We’re back! It’s our weekly news feature where we boil down the week’s news from the convention circuit.
Top story this week: ReedPOP announced their expansion into China this week with the new Shanghai Comic Convention. This comes shortly after Wizard World’s half-hearted announcement of their own Chinese event, which came a few weeks ago with no mention of a city, venue, or even an official name. ReedPOP may have been beaten to the punch on the announcement, but they’ve already outpaced Wizard World in planning, with dates (May 16 – 17) and a venue (Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center of International Sourcing) ready to go. It helps that, as The Beat points out, ReedPOP’s parent company Reed Exhibitions already has a Greater China division with a staff of over 500. And to rub salt in Wizard World’s wound, ReedPOP’s new show is a mere two weeks before Wizard’s work-in-progress convention.
It’s a banner year for ReedPOP as far as new shows and acquisitions are concerned: you’ll recall they recently picked up Emerald City Comicon, and it’s the inaugural year for Comic Con Paris, TwitchCon, and PAX South. Paired with their recent expansion into India and their shows in Singapore and Australia, the current ReedPOP lineup really makes the “International” in San Diego’s “Comic-Con International” look a bit silly.
- With WonderCon on the horizon and San Diego Comic-Con prep in full swing, there’s so much Comic-Con International news that we’ve got a separate Concentrate just for them this week.
- El Paso Comic Con has been cancelled indefinitely. Reports on the show had been largely negative – reportedly ranging from a lack of timely refunds, announcements of unconfirmed guests, and guests going unpaid. Proof that no event is a sure thing, even when the industry is experiencing a boom.
- DelRay is hosting a “Drinks with Authors” event in Seattle the weekend of Emerald City Comicon – that is to say, it’s not at the convention center and it does not require a badge. Considering Emerald City is sold out, this is great news for locals who want a chance to meet some creators. An RSVP is required, however. (21+; The Museum Room at The Pike Brewing Company, 1415 First Ave; 8:00-11:00pm, Saturday, March 28.)
- More Emerald City: if their “cosplay is not consent” posters last year weren’t progressive enough for you, Emerald City is introducing gender-neutral restrooms this year. (They’re adding a coat check too, but that’s not quite so innovative.) Gender-neutral restrooms also popped up at GDC, the Game Developers Conference, earlier this month.
- Wizard World’s CONtv on-demand subscription service officially launched this month; the original content speaks to the nature of Wizard World shows, which are more “pop culture” than anything specific.
- Disney’s D23 Expo released application details for two competitions: a castle-themed design challenge and the “Mousequerade” costume contest. Submissions for both are due April 30.
- BookCon (yep, that’s another ReedPOP event) taps into some TV star power by booking Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak as their Saturday morning kickoff interview.
- Con*Quest Journals have partnered with GenCon to produce a GenCon branded journal with new pages specific to tabletop gaming and GenCon events. We reviewed the original Con*Quest Journal last year.
- Firefly‘s Alan Tudyk & Nathan Fillion are reuniting for a crowdfunded webseries that’s set at comic/pop culture cons, aptly titled Con Man. Campaigning through Indiegogo, the project was funded in less than a day and is now funded four times over. Contributions are accepted until April 10, with a $25 donation getting you access to stream the series in HD before it becomes available to the general public.
- The city of Springfield, IL gave Cobra Commander a key to the city, in advance of April’s G.I. JoeCon – but as Comics Alliance points out, who gives Cobra Commander a key to the city and where the hell is G.I. Joe when you need him?!
- Rose City Comic Con in Tyler, Texas has outgrown it’s original venue (a hotel) and will move to the Mayfair Building on the East Texas Fair Grounds for this October’s show.
- Good news: ReedPOP’s favored New York venue, the Javits Center, put in a green roof and now the building doesn’t kill birds anymore. Which is nice.
- New events announced: Shanghai Comic Convention, TwitchCon, Geek Fashion Week, New Jersey Comic Expo (from the organizers of Long Beach Comic Con/Expo), Disney Fantasy cruises’ Star Wars Day at Sea, a Colorado Symphony concert billed as “a Comic-Con tribute” in May 2016, Community at SXSW fan-hosted pre-party flash mob & dance, plus official Yahoo-hosted Community events open to SXSW badge holders. In the we’ve gone too far category: two shows that proudly call themselves “like Comic-Con, but for ___.” CatCon LA, which does what it says on the tin – it’s a convention for cat people (no cats allowed, though); and RuPaul’s DragCon, which is billed as the first ever drag convention and hits LA on May 16 & 17 – consider it an early Pride celebration!
- Tickets on sale: BroadwayCon: batch one March 15. BlizzCon: batch one April 15, batch two April 18. NYCC: batch one at the NYCC sister show Special Edition in June (open to Special Edition ticket holders only).
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