Is the ‘Comic Con’ Bubble Finally Bursting?

The last few years have seen a massive increase in the number of cons out there. The most noticeable of these have been the pop culture events (labelled as “Comic Cons” much to the chagrin of comic collectors), but it kind of spans the full gamut of geek events. Many of us who follow the con scene have been worrying about market saturation, and that we are likely in an unstable, unsustainable bubble.

And it might be bursting.

We’ve spoken repeatedly over the last couple of years about Wizard World’s financial instability. They lost $4.3 million in 2015 and massively scaled back their 2016 and future 2017 plans. Those changes may not be enough though, as the company has reported some major cash flow issues going forward. In other words, Wizard World is pretty much broke.

It’s so broke, that it’s highly possible that it’ll get bought out soon, as groups like Jerrick Media Holdings, Inc. have expressed interest in buying the chain up at a discount.

Things are looking bleak for other shows too — with the cancellation of both Amazing Arizona Comic Con and Amazing Houston Comic Con. This leaves the Hawaii and Las Vegas cons the only “Amazing” shows left. The cancellation is being blamed on the current “social climate,” but as that sounds like code for “the election” it doesn’t quite make sense. I mean, the Arizona event was scheduled for February, and the as the election was just a few weeks ago, it’s hard to see it as anything other than poor ticket sales and market forces which forced the cancellation.

It’s not just the larger operators, as we recently saw the failed launch of Rewind Con, and the implosion of YourMiniCon’s attempt to build a chain of events. It’s also not just pop culture events being effected too, with the cancellation of Umi Con Daytona due to financial issues, and the complete collapse of the multiple Sukoshi Con run anime cons.

We may be seeing more of these failures over the next couple of years.

The funny thing is, there are still new cons popping up, and some are still growing. And while this will certainly not be the end of con culture (as a lot of smaller cons will definitely survive), it may be the end of most of the massive “pop culture” expos.

Or I’m wrong, and it won’t be. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Via Newsarama, Bleeding Cool

Lin Manuel Miranda Will Produce Screen Adaptation of Patrick Rothfuss’s ‘Kingkiller Chronicle’

Patrick Rothfuss’s book trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle is being adapted as an ambitious film/television series, and it just got a new producer: Lin Manuel Miranda

Miranda will be the show’s “musical mastermind,” composing original music and writing songs for the project. Miranda’s deal also includes a bit saying he’ll be involved with any stage adaptations of the material that might happen down the line too.

Lionsgate’s adaptation is fairly complicated affair. It will begin with a movie adaptation of The Name of the Wind written by Lindsey Beer, followed by a television series (under Rothfuss and Miranda’s creative direction) which will explore and expand the larger world of The Kingkiller Chronicle.

Jeyun Choi Munford and Nirokhi Raychaudhuri are working on the film side, and Chris Selak and Andy Richley are working on the TV end. Robert Lawrence is also helping produce both the films and the television series.

It seems like everything is nicely coming together on this.

Via The Wrap

Check out the Trailer for Netflix’s ‘White Rabbit Project’

Netflix has released the first trailer for White Rabbit Project, which sees Mythbusters‘s build team alums Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara’s return to ‘busting. On the show, the three will investigate weird events in pop culture, history, and science by inserting themselves into self built experiments.

In other words, they’ll do what they do best: be the build team.

The trailer shows a smattering of clips from the show, and it pretty much looks exactly like we hoped it would look. Of course, since the production team is also the same team that made the original Mythbusters, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.

The first season of White Rabbit Project hits Netflix December 9th.

‘Twin Cities Geek’ Is Running a Grassroots Holiday Toy and Book Drive

We know a lot of our readers are based in the Midwest, with a good chunk of you in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area. Because of that, we thought we’d mention that Minnesota based Twin Cities Geek is currently running a grassroots holiday toy and book drive. According to their official press release:

All new and gently used items donated will go to support the families served by the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, a nonprofit social service agency in the Summit-University area of St. Paul, and the Women’s Prison Book Project, a national effort based out of the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis that provides female and transgender inmates with free reading materials.

You can find the full list and a map of participating businesses and organizations at their website, and they’ll be running it until December 15th. If you have the chance to donate and you’re in the area, please consider doing so.

Firefly’s Ron Glass has Passed Away

Ron Glass, best known to a generation of nerds as Shepherd Book on Firefly has sadly passed away on Friday. TV Line confirmed via a spokesman for Glass’s family that the actor died due to respiratory failure.

Besides his work on Firefly, glass was best kniwn to audiences for his role in the series Barney Miller. He also notably made appearances on Star Trek: Voyager and Agents of SHIELD. He was a talented actor, and he will be missed.

Ron Glass was 71 years old.

Via TV Line

TNT Orders ‘Snowpiercer’ Television Series Pilot

Just over a year ago we mentioned that a television series based off of the 2013 film Snowpiercer. Well, it seems like the project is steadily moving forward, as the project just got a pilot order from the TNT network.

