Wizard acquires Big Apple Con
Straight from Heidi at The Beat comes word that the Big Apple Con has been purchased by Wizard and will move to a new venue, Pier 94, and an October date for this year. If this date holds for next year it would put the show in direct competition with the New York Comic-Con which is moving to a fall date next year.
The Big Apple Con had been held at the rapidly decaying Penn Plaza Hotel– a great location, a lousy facility. Wizard has had its own problems with the cancellation of their Texas show, the postponement of their Los Angeles show, and the cutbacks in their publishing line. The Chicago and Philly shows are still planned. As with other Wizard shows, the new Big Apple Con will be partnered with another pop culture show, this time the Video Game Expo. Here’s the press release:
Gareb Shamus, CEO of New York-based Wizard Entertainment, today announced he has acquired Big Apple Con, one of the trailblazing brands in the comic book and pop culture world, and the longest running annual show in New York City. The “new” Big Apple Con is moving to Pier 94 in Manhattan the weekend of October 16-18, 2009.
“I’ve been going to shows in New York City since I was a kid and I have a fondness for Big Apple Con,” Shamus said. “Today’s acquisition fulfills a dream of running a mega-show in New York City unlike anything there’s ever been.”
This move also enjoys tremendous support and enthusiasm from industry leaders. “Diamond is really looking forward to working closely with our friends at Wizard as they expand into the New York market,” said Bill Schanes, Vice President for Purchasing at Diamond Comics. “We anticipate a great event based on their ability to attract key talent, to promote and market the event, and at the same time to give consumers a tremendous value for their admission price.”
Ed Fleming, CEO/Founder of Video Game Expo (VGXPO), the largest East Coast expo of its kind, announced recently its partnership with Wizard World Philly. Now, VGXPO will expand its relationship to include Chicago Comic-Con and Big Apple Con as well. “Our partnership provides VGXPO with the ability to rapidly grow our footprint from Philadelphia to Chicago and now New York City,” he said. “We look forward to working and sharing our passion for video games with all the fans in New York.”
Michael Carbonaro , the longtime and current producer of the show, will continue to provide his limitless creativity and enthusiasm to the show.
Good luck, folks– you’ll need it.
Speaking of new comic conventions, DENVER's Majesticon is now under new ownership and is debuting as Comic Fest. It is combined with sci-fi and gamer "fests". Party starts April 17th.
Actually, since moving out of the St.Paul Church's basement, the Big Apple Con has been held not at the Penn Plaza Hotel but at a space adjacent to the hotel that was formerly a Sports Authority store. I don't like the sounds of this.
Actually, that store was combined with the mezzanine level of the Penn Plaza/Hotel Pennsylvania to create a standalone convention/event facility, separate from, but likely still owned by the hotel. The space that was the Sports Authority was really only the entryway and a small bit of show space – the lion's share was upstairs. They still used some space in the upper floors of the hotel as well, and it was just as hard to get to as it was in the Fred Greenberg / Creation con days. Elevator access only, and long lines to get up there.The overall feeling the space gave was "cramped" – low ceilings, a lot of columns and narrow aisles. Evan Dorkin and several others gave the last show a severe reaming online for its overcrowding and overheated nature. And all told, that's the impression most people have of it – a FAR cry from the attractiveness and professionalism of the NYCC.
The first NYCC was a clusterfuck that was closed temporarily by the fire marshall their first time out. They've improved since but that attractiveness and professionalism wasn't there from the start. The Sports Authority space was a welcome change from the basement of St.Paul's church. It will be interesting to see if Pier 94 is an improvement or more like a lateral move.
The first NYCC was a case of underestimating the audience, no more. They had no IDEA how big a hit they'd be. Greenberg's shows at the Hotel Pennsylvania were regularly shut down, and someone stationed at the escalators with a counter, letting up- five people as five left. The fact that there's still enough fams for that to still happen is good news indeed.Carbonaro (and I assume Gareb) are doing one thing very differently from Fred did – they're working with other cons. The NYCC usually has a booth at the National, letting people know about it. Fred would ban anyone who ran their own shows.
Hmm. Wizard deciding to get involved with a comic convention.Where have I heard this before?
isn't october of next year also new york comic-con?
"If this date holds for next year it would put the show in direct competition with the New York Comic-Con which is moving to a fall date next year." So, yes.
my bad…i skipped right over glenn's text and went to the release
Apprently Wizard also fired two more people at the same time they wasted money buying this convention.