Tuesday, June 07, 2005
BULBOUS FATT NERD FEST, The RETURN of PHILLY WIZARD WORLD
BULBOUS FATT PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE PENICK
This last weekend was the annual Philly Wizard World Con, held in Center City Philly at the convention center.
Despite reports that the attendence was topping 27,000 this year, the show seemed less 'magical". I think a few things are going on here. For most artists NOT on a mainstream superjock-babyman- book, the show was down. I heard that from many artists. Of course Wizard is all about the mainstream.
I do the show to promote me, sell me, do sketches and promote Draw! magazine and all my products and even recruit a few students for my classes at DCAD..but also Philly is about hanging with friends. Because of it's size and great location to resturants Philly Wizard is a great smooze con, and less stressful than San Diego, so it's good for business too, contacts etc. I think the economy being still sluggish and the rising cost of all entertainment hurts as well. I think fans have to be even more choosey on what they spend their nerd bucks on.
Some of the sketches I did for fans at the show
If you are are an official guest, a TV person etc, suuure, you probably did OK. A few big publishers were not there like Tokyo Pop and Viz etc. They were at the
Book Expo in NYC at the Javits. They know where the reallll $$ is, and it isn't babymen. Traffic was ok, but never seemed to be heavy in Artist Alley, even on Saturday.
I'll rethink what I do for next year. Maybe the bad weather also hurt on Saturday? Maybe the show was laid out different too, separting gamers etc.? There was less drumming mind numbing music blasting and the publisher area again seemed much smaller. The lack of the huge Cross-Gen booth was obvious, but there was the usual parade of fans in costume like the following pics.
The Star Wars costumers even had their own spot in artist alley where jawas and Darths, sandpeople could get a bottle of water and change out their parts or whatever they do...Roger, Roger!
Sunday was a hot mother, almost 90, and with the humidity from a few
days of rain, well lets say the streets of China Town smelled like a
sourmilky old man's ass wrapped in a brown lettuce sheeth of garbage!
But I had a good time, I guess I broke even, despite my thirst for apple
martinis...so I can't complain too much. I had a great time seeing friends and fellow artist. I didn't walk the whole show even once, never went over
the the publishers, didn't buy anything. I manned my station except for
the frequent pee breaks. ( more on that later) I had no urge to buy more crap, or books, I'm saving that $$ for san Diego con where I can buy the books I really like, the European ablums from artists I love. I like the social aspect of this con the best.
Once again San Ki Duck house on 9th and Vine a few short blocks away saved the day 2 nites in a row as large parties are no problem.
They also don't put any MSG in the food for those who sensitive to it like me. Sometimes we'd have 18 people going out to dinner.If you don't have reservations you are kind'a screwed as the weekends are busy. Philly is a great city to walk around and eat in though. The Wizard people do run a good smoothe show though, I have to hand it to them, i don't agree or like a lot of the "fannish philosphy" of the magazine itself, put they do put on a show that's easy to set up at. I'll be back next year.
Enjoy the happy memories!