For the past four years, Wizard World Comic Con has taken over downtown Minneapolis for three days of geeky fun. This year, nary a Twin Cities date is to be found on the official site.
While we have yet to hear back from our Wizard World contacts, folks at the Minneapolis Convention Center, where the event has been held every spring, have confirmed that the Con isn’t coming to their space anytime soon.
“Over the last several years, we enjoyed having Comic Con and its attendees experience our venue and city. Unfortunately, Comic Con will not be taking place at the Minneapolis Convention Center this year,” writes Jeff Johnson, executive director of the Minneapolis Convention Center, via email. “In the future, if there is an opportunity to bring the event back to Minneapolis, we will gladly explore that option.”
A three-day celebration, past Wizard World festivities have featured fabulous cosplay contests, gaming sessions, vendors selling rare wares, and celebrity chats and meet-and-greets. Guests of note have included Matt Smith (The Crown, Dr. Who), Charlie Sheen (interviewed by Kato Kaelin), Gillian Anderson (The Fall, X-Files), and William Shatner.
While there has been much hubbub and excitement over the Con coming to Minnesota, not all Twin Cities geeks were enthused. Many were disappointed with the schedule for the inaugural year, as the Con was in town on the same weekend of MSP ComicCon, a biannual event showcasing local artists, gamers, creatives, and businesses. Free Comic Book Day, a national happening that encourages people to visit their local comic shop for freebies, was also that weekend.
Meanwhile, the overall future of Wizard World Comic Con is uncertain. When the company released its Q3 financial report last November, the numbers showed that their convention revenue was down about $1 million from last year, and down $7 million year to year.
“We have evaluated the significance of these conditions in relation to our ability to meet our obligations and have concluded that, due to these conditions, there is substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern through November 2018,” the report states.
In 2016, Wizard World Inc. also made headlines as it faced legal woes after firing its co-founder and suing him for allegedly misappropriating over $1 million in funds. The suit was eventually settled out of court.
So if you want to bask in comics, cosplay, and gaming this season, MSP Comic Con is your best bet. That happening, which has endured over decades, is scheduled for May 19-20 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
It also looks like Wizard World Comic Con, should it manage to bounce back this year, is planning to come to Madison, Wisconsin, in late November.