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Sunday, June 2, 2013

An Open Letter to the Wizard World Philadelphia Organization

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the 2013 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic-Con and for good reason. Complaints were made regarding the ticket prices, guest list and lack of comic talent, among other things. Before you brush this off as just an angry geek girl rant, I'd like to point out that I have been attending the Wizard World Philadelphia show for the past 10 years. It was my very first convention and takes place in my home town. I attended it long before I was a cosplayer, Blogger or a professional model. I have many fond memories but in the last 5 years, the show has been decreasing in quality. I am speaking my mind and writing this open letter to the organization based on my 10 year experience and observation. I am expressing my opinion as a fan (a title that is probably best described as "former fan" these days). I certainly am not one of those cosplayers who think I know how to run a multi-million dollar organization simply because I cosplay. There is no ego here. Just an opinion based on my experience at this show and attending other shows such as the San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic-Con, Dragoncon, The Baltimore Comic-Con and Megacon. Below is a list of major problems with the show.

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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11 comments:

  1. I would have loved to comment on the WW fb page but they blocked me years ago, when I compliant about how I was treated when I tried to take a pix of one of the stars on my cell phone. while I was with my daughter. the person nearly knocked my phone out of my hand. Anyway its only about profit now. No free giveaways anymore and very few comic book vendors. Plus I didn't even get to see most of my cosplay friends(you included) who I usually see at these events on a regular. FYI if you keep posting negative comments about them, they will bane you. I even had a facebook page for peeps to post their negative and positive feedback on facebook, but the peeps of fb shut the page down. Oh year, this year I went after boycotting last year, because my daughter wanted to see the Charm Actors. And what do you know, the actress Shannon cancel her showing on Saturday at 1030am. Anyone who brought her tix got screwed as Wizard is not providing a refund.

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    1. ya the no refund policy that most conventions have in place is the dirtiest money grab tactic ever. Its complete BS you pre-sell tickets and then offer no kind of reimburstment or alternative if the star decides to drop out which we as the fans have zero control over I would never pre-buy any autograph ticket with a guarantee that pretty much reads like a scam.

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  2. Oh I don't care of I get banned from their FB page. I unliked it a few weeks ago. I'm sorry to hear you had negative experiences as well.

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  3. WW is now charging fan groups to have a table. Their website still says free, but if you fill out a form, they email you back asking for $600 or more

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  4. i was pissed to find out that the mag i resubscribed to was cancled on attack of the show i still haven heard any thing from wizard

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  5. I will never attend a WW event because of the reasons above and how they always schedule the same weekend or just before the local cons. They put ATL before heroes and Philly the same weekend.

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  6. People seem to think wizard has ever cared about anything but profit.. comic stuff was in when it made money.now comics are a fading industry going digital in print as well as making them no need for inkers or colorist the new generation has no clue who made the first batman comic they do know who plays him in a movie its sad but its a fact. Wizard has always been about profit and its why they shut out local shows. there a company not a group of fans running a event or a not for profit .

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  7. I used to go every year to show my portfolio to Marvel and DC for reviews. One year I purchased a 3 day pass and found out they weren't there. On their website, it stated that Marvel is back doing reviews, and that is the only reason I am going this year. I had to buy a 4 day pass and it was close to $100. I'm better off looking into NYCC or SDCC next time. :\

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  8. I went last year as part of the Klingon Club table. I still had to pay but it was a lot cheaper than at the door. Our table this year was gone unless we pay $600 also. I can sort of see charging something for us old school Star Trek since we are a poor draw for the young but full rate? I wonder if the bigger clubs got a table? The ghostbusters might have since they have a new movie coming out and they are big. But I will not be there to see and find out. No one can afford to go all the days and to spend that kind of money for one or two days and miss your friends sucks.

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  9. The WW in Madison is much the same. Half of the Doctor Who guests had cancelled with no announcement by Wizard World - just a removal of them from the Madison page. High priced vending area with fan groups having to pay the same price for a table. Since all they really are is a shopping area and autograph lines (which you pay more for), it has been lacking appeal for me.

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  10. I think most comic book creators have their preferred cons they go to every year so it is harder for newer cons to get them.

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