Concentrate: This Week in Con News (June 26)

Welcome back to Concentrate, our weekly news feature where we boil down the week’s news from the convention circuit plus share our calendar of the weekend’s upcoming conventions.

sgebayThis week, a touch of drama for the Suicide Girls’ Comic-Con plans: the website has long been a part of the SDCC scene, and has planned to bring their burlesque show back this year. But this week they attempted to have an eBay auction for passes to Comic-Con and to their show:

Once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the world-famous San Diego Comic Con in all it’s geeky glory WITH the SuicideGirls!

This package includes all of the following:

-2 all access passes to Comic Con, good for all 4 days of the convention
-4 nights hotel accommodations, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday in a nearby 4-star hotel (the Manchester Grand Hyatt)
-Dinner with the SuicideGirls for you and your guest – Saturday night dinner with just you your guest and 20 SuicideGirls
-Pair of VIP tickets to our special Comic Con Blackheart Burlesque show on July 9
-Huge SuicideGirls prize pack, including a one-year membership to for you and your guest, a t-shirt each for you and your guest, one copy of each of our books (SuicideGirls: Beauty Redefined; Hard Girls, Soft Light; and Geekology), our 4-issue comic series, the latest issue of our magazine, and a signed poster.

Bidding started at $7,500 – but the auction was pulled in less than a day. The Beat speculates that Comic-Con may have gotten involved, as they don’t take kindly to their passes being sold. It’s a good lesson in not selling your Comic-Con badges online, but it can sometimes be tempting even to the average attendee when they see how much those things sell for on the secondhand market. A quick look through eBay and Craigslist show unverified 4-day badges going for nearly $1000 each, while five days of parking permits at the Bayfront are running over $200 (face value was $125 for 5 days with convenience fees).

  • Image Expo is next week (July 2) and the full schedule has been released. Highlights of the one-day San Francisco show: Eric Stephenson’s keynote address followed by sessions with Robert Kirkman, Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, Brian K. Vaughan, and more. Tickets are $25 or $65 for premium access.
  • You’ll recall that Lionsgate and Comic-Con have partnered to start a video-on-demand channel; this week, they announced former Legendary Digital and Nerdist programmer Seth Laderman will serve as CEO for the service launching in early 2016. We’ll be talking more about Comic-Con and streaming later this afternoon in our daily SDCC countdown post.
  • Pixar has announced their plans for August’s D23 Expo, and it includes previews of “The Good Dinosaur” and “Finding Dory,” a look at “Inside Out” with the director and producer, Pixar’s senior story staff in discussion, and a 20th anniversary retrospective of Toy Story (if that doesn’t make you feel old, I don’t know what will). Plus, look for a big Pixar display on the show floor with “live demonstrations, presentations and autograph signings with top filmmakers, free giveaways and interactive displays” and an actual exhibition of John Lasseter’s Hawaiian shirts. Yes. For real. D23 ticket prices increase on June 30.
  • Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige finally admitted they’re skipping SDCC because they can’t top DC’s presentation this year – especially because Marvel already had their big announcement during this cycle, on their own terms (outside a con) last October. He put a nice spin on it, saying “Everyone knows what we’re doing over the next few years. I really have a belief: If you can’t go to Comic-Con and overdeliver, then don’t go.” For now, Marvel still reigns supreme: that quote is from the cover story on “Ant Man” in this week’s Hollywood Reporter, after all. Because we now live in a world where “Ant Man” is on the cover of Hollywood trades.
  • Anime Expo is next weekend in Los Angeles, and in advance of this year’s show they’ve announced a new five-year contract to stay at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The convention center’s press release mentions they expect 100,000 attendees at the show this year, breaking last year’s record of 80,000 – a record that brought with it miserably long lines, particularly for badge pickup on Day 0. But AX is expanding into the full convention center this year, and the show generates $55 million each year – so LACC should be pretty happy to have that locked down until 2019.
  • SDCC Offsite Major Players: While Nerd HQ moves to the New Children’s Museum this year, the Legendary Digital family of Nerdist, Geek & Sundry, and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls take over Petco Park. Dubbed the “Nerdist Conival,” the Nerdist crew will be offering a whole host of interviews all weekend long; Geek & Sundry will have a tabletop gaming area; and Smart Girls is setting up a craft zone. Hours for the Nerdist Conival are 11am-5pm, Thursday July 9th through Sunday July 12th. Meanwhile, Zac Levi talked about Nerd HQ in general to Hypable this week, saying, “Petco was an awesome place but that’s money going to a baseball park, and now we can pay money to a non-profit and it just makes it sweeter.”
  • And finally, the long battle to lock in Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center beyond 2016 continues. Reports surfaced this week that a deal was near, as the Union-Tribune reported the hotels had finally gotten on board and pledged not to raise rates in 2017 or 2018. (You’ll remember our WonderCon Talk Back recap where CCI’s David Glanzer and John Rogers discussed how hotel blocks were keeping them from re-upping their contract with San Diego.) The UT expected a two-year contract to be signed before this year’s con starts – but CCI quickly quieted the rumor, saying that no agreement has been reached and negotiations continue. He confirmed the hotel blocks are the sticking point but added, “We’re still talking, which is good.”

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What’s Happening This Week (Wednesday, June 25 – Tuesday, June 30)

Organizers: hosting a con soon? Fans: want to help get the word out about your favorite event? Contact us to have it added to the calendar.

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