Official Press Release
Congers, NY â€“ Wizard World, the nation's foremost touring event for pop culture, comic books, anime, toys, games and collectibles, concluded its tenth annual tour at Wizard World Texas, November 10 â€“ 12 at the Arlington Convention Center with a confirmed attendance of more than 11,500 fans for the family-friendly three-day event. One of Wizard's most successful tours, the 2006 series attracted a total of 127,500 fans in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and Texas and brought a variety of celebrity guests and esteemed comic book artists and creators to meet their most loyal fans.
Highlights from the Texas show included a sneak preview and Q&A session for Columbia Pictures' upcoming major motion picture Ghost Rider hosted by the film's director Marc Steven Johnson, autograph sessions with actors and comic book fans Scott Porter and Adrianne Palicki (NBC's newest hit "Friday Night Lights"), Guest of Honor Marc Silvestri (Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, Founder: Top Cow Publishing), actress and Playboy cover model Mercedes McNab (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), TNA wrestlers Jeff Jarrett, Gail Kim, Traci, Konnan and The Naturals, and many other notable names in the worlds of comic books, television, sports and film. Wizard World will return to Texas November 16-18, 2007, a date that was recently changed so as not to conflict with a recently confirmed NASCAR event at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Additionally, Wizard hosted the first ever Wizard World Film Festival in Texas. >From the wide variety of entries received, Wizard World chose 15 of the best to showcase and compete for the "Best in Fest" as determined by fan vote at the festival. Film Festival category winners, announced on November 12, 2006, were:
· Best Short Comedy: Three in the Afternoon: A Lightsaber Fan Film
· Best Short Drama: Razor Sharp
· Best Mini Comedy: Raccoons on a Space Shuttle
· Best Mini Drama: Creep
When the votes were tallied, fans chose Short Drama winner Razor Sharp as the "Best in Fest," which will be showcased at Wizard World Los Angeles 2007, March 16-18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Additionally, Wizard World judges selected Short Comedy The Concoction as the Grand Jury prize winner. For more information, visit www.wizardworldfilmfest.com.
Wizard World Texas also welcomed FUNimation Entertainment's Biggest, Baddest Dragon Ball Z Giveaway on Earth promotion. Determined by an intense single elimination video game tournament featuring the latest Dragon Ball Z video game from Atari, the winner, a sixteen-year-old from Detroit, will be granted the Ultimate Prize: one wish of his choice valued up to a hefty $25,000. For more information, visit www.funimation.com.
"The Wizard World Tour is first and foremost about the fan experience," said Rob Felton, Vice President and Associate Publisher, Wizard Entertainment. "Throughout the 2006 tour, fans not only had the chance to meet their heroes in pop culture, but were given the unique opportunity to participate like never before. As we plan our tours for 2007 and beyond, we'll continue to provide ways that our readers can engage when coming out to the Wizard World Tour."
Capping off the year's success, Wizard World co-hosted an end-of-year celebration with Spike TV as the network celebrated the season finale of "The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback."
Year in Review
The Wizard World Tour, which started in Chicago in 1997, is renowned for its continued commitment to offering fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with the artists, writers and entertainers they admire. Wizard World in its tenth year continued to make its fans a bigger part of the show with the first ever Wizard World Film Festival held in Texas, the 13th annual Wizard Fan Awards, and a wildly successful costume contest held in Chicago. Additionally, Wizard World continued to expand the variety of its exhibitors and partners, adding Spike TV, Video Games Live and International Fight League to the Tour this year.
In addition to panels and autograph signings by renowned comic talents and Guests of Honor Marc Silvestri, Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb, Wizard World hosted sneak previews of Spike TV's "Blade: The Series" and motion picture releases See No Evil, Clerks II, Ghost Rider, and others.
Celebrity guests taking part in the tour this year included Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Erica Durance (Smallville), Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Kevin Smith and Jason Mews (Clerks 2, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back), Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans (co-creators of Super Bad James Dynomite and writers/stars of Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2), Kane (WWE, See No Evil), TNA wrestlers Jeff Jarrett, Jackie Gayda, Traci, Raven, The Naturals, Konnan, Gail Kim, and Team 3-D, Chris Sabat and Sean Schemmel (Dragon Ball Z), Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica) Efran Ramirez (Napoleon Dynamite), Charisma Carpenter (Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Veronica Mars) and many others.
Wizard World attendees were also entertained by writers, producers and directors of some of their favorite properties, including writer/director Marc Steven Johnson (Ghost Rider, releasing in 2007), writer/producer Geoff Johns (Blade: The Series) and writer/producer Damon Lindelof (Lost) and others.
Complementing the phenomenal participation by Hollywood talent, the 2006 Wizard World events featured stars of the comic industry, including: Comic book legend George Perez, Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief, Marvel Comics), Jim Lee (All-Star Batman and Robin, WildCATS), writer Ed Brubaker (Daredevil, Uncanny X-Men, Captain America), artists Michael Turner (Fathom), John Romita Jr. (Wolverine), J. Scott Campbell (Upcoming Spider-Man), Greg Horn (cover artist: She Hulk), David Finch (Moon Knight), Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra Assassin, Stray Toasters), Billy Tan (Uncanny X-Men), Skottie Young (Spider-Man: Legend of the Spider-Clan), and many others.
Throughout 2006, Wizard World gave back to the community through charity work with the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Additionally, a highly successful art auction hosted by Jeph Loeb and Erica Durance at Wizard World Chicago raised more than $72,000 to benefit the Sam Loeb Scholarship Fund.
The 2007 Wizard World Tour will begin March 16-18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The tour is scheduled for stops in Philadelphia (June 15-17), Chicago (August 9-12), and Texas (Nov 16-18).
For a complete list of events, guests, activities, ticket prices and times, visit www.wizardworld.com.