied press passes to Bloggers and photographers. Photographers were only allowed in if they were union. I know of 3 Bloggers, myself included, who had a good business relationship with Wizard and covered the event for several years thus giving the organization press and exposure. This year our press passes were denied. I would not have minded purchasing a full pass; if it didn't cost nearly $100 each. As a result, my photographer and I only attended Friday.
I have to report that it was nice to see that gift bags had returned. Among other things it featured a free issue of the Walking Dead comic. The seating area had also been expanded and Artist Alley featured a large variety of local talent. Although these are steps in the right direction, it is too little, too late. There are still many things wrong with the show as seen in my list and these problems have been ongoing for the past 5 years. I have traveled and attended many shows around the country and Wizard is easily the most poorly organized national show. Unless some major changes are made for 2014, you can consider this show to be our last.
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