Official Press Release
Congers, NY (March 24, 2004) - Pop-culture expo leader Wizard Conventions Inc., brought its popular Wizard World event series to Southern California for the first time this past weekend, surpassing all forecasts with more than 19,500 paid and promotional attendees throughout the three-day extravaganza. Presented by the country's foremost authority on everything related to comic books, Wizard Entertainment, the event featured the latest and greatest in the worlds of comic books, toys, anime, movies, manga and video games and featured some of the biggest stars in comics, film and television.
Wizard World Los Angeles, held March 19 - 21, 2004 at the Long Beach Convention Center, provided fans the chance to interact with comic book and entertainment industry luminaries, including this year's guest of honor Kevin Smith (producer, writer and director of Jersey Girl, Dogma and Chasing Amy), industry-leading artists and writers, such as Alex Ross, Michael Turner, Stan Lee and Marc Silvestri. Also there were stars, producers and directors of the many upcoming comic book-based movies including Avi Arad, Jonathan Hensleigh, Gale Anne Hurd, Thomas Jane, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Kevin Nash ("The Punisher"), Ron Perlman, Guillermo Del Toro and Selma Blair ("Hellboy") and James Franco (Spider-Man II"). The event is the fourth in the wildly popular yearly series, which already includes Wizard World Philadelphia, May 21-23, Wizard World Chicago and Wizard World Texas.
With fans not only lining up a ½ mile outside the Long Beach Convention Center, but also camping out overnight, anticipation and excitement was the general theme of the show. Activities throughout the event included:
- Q&A and autograph sessions with Kevin Smith
- Panel discussion and Q&A with the casts and directors or upcoming films "The Punisher," "Hellboy," and "Spider-Man II"
- Autograph signing with Stan Lee, James Marsden (X-Men, X2), Thomas Jane, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and James Franco
- U.S. premiere of the new TV series "Ghosts in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex," the highly anticipated follow-up to one of the most widely recognized anime films, "Ghosts in the Shell"
"The convergence of comic books and Hollywood has created an ideal environment for us to establish ourselves on the west coast," said Gareb Shamus, Chairman and CEO, Wizard Conventions, Inc. "Wizard World Los Angeles has now become a critical event for our marketing partners and industry professionals alike, so I am excited to announce that Wizard World will be back in Southern California March 18-20, 2005, with an even bigger show that will give our fans many more reasons to camp outside the Long Beach Convention Center."
Shamus further added that with the addition of Southern California, Wizard Conventions expects to draw more than 100,000 attendees across its four shows in 2004. Expansion into more markets is expected in 2005.
Wizard World three events in 2003 drew over 85,000 people, an increase of over 40 percent versus 2002. Wizard World Chicago, August 8-10, 2004, is expected to draw 50,000 people. All
the shows will feature the most recognized and respected figures and companies in comic book, toys, anime, manga and video games, as well as stars in film and television.
Wizard World Los Angeles, Wizard World Philadelphia, Wizard World Chicago and Wizard World Texas are produced by Wizard Conventions Inc. Wizard Conventions is a sister company of Wizard Entertainment, the industry leader in the comic book and collectibles market that publishes four magazines, Wizard: The Comics Magazine, InQuest Gamer: The Gaming Magazine, ToyFare: The Toy Magazine and Anime Insider: The Japanese Animation Magazine, as well as co-publisher of Toy Wishes: The Holiday Gift Guide. Wizard's publications have a monthly national readership of more than 2 million and are currently sold in 25 countries and five languages.
For more information, please visit www.wizarduniverse.com