Wizard World Philadelphia, May 7-10, 2015

We start a new section to keep all of us informed on which conventions we are missing out on and which ones we should pretend never existed. The good thing is that everybody is invited to join with their own convention report. To make things easier, we have included our template here, so just post your review on the forums and we will integrate all of them into an article.

Thomas Vaeth brings us his Wizard World Philadelphia review!!!

Q: Were there pre-sale tickets (online/in-store), and could you get in early?
A:Tickets were available through wizardworld.com or the day of the show. 4-day passes were around $85-90 (4-day passes sold out about 3 weeks before the show) and VIP tickets were mostly around $250.

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VIP ticket holders got in 30 minutes early on Saturday and Sunday only if you remembered your lanyard. If you paid full price you got The Walking Dead #1 show exclusive variant color and if you were VIP you got an additional B&W sketch.

Q: How many retailers were there?
A:Comic book dealers? Maybe 20-30 total. It was a good show if you were looking for complete modern sets.

Q: How was the floor layout?
A: Artists and food were all the way to the left (which was weird to pair together), celebrities in the back, vehicles like the Batmobile and gaming area to the right, and all the dealers in the middle. Scheduled events were downstairs.

Q: What was the most ridiculously over-priced book you saw?
A: Batman #40. I saw 1st print copies for $20. They were selling on eBay for $10 at the time, so that’s a 100% markup. Mask movie variant CGC 9.8 was $240! Some dealers were definitely trying to take advantage of the “death” of Batman and Joker.

Q: What was the highest priced book you saw?
A: The highest price book I saw was an Amazing Fantasy CGC 7.5 for somewhere around $25-30K. It was in a glass case surrounded by $100 bills. If you’ve seen Comic Con Episode IV it was the crazy gray haired dealer who’s friends with Chuck/Mile High (he actually had some great SA keys for below market value).

Q: What was your best bargain purchase? Why?
A:

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GI Joe #2 cover B for $5. I’m mostly buying modern books, so this was my best bargain purchase. It sells on eBay for about $50, so I was happy. I actually got one from the same dealer about 2 weeks prior.

Q: What was your favorite item purchased? Why?
A: This.

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It was only $10, so I had to have it. There were a few larger ones, but this one was perfect. There was also an artist selling stickers, prints, etc. of pop culture character with sugar skulls instead of their real heads. https://www.etsy.com/shop/MisNopalesArt I grabbed a Walter White one.

Q: What was your favorite comic purchased? Why?
A: I didn’t purchase it for myself, but I helped someone purchase it who wasn’t at the show. I convinced Trey Kenyon to pick up a Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #23 CGC SS 9.8 Adam Hughes with sketch! It’s a beautiful book.

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That book is CBSI.

Q: What was the rarest book you saw?
A: I didn’t really pay attention to “rare” books. The rarest I thought was the Supergirl #23 with a sketch.

Q: What were some books you were surprised the dealers had priced so high? (that you saw multiple dealers had at a high price, not just a single as above)
A: Well I passed on a lot of Star Wars #1 Luke Skywalker B&W variant at $175 thinking it was way overpriced. I just looked it up on eBay and was I wrong. Ugh!

Q: Were any artists present? What were your experiences with them?
A: Neal Adams, Rob Liefeld, Dan Slott, Clay Mann, Ethan Van Sciver, J.G. Jones. Neal Adams has so many prints for sale. He almost had a whole aisle to himself. Signatures from him are expensive though. Rob Liefeld also charges a lot and the more the comic is worth the more he charges. Clay Mann did the Walking Dead #1 show exclusive variant, so he was there charging $5 a sig (he did it for free if you bought something from his table). I stopped by several times during the show.

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Q: If you were the promoter, what would you have done to make this show better?
A: Counterfeit items should have no part in comic con. Even if the company is a multi-billion company there should be no counterfeit items. The amount of fake Lego minifigures I saw was ridiculous. On Thursday the dealers had Lego signs and on Friday the Lego signs were gone (probably because they were “replicas” and the organizers said something).
Also, why can’t they get any publisher there except for Zenescope? Marvel, DC, Image doesn’t want to show up??

Q: If you were selling comics, what would you have done differently?
A: I would have brought new releases. Wade’s Comic Madness and another stand brought new issues and seemed to do well selling them.

Q: Did you see a dealer try to swindle a rookie? If so, explain.
A: Yes. If a dealer says I’ll give you a good deal so I’ll make a little money and you can go resell for a little money, then they might be taking advantage of you. That’s what I saw at least. You should know price points if you are looking to buy for resell.

Q: How much was this con about just the comics?
A: Very little. The 2014 show was the same time as Heroes and a lot of dealers picked that one. The only major highlight of Wizard World Philadelphia is on-site CGC grading.

Q: How much was this con about the cos play?
A: Every con has cosplay, especially if it is Wizard World. This year wasn’t as great as other years, but it was still there. The best one I saw was Helena from Orphan Black.

Q: How pumped up was the crowd?
A: So pumped.

Q: How strong was the haggleability?
A: Depends what you were looking to buy. Everyone will haggle. If they don’t, then you’ll see it somewhere else eventually.

FINAL COMMENTS:

If you have books to get graded, then you can do it on-site which is the biggest highlight of the show. CGC only does it 4 times a year and this is the only time in early summer. The Walking Dead #1 show exclusive variant was a nice addition you can keep or sell to get some of your ticket cost back. Also if there is a celebrity you really wanted to see, then you can do it pretty easily (but they normally tour with Wizard World, so you can go somewhere else).

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If you aren’t a local and would need to pay for a flight and hotel, then I wouldn’t come. Save your money for Wizard World Chicago because they have the same celebrities, a better guest list of artists, and CGC on-site grading.

FINAL GRADE: 6 / 10

5 comments

  • Santos

    Those sugar skulls are freaking awesome, they got Dia De Los Muertos written all over them, ill have to scoop a batman one up.

  • Ben Steiniger

    This is really good info. Thanks!

  • Dan Wozniak

    Thanks for the review. Was thinking about doing a business trip and staying the weekend – don’t regret not going much. How quickly does CGC grade the books on site? Do you have to have them in on a Friday and pick them up Sunday or do they turn-around pretty quickly?

    • It depends. The majority I dropped off Friday morning and had back Sunday afternoon. But I dropped some off Friday afternoon and had them back Saturday morning. If you can get there at open on Thursday, then you might be able to get them back on Friday. It was just hard this year to do it on Thursday because of the amount of dealer submissions.

  • Thanks for the review! I hit the Philly con quite a few years back for like half a day, need more time than that. Im hitting the Chicago con this year, been going there for years. Taking my 2 oldest boys, on my 2nd day there of course.

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