WIZARD WORLD MINNEAPOLISwizardworld.com
Taking place on May 2-4, 2014, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, is the inaugural Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con.
If you grew up in the 90s, you probably collected Wizard Magazine, as I did. They were great, I love getting those free trading cards, and then eventually the 1/2 exclusive comic books. Unfortunately, like so many things that the internet destroy, Wizard slowly died. Founder Gareb Shamus was smart enough to invest in comic book conventions... so that's how Wizard World Conventions came to be.
The latest city to join the Wizard World family is Minneapolis. Personally, I'm really excited about this because I feel that for the first time, Minneapolis will be getting some A-list stars, such as William Shatner, Robert Englund, Ultimate Warrior, and much more, that only a major player like Wizard can bring in. I've previously attended Crypticon 2008 and Crypticon 2009, which featured some horror stars, but it's nothing compared to this upcoming Wizard World Convention.
As for the comic book side, because technically this is still a "Comic Book Convention", I recognized many of the artists they booked: Neal Adams, Michael Golden, Mike Grell, Greg Horn, Barry Kitson, Bob Layton, Kevin Maguire, Ethan Van Sciver, and much more. Among all these artists, I really love Michael Golden, whose linework reminds me of Brian Bolland or Steve Lightle.
The one problem I have is the expensive prices ($75.00 for three days, $40 average for single day). That's just the entry price, if you want pictures or autographs with the stars, it'll cost extra... For example, autograph from William Shatner will run you $75, or photo of the Walking Dead (Jon Bernthal, Michael Rooker & Laurie Holden) will cost you another $125. Still, people will pay for it, so ...
Read the full press release at news.weheartmusic.com
Meanwhile, the SpringCon is taking place a few weeks after Wizard's convention: May 17-18 at the usual Minnesota State Fairgrounds. I have been going on and off for many years, from that hotel near Mall of America to the much larger Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Some benefit to SpringCon: free parking, and affordable entry ($12 for both days). You can bring a can of food and get $1 off.
We went to the last Fallcon 2013, and there wasn't a schedule/programming and with fewer guests (but, then again, it was also cheaper: $8).
Looking at SpringCon's list, it would seem that SpringCon, at least this year, is much bigger. The artists I recognized were: Peter Gross, Gene Ha, Dan Jurgens, Adam Hughes, Doug Mahnke, and Gordon Purcell. I'm sure I missed a few times scrolling through their massive list.
I've gotten comic books signed before at these MCBA shows, and it's always free (or donations - but they usually go to a charity). If you're into original artwork, getting an commissioned artwork is usually pretty easy. Unless an artist is really popular, you can usually get them to draw your favorite comic book characters. I've seen prices go from quick sketches for $20 to as much as $200 depending on how detail the artwork has to be.
Personally, collecting original artwork can be quite expensive (although I own my fair share of original artwork), instead, most of my money usually goes to getting good deals on old comic books.
Sound+VisionMN's upcoming show is this Saturday, March 22, at the Valley Creek Mall in Woodbury, Minnesota.
Their special guest for the show is comic book artist, Gordon Purcell (who is also appearing at SpringCon). Although I tend to think of his artwork is more cartoony (Ben10), he actually started his career as a more 'realistic' artist with Star Trek. Also, random trivia, I actually own his first DC published work in the Bonus Book in The Flash #12 (May 1988).
Additional details below:
Sound+VisionMN, a Music, Comics, Pop Culture, and Toys Collectibles Show / Sale returns to Valley Creek Mall (1750 Weir Drive) in Woodbury, MN on Saturday March 22, 2014, from 9am-3pm.
This Free Admission event features dozens of dealers selling a wide variety of vintage and current music (vinyl, CDs, tapes, DVDs), comic books, toys, pop culture, movie memorabilia, and anything else related.
Our special guest for the show is acclaimed comic book artist, Gordon Purcell! Working in comics since the mid-1980’s, he is best known for his Star Trek art for both Marvel and DC Comics, and is the current artist for Cartoon Network property Ben10 (IDW Comics) and Protectors, inc. (Image Comics).
Additionally, Sound+VisionMN is partnering with Allied THA for an exclusive Captain America: The Winter Soldier event, to offer a fun chance to win free advanced movie screening passes, t-shirts, and posters for the upcoming Marvel Studios blockbuster, which opens in theaters on April 4th. Attendees will be the first in the area, to see this hotly anticipated movie!
The location features plenty of free parking and on-site/nearby
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2014freecomicbookday.com
Free Comic Book Day 2014 is taking place this May 3rd. Perfect timing, really, especially with Wizard World Convention and MCBA SpringCon in the same month.
I've been going to Free Comic Book Day since it started. I've watched how it's grown. It's really incredible how big it's gotten.
It used to be that I'll go to my local comic book store and can still get all the free comics. Now, by the time I show up to the comic store, they "sell out" of all the free comics (or at least have really bad selections). I'm not complaining, I think it's awesome that there are more interests in the event.
Last year, the coolest thing I got were these Iron Man FCBD Heroclix figurines. I also thought the Walking Dead FCBD was cool too.
I looked over the comic book list for 2014 and didn't see Marvel. I'm assuming they'll unveil the comic books closer to the May date.
Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores. *Check with your local comic book shop for their participation and rules.