Timing is Everything – And Wizard World Chicago has Competition Across the Street
Just when you thought the ongoing saga of Wizard conventions couldn’t get any stranger, it’s Wizard time in Chicago, and guess what Wizard is competing with? A horror convention.
It’s not unusual to have a couple conventions going at the same time out in Rosemont (the suburb out by O’Hare airport where Wizard World Chicago takes place). Frequently, there’s a convention at the Hyatt attached to the convention center. Last year it was a knitting convention. I remember a few Beattles conventions. This year, the Crowne Plaza is hosting a horror convention.
That’s right, essentially across the street from Wizard World, Anchor Bay Entertainment Presents: Flashback Weekend (The Chicago Horror Convention).
There’s a little bit of cross-over between horror and comics. Wildstorm and Avatar have both recently done horror movie-based comics. Walking Dead, Sandman, Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, One More Day – these are all comics that could fall into the horror category. You get a little more fan base cross-over when you figure Wizard is a little more of a media show and studios will promote movies there.
So who’s at the Horror show that you’ve heard of? Pretty much everyone associated with the Phantasm films. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (she’s had comics from a couple different publishers) and George Romero.
Is this going to have an effect on Wizard World attendance? I can’t see how something with a similar demographic wouldn’t, but I can’t tell you it will be good or bad. You’ll have some people at each show who will probably take a day off and go to the other. If you’re Wizard, you’re hoping there’s more people popping in from horror than leaving, and you hope anyone leaving has already bought a 3-day pass.
I do know two things. They had a regional comic show out in that O’Hare area of the Chicago ‘burbs several years back that was opposite a toy show and the attendance dropped more than anyone was expecting. Wizard is a national show and the people flying in aren’t as likely to be swapping events, but the locals might. The other thing I know is if Robert Kirkman is in town, he needs to spend some time across the street. George Romero’s fanbase will be there and he’ll make some friends.