This year, a few days before FlashPoint Media launched their inaugural Rose City Comic-Con, Wizard World announced they were going to throw their own pop-culture party in Portland. You'd think the movie-loving, comics-reading, cosplaying, role-playing, bearded filking consumer masses would take such news with unbridled joy, but in fact, a lot of people found it kind of a bummer. To make the analogy clear for those not well-versed in the politics of Portland nerdery: Wizard World's convention is the equivalent of Wal-Mart opening next to a family-owned grocery.
Making it even more shady: Wizard World's con opens the weekend before Emerald City Comic Con, Seattle's increasingly successful convention. The impression given is that Wizard World isn't concerned so much with bringing Portland a San Diego-sized geek party, as it is kneecapping Emerald City without having to go into Seattle to do it.
Rose City Comic Con ended up a reasonable success, especially for a first year convention in a pop-culture-soaked city constantly throwing itself all manner of nerd party. And as Rose City racked up over 4000 attendees in its first weekend of existence, Wizard World started stacking their guest list, paying the cost to ensure personalities such as Bruce Campbell, James Marsters, Dean Cain, Stan Lee, Morena Baccarin, The Green Ranger from Power Rangers, and fuckin DAVID LO PAN (James Hong) are all in attendance.
Today, Rose City and Emerald City finally swung back at the interlopers, and it's a hell of an answer: They're joining forces. Ron Brister, co-founder of Rose City, issued a press release announcing the formal partnership of Emerald City and Rose City, with ECCC co-producing Rose City's 2013 show. From the press release:
“This announcement kicks-off a fantastic partnership,” says ECCC Convention Director Jim Demonakos. “We are thrilled to team up with Ron Brister and his crew to help take the Rose City Comic Con to the next level!”
“We are so excited to work with ECCC and build upon what was started in 2012,” says Ron Brister, Rose City Comic Con founder. “ECCC has long been a favorite convention of ours and now, every six months there will be an amazing convention in the Pacific Northwest!”
Rose City Comic Con 2013 is scheduled for September 21-22 at the Oregon Convention Center.