Just A Thought | Why I Wasn’t At Wizard World Toronto

So I was going to do a big article on The Walking Dead DVD: it is coming but I felt I had to address a few something that came up a lot this weekend.

Why I wasn’t at Wizard World Toronto.

It was a subject that I was surprised came up that much. After last year’s Wizard World Toronto, I kind of figured it’d be deader this year then last year. And make no mistake, it was dead last year. But much of the Toronto nerd community headed out to this convention and I kept getting asked if I was going or in one case, I was at a birthday get together and a few of the attendees were surprised because I was going to be drinking and I probably had to get up early for Wizard World.

So good on you Wizard World, at least public perception was up this year. More people knew about the con then knew about it last year so in this you did your job.

So why wasn’t I there?

The answer is kind of two-fold.

On a professional basis, there wasn’t a lot for me this year. Now this isn’t entirely the con’s fault mind you. My co-host Adam was taking a well deserved vacation that weekend so it would have only been me getting interviews and stuff. As well in terms of guests to interview, no one was there that hasn’t been at a recent Fan Expo or isn’t going to be at the upcoming Fan Expo.

The second thing is a little more of a personal thing. I don’t like the sneakiness of the convention. I’m not sure how many people noticed but as the con got closer advertised guests mysterious began to disappeared off the website without any notice. Sure if you went to the site and looked you’d know someone was no longer coming but there seemed to be no actual effort to inform the public about these cancellations.

Cancellations happen. It’s a part of conventions; weather can cancel flights, actors can get last-minute parts that pay tons of cash, the average fan will understand that, they might be a little bummed but they will understand that.

But there is no reason that you can’t post that on your Facebook page or website to warn consumers of it.

Well, no reason other than greed.

And for anyone who thinks “Oh he’s biased, he’s a Fan Expo shill”, not true. I will give Fan Expo a lot of crap about a great many things but the one thing I will give them is when a guest cancels, Fan Expo notes it on their website in a fairly timely manner. And that’s all I’m really asking out of the convention.

There is another well know sci-fi-ish convention that I’m not going to mention by name, but despite the fact my friends rave about it year after year, I will not attend.


Year after this convention promises one super huge guest and year after year about two days before the con, that guest cancels. Year after year.

It basically amounts to false advertising.

And that’s just wrong.

Cons aren’t cheap to go to. A lot of the younger people who go to these things tend to go for the entire weekend, stay at a cheap hotel and nerd out for the weekend. Combine these costs with TTC transit or cab fare to the convention area, it adds up to a kid who works at Best Buy for 24 hours a week.

Maybe that’s more the problem then anything else. A lot of the people who run these cons forget what it was like to go to them in the first place.

Next week, Walking Dead on DVD review. I promise.

Brent Chittenden
Brent Chittenden

Brent Chittenden is a Canadian freelance writer currently writing for alancross.ca, geekhardshow.com and his own pop culture podcast, TATANS. He is readily available for writing and speaking gigs. Brent like sandwiches.

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Kevin Boyd
13 years ago

You can give me as much crap as you like Brent, I’m the HSM shill. You are 100% correct – when we attend so many of these events for free professionally we start to perceive things differently than we did when we were paying to get into them as fans. On the JSA blog there’s an article posted in the conventions subsection that might be of interest re: my thoughts on how to measure the success of these types of events from different perspectives http://joeshusterawards.com/links/comic-book-conventions-across-canada/advice-for-comic-book-convention-plannerspromoters/

13 years ago

I thought about going on the weekend, especially since my sister was next door at Canada Blooms, but the cost discouraged me from going.  I was going to grab a couple tickets at the door but changed my mind when I saw online that tickets were $38 at the door.  It was just too expensive for 2 people to go to the con.  Next year I will plan ahead and purchase the advance tickets for the better price.