“This past year was a landmark one for our brand, with successful expansion into new markets and the addition of a large slate of activation programs, celebrities and special events,” said Gareb Shamus, CEO of Wizard Entertainment. “With our added shows now announced for 2011 we can continue to grow and offer top flight entertainment to pop culture fans and the brands who want to engage them in even more markets cities across North America.”
After conducting a concise series of highly successful events annually for over 15 years, including the long-running Chicago Comic Con and Philadelphia Comic Con, Wizard World in 2010 expanded to several new markets, including Anaheim, California; Atlanta, Austin, Texas; Boston and Toronto (its first ever international event). The success of linking brands and fans across cities has spawned additional growth and the 2011 tour will also include Columbus, Ohio; Miami; New Orleans; and Winnipeg, Manitoba, in addition to the Big Apple Comic Con Spring Edition joining the return of the Big Apple fall show. The potential of adding additional events for 2011 may also be a possibility.
Wizard World partnered with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry in 2010, including Sony, Microsoft, Universal, Warner Brothers, Disney, Lionsgate, TBS, Fox Home Entertainment and Nintendo, on a variety of promotions, and provided the venue for campaigns for brands like Ford, Scion and others.
The roster of celebrities at Wizard World events was also stronger than ever, as popular stalwarts Adam West, Burt Ward, Ernie Hudson, Billy Dee Williams, Christopher Knight and William Shatner were joined by a series of guests who appeared for the first time, including Henry Winkler, Lee Majors, Patrick Stewart, Lindsay Wagner, Vivica A. Fox, Mimi Rogers, “Brady Boys” Barry Williams and Mike Lookinland, and actors James Marsters and Linda Hamilton.
Numerous actors from mainstream and cult-favorite movies and television programs like “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Caprica,”
The shows even saw surprise appearances by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (hours after his trial) and Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell (proclaiming “Batman Day” during Austin Comic Con”).
Media coverage was excellent in each market, with powerful regional newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, New York Daily News, Toronto Star, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Austin American Statesman, network television affiliates and top radio outlets in every city providing live pre-event and on-site coverage and numerous features, and top Internet sites such as Thrillist, IMDB, USATODAY.com, AOL.com and hundreds of others providing millions of media impressions at each event.
The series also attracted some of the most talented and well-known comics creators, with Michael Golden (“Wolverine:
2011 Wizard World Comic Con Tour:
January 29-30 – New Orleans Comic Con - Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
February 26-27 – Miami Comic Con
March 18-20 - Toronto Comic Con - Direct Energy Centre
April 29-May 1 - Anaheim Comic Con - Anaheim Convention Center
May 21-22 – Big Apple Comic Con 'Spring Edition' - Penn Plaza Pavilion
June 17-19 - Philadelphia Comic Con - Pennsylvania Convention Center
August 11-14 – Chicago Comic Con – Stephens Convention Center
September 17-18 – New England Comic Con – Hynes Convention Center
September 24-25 – Big Apple Comic Con – Penn Plaza Pavilion
October 22-23 – Mid-Ohio Comic Con – Greater Columbus Convention Center
October 28-30 – Central Canada Comic Con (C4) – Winnipeg Convention Centre
November 11-13 – Austin Comic Con – Austin Convention Center
December 3-4 – Atlanta Comic Con - Cobb Galleria Centre
TBA - New Jersey Comic Con
TBA - Cincinnati Comic Con
TBA - Cleveland Comic Con
TBA - Nashville Comic Con
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Gareb Shamus founded Wizard Entertainment in 1991. Today, Shamus publishes consumer magazines Wizard, ToyFare, FunFare and numerous books about pop-culture’