If you haven't heard by now, it has been confirmed that Peter Dixon of Paradise Comics and Paradise Conventions has sold the Paradise Toronto Comicon to Gareb Shamus of Wizard Entertainment.
Here is the Press Release, with a little note of correction by Kevin Boyd.
New York, NY (June 24, 2009) – Gareb Shamus, CEO of New York based Wizard Entertainment, announces today that he has purchased the Toronto Comicon, a show that has been consistently awarded The Best International Comic Book Convention (non-USA) by ComicBookConventions.com, for the last 5 years.
(Kevin Boyd's note: the Paradise con won the award for five years – 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. There was no award handed out for 2008. The vote was an online fan vote).
“We’ve always had a strong following in Canada, so buying the Toronto Comicon is something that allows me to give back to our fans. These attendees are known to be serious collectors and comic industry followers,” said Shamus. “I am thrilled to offer the guests, celebrities, artists, dealers and exhibitors to our Canadian audience for the very first time.”
Peter Dixon, owner of Paradise Conventions and former owner of the Toronto Comicon, will still be intimately involved in the show production, his friendly manner ensuring the continuation of the trademarked relaxed atmosphere of the show.
“Wizard brings greater industry recognition and star power to the show. I’m excited about having the fans get this bigger experience,” said Dixon.
The next show dates have not been set yet, but the newly managed Toronto Comicon is expected to debut in 2010.
About Wizard Entertainment:
Gareb Shamus founded Wizard Entertainment in 1991. Today, Wizard Entertainment publishes Wizard, ToyFare, FunFare and numerous books and magazines about today’s top talent, comic books and toys. Wizard produces Chicago Comic-Con at the Rosemont Convention center, August 6-9; Big Apple Comic-Con at Pier 94, October 16 -18 and Wizard World Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Convention Center June 11-13, 2010.
This is some interesting news, as I am a big fan of comic conventions and festivals (gotta give some love to TCAF). Bringing back Paradise Toronto Comicon under the Wizard brand, surely will bring the attendance up, as celebrities will now be brought in, attracting a new crowd. Also, with Wizard being able to bring in some top names guests, could be something good. Downside, it won't be a "comics-only" convention anymore.
This also has me wondering about what's really going on, with the Wizard side of things. Wizard has let go a lot of their staff members over the part year (or two?), canceled Wizard World Texas, "postponed" Wizard World Los Angeles, shut down the Anime Insider magazine.
On the other hand, they re-branded Wizard World Chicago to Chicago Comic-Con, picked up Big Apple Con, and now Paradise Toronto Comicon. The only convention that remains under the "Wizard" name, is Wizard World Philadelphia, but I am thinking something will change with that con in the future.
I'm also wondering when and where the convention will be held. Timing of events and location were some of the reasons to the Paradise/Hobbystar Toronto Con War.
Here is a rundown of some of the events going on next year:
- Hobbystar's Winter Toronto ComiCON, February 28, 2010
- Megacon, March 12-14, 2010
- Emerald City Comicon, March 13-14, 2010
- Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, April 16-18, 2010
- TCAF 2010, May 8-9, 2010 (Mother's Day Weekend)
- Hobbystar's Fan Appreciation Toronto ComiCON, June 5-6, 2010
- Wizard World Philadelphia, June 11-13, 2010
- HeroesCon, not confirmed, but guessing Father's Day Weekend 2010, so June 18-20, 2010
- San Diego Comic Con, not confirmed, but guessing July 2010
- Baltimore Comic Con, August 28-29, 2010
- Fan Expo Canada, end of Summer 2010
- New York Comic Con, October 8-10, 2010
- Hobbystar's Fall Toronto ComiCON, tentatively November 2010
I'm sure they'll find a venue and a weekend to hold the con, I'm just hoping this doesn't start up another Toronto Con War.