Thursday, February 05, 2009

Convention competition

Reed Exhibitions - the company responsible for New York Comic Con - made a couple of announcements on Monday that are in turn very exciting and potentially disappointing.

The exciting bit is that they're starting a new convention in Chicago. The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) will debut on April 16th-18th, 2010. Because it's close enough for me to drive, Wizard World Chicago has been the only out-of-town convention I've regularly attended, but for the most part I've become increasingly frustrated with it. Last year was an exception - I had a blast at that show - but previous to that there just wasn't a lot new for me to do. I'd go to the same Marvel/DC panels, see the same publishers, visit the same artists in the Alley, and spend too much money at the same vendors. I'm hoping that last year was an indication that Wizard's trying some new things and that their show will continue to improve, but it's still going to be nice to have a choice.

The downside to the Reed show is that it's downtown. That's likely to be an attactive feature for a lot of people - downtown Chicago is awesome and there's a lot to do there - but the Rosemount convention center has always worked well for me as someone who's driving to the show. Not that I wouldn't drive all the way into downtown, but it'd be less convenient for me. And really, if I'm going to visit attractions in downtown Chicago, it's not likely going to be over a weekend when I'm also trying to do con stuff. I suppose the after-con choices for restaurants and bars will be a lot better though.

I don't know if I want to be in that inaugural crowd that helps Reed work out its bugs next year, but even if I'm not, I'll be paying close attention to the con reports to see if it's something I want to replace Wizard World with in 2011.

The disappointing news from Reed is that starting next year they'll be moving NYCC to early October. That doesn't affect me directly, but FallCon's always been in early October and I'm a little concerned that their ability to get big names will be hampered by that. I haven't actually talked to the FallCon organizers about that concern, so I don't know if it's a legitimate one, but it was the first thought that popped into my head when I read the announcement.

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