Tag Archives: LA Comic/SciFi Con

Comic Book Convention Prices Compared

I’ve been trying to decide whether to go to Wizard World Los Angeles this year. On one hand, it’s close. On the other hand, I just went to WonderCon last month. The astonishing thing is that a one-day ticket for WWLA costs almost as much as a 3-day membership to WonderCon. This got me thinking about comparing convention prices.

So I looked up the comic conventions in the area, plus the other two Wizard World cons that have prices up.

Convention Thu Fri Sat Sun Full
LA Comic/SciFi (a.k.a. The Shrine) $8 N/A
WonderCon (advance) $12 $12 $10 $30 = $10/day
WonderCon (onsite) $15 $15 $10 $40 ≈ $13/day
Wizard World LA, Philadelphia $25 $25 $25 $45 = $15/day
Wizard World Chicago $25 $25 $25 $50 ≈ $17/day
Comic-Con Intl. (way ahead)* $60 = $15/day
Comic-Con Intl. (advance) $25 $30 $35 $20 $75 ≈ $19/day
Comic-Con Intl. (onsite) none

And to compare to some non-comic-focused conventions, some nearby, some just big:

Convention Thu Fri Sat Sun Full
ConDor (advance) $25 ≈  $8/day
ConDor (onsite) $20 $25 $15 $50 ≈ $17/day
Loscon (advance) $35 ≈ $12/day
Westercon 61 (advance) $60 = $15/day
Gen Con Indy (advance) $35 $35 $35 $35 $60 = $15/day
Gen Con Indy (onsite) $45 $45 $45 $45 $75 ≈ $19/day
Dragon*Con (advance) $65 ≈ $16/day
Dragon*Con (onsite) $90 ≈ $22/day
Worldcon/Denvention 3 (advance) $200 = $40/day

It’s interesting to note that WonderCon (San Francisco) and ConDor (San Diego) are extremely cheap if you sign up far enough in advance. Also, when you expand to more general cons, San Diego Comic-Con is right in the middle of the range, with several conventions being more expensive. I’d guess that the more volunteer-based cons like Westercon and Worldcon probably don’t bring in as much money from exhibitors, so they’d be more dependent on memberships to keep afloat.

In compiling this, I discovered that this year, Comic-Con International isn’t going to be selling any memberships on-site. It’s going to be pre-registration only.

I guess they’re expecting it to sell out again like last year, and don’t want people to count on something they won’t be able to deliver. Plus I’m sure it’ll simplify matters for the con, since they won’t need to deal with taking money for registration.

Update: Added Loscon for nostalgia’s sake. Also fixed some links; GenCon rearranged their website sometime in the last 4 days, and I somehow typed in the wrong domain name for ConDor.

Note: These are the 2008 prices, except for the ConDor advance price, which is for 2009. All prices were obtained from the events’ websites except for the way-advance price for San Diego Comic-Con, which is simply the price I paid last summer for this year’s con. For shows with multiple membership packages, such as Wizard World, I selected the most basic package that lets you walk in the door.

*CCI always has a booth selling pre-registration for the following year’s convention at an even lower price.

Minicon: LA Sci-Fi, Flash and Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo

Went to the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention on Sunday. I’d only been to one before, last June, and it was pretty pathetic. The dealer’s room was sparse, and hardly anyone was in attendance. Or maybe they were all in the movie (IIRC it was a Wonder Woman fan film). All this seen through the context of my search for affordable copies of 1940s-era Flash Comics led to me spending a grand total of an hour there before leaving.

In fact, I wouldn’t have gone back if it weren’t for three things:

  1. The writers on the new Flash series would be there, signing autographs.
  2. One of them posted a reminder on a message board that I frequent. (I would have looked at the calendar next Friday and realized that I missed it.)
  3. They were screening Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, a full-length movie that will otherwise only be shown on Cartoon Network.

With #3, that meant Katie wanted to come along too.

So we got up early (for a weekend), went out to breakfast at Ruby’s and drove up to LA.

I was shocked to see a line to get in. And the place was comparatively packed. I could swear there were twice as many dealers, and 2 or 3 times as many attendees. My best guess is that a lot of people stayed home in June since it was only a month before San Diego Comic-Con.

I cruised the dealer’s room, found some comic book adaptations of The Colour of Magic (1/4) and The Light Fantastic (full set), and a couple of Elric books, looked at what I thought might be the autograph table to see if Bilson and DeMeo were there (the Flash writers), didn’t see them, and joined Katie as we waited for the movie to start.

And waited.

And waited.

You see, the actor who does the voice for Beast Boy was signing autographs (and using it as a way to collect money for PETA — you got an autograph by making a $2 donation). They wanted everyone in line to get an autograph. He wanted to keep reminding people that they really should pick up some of the PETA literature he had up front.

The movie was supposed to start at 12:30, and didn’t get underway until at least 1:00. Fortunately it was a lot of fun… until 45 minutes in, when the DVD started skipping and catching. And no one did anything about it. The guy sitting at the control table, as near as anyone could tell, wasn’t even trying to do anything. After a few minutes — yes, minutes — of this, people started leaving in earnest.

I decided to make one more circuit and see if I could find the main autograph table, and it turned out that it was the table I thought, and I just hadn’t recognized them (one of them did most of the talking at the Comic-Con panel I went to, and he shaved off his beard between then and now). I spoke to them briefly, got them to sign the new Flash #1 and the Flash TV Special from 1990. (They were really impressed at the condition it was in, and asked where I got it. I explained that I’d picked it up when it was new, and kept it that whole time.)

About this time the people running the movie finally got around to fixing, cleaning, or whatever they needed to do to the DVD, so we got to see the rest of the movie.

Trouble in Tokyo was very good. The story was a bit predictable in places, but it kept up a manic pace and had tons of humor. There was a travel montage early on that was just one joke after another, and some drop-down-funny parts scattered through the film.

The one that practically had us on the floor was in a sequence with a sushi chef trying to convince Cyborg to leave his all-you-can-eat restaurant by handing him ever-more-ridiculous dishes.

We still left after maybe 4 hours, but it was an interesting four hours!

(Originally posted at LiveJournal)