Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Oh No! Not More Wizard World!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Oh No! Not More Wizard World!

I'm wading in here again even though, despite how it may look, the subject is not that important to me. Although Wizard insists that there is no cause and effect, after receiving a fair bit of online criticism (Heidi has a round up) the organization fired two senior con organizers. In the comments at the two linked stories, a few creators and guests of the cons have stepped up to praise the fired staffers. The consensus seems to be that there are larger issues that Wizard's turning a blind eye to. If he plays his cards right, Wizard chief Gareb Shamus will be able to find a job in the Bush administration if the comic book guide thing ever fades away.

Meanwhile, over at Indignant Online, Todd Allen has a few suggestions for how to make Wizard World better. He's got a number of good points (including some about the lack of a decent program of panels, a subject I'm apt to complain about now and then, myself). But my favorite part is this:

Let's face it, Rosemont sucks. It's a pain in the backside to get from Chicago-proper to Rosemont, and vice-versa. There aren't just a ton of food options in easy walking distance from the convention center and the local nightlife is pathetic.

I'm not sure what all our non-Rosemont options are or how viable they might be, but everything Todd says is true. Rosemont seems to pack the convention business in, but it's not a terribly easy place to get to or pleasant place to be.


At 11:30 AM, August 16, 2006, Anonymous Jim Caldwell said...

Re: Todd's Open Letter, I agree completely. It was an excellent piece, and it summed up most of the points that have been rattling around in my head for the last week and some.

He's right about Rosemont, but the fact that so few people even *dare* to hop the train to go downtown just strikes me dumb. It's as if that extra hour (or so) spent riding the train back and forth to Rosemont is that perfect hour in which all deals/schmoozing/pitches/romance? will occur.

I don't see McCormick as practical simply from the Union Rule perspective, regardless of its size.

Although, I'm not sure how much Rosemont is The Problem. It is a lousy location, but is the lousy location a big reason why Wizard couldn't get much of a Big Show this year? As much as the location is a downer, Wizard doesn't seem to have its heart in the show. (Yeah, they might be trying 'rillyrilly' hard, but it doesn't show in the end product. The proof ain't in the pudding.) The torpor of the exhibitors might not have been as noticeable if there'd been more exhibitors and more torporific guests.

As an aside, of at The Beat, Heidi links to a story claiming 200,000 attendees. They must have counted the back issues.

At 10:03 PM, August 17, 2006, Anonymous Doug said...

You're right, Jim. Although I find Rosemont unappealing, it's not Wizard World's problem in and of itself. Lots of other organizations have successful conferences and conventions out there, and if Wizard World were firing on all cylinders, the environment at Rosemont would be a minor annoyance if that.

I think that McCormick Place is too big for this kind of show, and as you point out, it comes with problems of its own. As to other alternatives, Navy Pier has been known to hold trade shows . . .

I still maintain that Wizard counted the airplanes that passed through the convention center's airspace in compiling their attendance figures.


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