The team behind the series appears to be intact from a year ago, with the project being developed by Tomorrow Studios and the pilot will be written by Josh Friedman. The film itself was based on the 1982 French comic Le Transperceneige about a post-Apocalyptic civilization on a constantly moving train, and while it was visually stunning, there were some issues with the plot. Hopefully the television series will be a new adaptation though, and can take the time to correct these issues.

Frankly it’ll just be nice to see more post-apocalyptic fiction that doesn’t involve any zombies.

Via TV Line

Neil Gaiman Developing ‘The Building’ For Fox

Neil Gaiman is developing a television series for Fox called The Building. Based off the Chris Leone’s 2015 film Parallels, the series is about a group of urban explorers who go into an abandoned building, only to find themselves in another universe when they exit it. The show will follow our heroes trying to find their way home as the building continues to move between realities.

So it’s like Sliders, only kind of cooler.

Leone is helping Gaiman develop the series at 20th Century Fox, and both will executive produce along side Albert Kim (who co-wrote the Parallels movie with Leone). Kim will actually be the person serving as showrunner on the series.

The concept is simple, but could be a pretty interesting series. Personally I’m excited about the project, though I will always be a little worried about genre shows at Fox (considering their history of cancelling them).

Via Deadline

Rewind Con Was Apparently a Total Mess

So Rewind Con held their first convention in Chicago last weekend, and it was not exactly the success its organizers had hoped for. In fact, from all accounts, it was kind of a mess.

We’ve been following this con behind the scenes for quite some time, mostly because they rescheduled the even from September to November earlier this year. The schedule change was due to a switch in venues, and originally they put out a statement which directly stated that it was because the convention had grown too much — although they would later take that back and put out a slightly more vague one blaming “multiple factors with the original venue.”

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Original Statement on Left, Updated Statement on Right

That second statement matches closely to the one we received from Katz Public Relations on behalf of Rewind Con back in June (we were asking if preregistered attendees would get refunds at the time). But while the con’s staff seemed to be pointing at venue size, the ongoing rumors surrounding the con have been that they were unable to pay their original hotel. We haven’t been able to confirm that, though it wouldn’t be the first time a convention moved because they couldn’t pay their bill. In any case, size doesn’t seem to have actually been a factor in Rewind Con’s move.

You see, barely anyone showed up to the thing.

We don’t have exact figures, but people present have estimated numbers anywhere between one and three thousand attendees. And while any of those would be a respectable number for a first year convention, when you consider Rewind Con had between fifty and sixty guests (most of whom likely asked for pretty sizable guarantees) this event must have been a massive financial disaster. The only way the organizers could have paid those guarantees is if the money came directly out of owner Jaymie Lashaway’s pocket.

We’ve also seen reports of people who paid for the $300 VIP Passes not receiving what was promised, tons of reports of staff mismanagement, issues with paid photo ops, and a complete inability to put on a good show. Honestly, I could keep going for quite some time, but there’s a thread in the “Rate that Comic Con” Facebook group which pretty much says all you need to know.

Right now Rewind Con has announced shows in Dallas, TX (March 2017), Atlanta, GA (May 2017), New York, NY (July 2017), St. Louis, MO (July 2017), and Orlando, FL (January 2018). Honestly though, considering the complete and utter failure of their first event, I’d be surprised if any of those shows ever end up happening.

Syfy Working on ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ Adaptation

Syfy’s attempt to return to serious genre fiction continues, as they are now developing a television series based on Stranger in a Strange Land. Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt, William Sherak, Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch, Eli Bush, and Joe Vecchio are executive producing, with Julia Gunn as a co-executive producer.

Written by Robert Heinlein, the novel Stranger in a Strange Land was first published in 1961. It’s the story of a man, Valentine Michael Smith, who is raised by Martians and comes to Earth in early adulthood and how he affects terrestrial society. Stranger in a Strange Land is considered a classic by most fans of science fiction literature, and has had a fairly large impact on the culture — including introducing the word “grok” to the language.

A series based on this is an exciting prospect, and hopefully they do a good job with the property.

Via Deadline

Marvel’s ‘The Inhumans’ Still Headed to the Screen – Now As a TV Series

When Marvel announced Phase 3 of it’s Cinematic Universe, one of the films front and center was The Inhumans. As time went on though, and more projects got announced, the film kept getting pushed back. Eventually, The Inhumans disappeared from the schedule altogether. Seeing an adaptation of the Inhuman Royal family on screen started to seem less and less likely.

Well the project is back on now — sort of. Instead of a feature film, The Inhumans will be coming to the small screen, as a television series on ABC in the fall of 2017. It’s a sensible move, as (while the central Inhumans have yet to appear), the concept has been long established on ABC’s Agents of SHIELD for quite some time. As there’s some division in the management of the MCU between Television and Film, it means coordinating Inhuman characters between the two series will become much easier.

For those of you disappointed that you won’t be able to see The Inhumans in a theater, there’s still some good news out there. The first two episodes of the show will be filmed with IMAX digital cameras, and they will get a limited theatrical IMAX release in late Summer 2017 (just prior to their debut on television).

I’m kind of excited. Are you excited?

Via Marvel

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