Wizard World Q3 Financial Report Raises “Substantial Doubt” About Ability To Continue
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1Cool   
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Last year looked bad and this year looks way worse.  Time to start the death bell tolls.

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lizards2   
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I honestly don't see the attraction to either attending or selling at those conventions.

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1Cool   
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1 hour ago, lizards2 said:

I honestly don't see the attraction to either attending or selling at those conventions.

In 2016 it was a good local Con for me (Cleveland) since the attendance was off the charts due to nothing else going on in Spring during the cold.  The booth fee was $1,100 but I did about $5,500 in sales with $1,500 coming from pretty dreky 90s books for $1 each.  The number of people walking by who where willing to pony up $70 for a nice Killing Joke or similar (ultra hot books at the time) meant I had a steady stream of nice sales.  I didn't see that at Heroes or Baltimore that year (too many big name dealers in the room) and definitely at the couple small 1 day shows (bunch of people blowing out pretty nice books for $1 each).  I didn't set up last year since it was during St Patricks Day weekend but I'm definitely considering a half booth for $550 if they bring in a group of big name stars (looks doubtful at this point).

Edited by 1Cool

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VintageComics   
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7 hours ago, AustinReece_GRRC said:

Their flagship show, Chicago was a complete bust. It started looking like Philly when Philly started going downhill.

There were many empty, unsold booths in Chicago which would have been unheard of even last year or two years ago.

Philly was comparable to Chicago 10 years ago. It's now a flee market.

I suppose if they don't make it it will help other shows as lately there have been waaay too many shows people anyone to keep up.

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aardvark88   
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12 minutes ago, VintageComics said:

I suppose if they don't make it it will help other shows as lately there have been waaay too many shows people anyone to keep up.

I wonder if Informa from the UK (they run international conventions selling everything from heavy equipment, tractors, comics) who is the umbrella company for the Fan Expos across Canada will take over running the stronger Wizard cons in USA for 2018?

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mysterio   
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10 minutes ago, VintageComics said:

Their flagship show, Chicago was a complete bust. It started looking like Philly when Philly started going downhill.

There were many empty, unsold booths in Chicago which would have been unheard of even last year or two years ago.

Philly was comparable to Chicago 10 years ago. It's now a flee market.

I suppose if they don't make it it will help other shows as lately there have been waaay too many shows people anyone to keep up.

Chicago was serviceable this year, but I'll agree that it paled in comparison to even 2-3 years ago.

To me that story looks like a plea to be bought. They played a similar tune this time last year and got a cash infusion, and this seems like the same thing. Either someone else will come in and give them a pile of money, or they'll sell their (shrinking) slate of decent shows. That may be only NO, Chicago, and 1-2 others, but they would be worth something to somebody.

As long as there is a late summer comic extravaganza in Chicago I'll be happy, no matter who runs it. That is a tradition that cannot be allowed to die.

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Spidey 62   
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I have only been to 1 Wizard show.  It was on the pier in NY 6 or so years ago.  It wasn't bad, but not an extravaganza in any way.  Local shows in and around Massachusetts have seen a decline.  The contraction after the expansion.

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lizards2   
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9 hours ago, ygogolak said:
10 hours ago, Philflound said:

Definitely way too many shows. Buyers only have so much money to spend.

If they had comics at them I bet people would buy.

They reestablished a con close by to me (250 miles :p) that used to be a comics only, so was excited about going again.

It turned into a high admission fee, high table fee, multi-non-comic-guest, cosplay extravaganza.  Yuck.

Edited by lizards2

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1Cool   
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10 hours ago, ygogolak said:

If they had comics at them I bet people would buy.

Fix it for you - If they had books that could be pressed/slabbed or books at way below market value then people would be buying. 

It really is a discussion on which came first the chicken or the egg.  Lets say there was plenty of comic dealers set up at Chicago 2 years ago.  A bunch obviously did not sign up for this year based on what people have said so the buyers did spend $ even though the dealers showed up.  People are simply not buying books at Cons as much as they did in the past or the dealers would be there.  Booth prices have been creeping up but not so much people would set up at Chicago one year and drop out the next unless once again - people are not buying books to keep them coming back.  Discount blow out sellers will always do well but those guys either sell out and don't come back or realize they can make more selling books on E-Bay / Instagram / Facebook / Amazon or wherever people sell now adays.

Edited by 1Cool

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ygogolak   
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9 minutes ago, 1Cool said:

Fix it for you - If they had books that could be pressed/slabbed or books at way below market value then people would be buying. 

It really is a discussion on which came first the chicken or the egg.  Lets say there was plenty of comic dealers set up at Chicago 2 years ago.  A bunch obviously did not sign up for this year based on what people have said so the sellers did not make sales even though the dealers showed up.  People are simply not buying books at Cons as much as they did in the past or the dealers would be there.  Booth prices have been creeping up but not so much people would set up at Chicago one year and drop out the next unless once again - people are not buying books to keep them coming back.  Discount blow out sellers will always do well but those guys either sell out and don't come back or realize they can make more selling books on E-Bay / Instagram / Facebook / Amazon or wherever people sell now adays.

I went this year and there were 6 comic dealers among 100 booths.

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1Cool   
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Just now, ygogolak said:

I went this year and there were 6 comic dealers among 100 booths.

