Doug Palumbo reports on the Comics Convention in Philadelphia and offers some in-site on how these things should be done better...

The Golden Age Of Hollywood


Wizard World Philadelphia 2007

*Due to a technical glitch, the audio portion for this article is unavailable.*

Costumed Characters


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Anakin V.S. Obi-Wan w/ Darth Vader Looking On


My Press Pass

By all accounts, Wizard World Philadelphia 2007 was a big success; large crowds, loads of vendors, strong ticket sales, celebrity guests, and plenty of costumed characters. The show was well organized and ran smoothly. Even though the entry lines into the Pennsylvania Convention Center were long, con-goers were patient and everyone moved along at an orderly pace. Wizard convention workers (regular employees and convention volunteers) were helpful and polite. Any questions I had were answered honestly and effectively and I felt the staff was genuinely helpful.

With the initial energy I had going in to the show, I was surprised when it came time to write this article that I couldn’t get into it. I was interested in covering the show but for some reason, I just couldn’t get my thoughts nailed down. I tried several times to get started; I would write a few paragraphs then scrap the whole thing.
Like I said, the mechanics of the show went flawlessly. Everything was well organized, planned, and controlled. The dealers’ floor was spacious and with wide isles that provided enough room without having to constantly excuse yourself for bumping into someone. In fact, it was one of the best run shows I have ever been to. Besides Comic Con International in San Diego, the Wizard shows are far superior to the other offerings out there.

Why then, with all of this positive talk, was I having such a hard time with an article that should almost be writing itself? I mean, this show (like all other shows I have attended) was right up my alley with all of the comic back issues, toys, guest panel discussions, and promotional freebies.

After several failed attempts at writing this article, I realized I was dragging my feet on it because the show in Philly was exactly like all the other shows; the same comics, the same toys, and the same sort of panel discussions. I hesitated in writing the article because I felt let down by the whole experience.

Nothing seemed fresh or new. Granted, I did meet some interesting people with original ideas (story lines, comic book characters, etc.) and I did see a few toys for sale that I had never seen in person but not much more than a handful. Regardless of how much care and attention went into the preparation for the show, the content as a whole was, well…rather blah. Even the panel discussions, which seemed exciting in the program guide, were only interesting if you were a faithful reader of a particular comic series or a diehard fan of a specific television show or actor. There was not much (at least in my opinion) in terms of general interest programming for the casual enthusiast.

With all this being said, what should Wizard (or any other event promoter) do to give the fan convention industry the jolt of freshness it desperately needs? I think a good place to start is to promote the shows more. Not just in trade publications or at other events, but in more mainstream media outlets and even places that are generally forgotten about…like college campuses and local papers. What better way to get new faces attending shows than advertising at the local level? I would bet that even more folks would attend the shows if they knew there was a show in the first place. If more “newbies” started going to cons, then promoters and event organizers would be more inclined to update the convention formulas and shake up the status quo. Not only would this draw in folks that might otherwise skip these kinds of conventions, it would also excite the core fan base and keep them coming back for more. If the right changes are made, conventions will increase their already big numbers and fans that might be on the fence weather to leave the hobby or not might just come back into the fold.

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Bobby Chiu: Refreshingly imaginative! Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera open up new worlds of fantasy and wonder with their art. Spend time to browse their on-line portfolios.

Bryan Morton (Indakin): Indakin's My Space / Son Of The Suns - Bryan was handpicked by George Lucas himself to be the official Anakin Skywalker for the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade! A real stand-up guy who has abundant passion for what he does. He is quite the accomplished artist as well.

Jam Packed Productions: Bold comics with a flair for dark humor! If you get a chance, ask these guys to draw a sketch of you…as a zombie!

Lewis Helfand: Fresh ideas and interesting characters can be found at Yellow Nightmare Press. Their comics, Wasted Minute and 4320, put a new spin on conventional themes.

YouComic: Now you can star in your own comic page! Professional comic book artist Pete Stathis can turn you into a superhero, historical figure, wizard, and more…check it out!

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