The comic dealers of years past had seniority and could have easily renewed their booth but chose to not do it.  People who are making money hand over first sign up for the next year at the end of that years Con.  Lack of dealer did not scare away the buyers - the lack of buyers scared away the dealers.  The dealers were replaced with trinket, lego or Pop sellers who have been making money hand over fist.  The general public can't complain about no comic vendors since they caused it but to be honest I do not think many noticed the change.

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mattn792   
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On 11/16/2017 at 4:41 PM, VintageComics said:

Their flagship show, Chicago was a complete bust. It started looking like Philly when Philly started going downhill.

There were many empty, unsold booths in Chicago which would have been unheard of even last year or two years ago.

Philly was comparable to Chicago 10 years ago. It's now a flee market.

I suppose if they don't make it it will help other shows as lately there have been waaay too many shows people anyone to keep up.

From a buyer's perspective, I wouldn't call Chicago a complete bust as I scored as much silver/bronze as my bankroll would allow.  BUT...when I wanted to spend some quality time, along with my last few bucks, digging through the modern boxes looking for potential 9.8s...blech.  Total dearth of sellers with quality modern books.

Anyway, as for Wizard itself, the writing has been on the wall for years.  Just looking at their stock price tells a large portion of the story.  February 1, 2013:  closing price $0.25.  November 17, 2017: closing price $0.21.  In this bull market.  Add to that the weird shenanigans with their insider dealings, such as prepaying, what was it, 19 months of rent to their CEO's private equity firm who they're renting their corporate office space from?  Come on man.

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VintageComics   
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1 minute ago, mattn792 said:

From a buyer's perspective, I wouldn't call Chicago a complete bust as I scored as much silver/bronze as my bankroll would allow.  BUT...when I wanted to spend some quality time, along with my last few bucks, digging through the modern boxes looking for potential 9.8s...blech.  Total dearth of sellers with quality modern books.

What is the 1st Chicago / Rosemont show you ever visited?

Mine was in 2007 and the difference in depth of inventory between then and now is staggering. You could shop for 4 days straight back then and not see everything.

This show is now a shadow of what it used to be, even a few years ago.

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VintageComics   
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12 hours ago, ygogolak said:
13 hours ago, 1Cool said:

Fix it for you - If they had books that could be pressed/slabbed or books at way below market value then people would be buying. 

It really is a discussion on which came first the chicken or the egg.  Lets say there was plenty of comic dealers set up at Chicago 2 years ago.  A bunch obviously did not sign up for this year based on what people have said so the sellers did not make sales even though the dealers showed up.  People are simply not buying books at Cons as much as they did in the past or the dealers would be there.  Booth prices have been creeping up but not so much people would set up at Chicago one year and drop out the next unless once again - people are not buying books to keep them coming back.  Discount blow out sellers will always do well but those guys either sell out and don't come back or realize they can make more selling books on E-Bay / Instagram / Facebook / Amazon or wherever people sell now adays.

I went this year and there were 6 comic dealers among 100 booths.

The problem for all Wizard shows is the same. Their high booth prices push out smaller, local dealers who are the bread and butter and draw for many people. There used to be wall to wall comics.

The international dealers, who operate on much larger budgets can still afford to come but the small local guys can't. They are all but gone completely.

This year there were empty booths that people chose not to pay for.

Even artist's alley was a fraction of the size it used to be. They used to fill the entire room with the show. Now they don't.

Edited by VintageComics

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lizards2   
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5 minutes ago, VintageComics said:
7 minutes ago, mattn792 said:

From a buyer's perspective, I wouldn't call Chicago a complete bust as I scored as much silver/bronze as my bankroll would allow.  BUT...when I wanted to spend some quality time, along with my last few bucks, digging through the modern boxes looking for potential 9.8s...blech.  Total dearth of sellers with quality modern books.

What is the 1st Chicago / Rosemont show you ever visited?

Mine was in 2007 and the difference in depth of inventory between then and now is staggering. You could shop for 4 days straight back then and not see everything.

This show is now a shadow of what it used to be, even a few years ago.

:preach:

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mattn792   
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15 minutes ago, VintageComics said:

What is the 1st Chicago / Rosemont show you ever visited?

Mine was in 2007 and the difference in depth of inventory between then and now is staggering. You could shop for 4 days straight back then and not see everything.

This show is now a shadow of what it used to be, even a few years ago.

Oh I'll definitely believe you on that front, I really didn't start attending in earnest till 2012.  

And tbh, this year I only spent around half of Friday on the show floor (I'd say about 12:15-4:00).  And I DEFINITELY saw everything worth seeing; a four day would've been a complete waste of money.  To illustrate that point, much of my day broke down to:

30 minutes chatting with the Reece family and browsing/buying
20 minutes chatting with Frank at Metropolis and buying Batman 227
20 minutes ogling Dale Roberts' books because I was out 90% of my bankroll by that time
20 minutes at another booth with some good Thor/JIM issues
20 minutes at Harley's booth

(And I could very well be underselling those time estimates)

The rest:  walking by endless booths I can't remember while hoping (and largely failing) to stumble on something worthwhile at the occasional scattered comic dealer.

Oh wait! And about 30 minutes at CGC turn in!

Edited by mattn792
More!

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