Recently SDCC blog and other sites reported on a comment from Marvel’s social media manager about the company not having a presence at WonderCon in Anaheim this year. Does Marvel not care about its fans? Or is WonderCon not seen as a major platform on the convention circuit? Neither of those answers have anything to do with Marvel’s views or some kind of Disney conspiracy. They really have more to do with timing than anything else.
WonderCon lands on Easter weekend and a week before C2E2 in Chicago, which is a major show for comic books. While the Marvel presence has lately become associated with its films, first and foremost they are still a comic book publisher so it makes sense they’d choose to exhibit at the big Chicago show where they can sell the fans on their first love. Over the last three years DC Comics have gained on their market share in the medium and have held more top ten books over that 36 month period. While WonderCon is a fantastic show, it has stretched focus to emphasize the hollywood aspect more and more each year. It’s hard to get new fans sold on products when neither publisher has found a way to translate box office success to comics on a large scale.
In addition there’s simply nothing for Marvel to push at the show in regards to their films and other productions. The Captain America sequel will have already been in theaters and seen by just about everyone. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D should be wrapping up production on its first season by then. Guardians of the Galaxy will still be a few months out in August, meaning there will be a large push at SDCC. No offense to Marvel, but the last time they set up shop at WonderCon it felt rather phoned in. The booth was basically just a large Avengers poster and a signing table. A far cry from the elaborate setups they do at other shows.
Some have commented on this being a sign that Disney wants to keep Marvel, Anahiem exclusive to the bi-annual D23 show. This is nothing more than an internet conspiracy. Anyone who attended D23 last year can attest; other than a couple of presentations, Marvel has no presence at the show. Which in itself is a missed opportunity for them, D23, and Disney but that’s another argument altogether.
With or without Marvel, WonderCon will still be an amazing show. Plenty of publishers will still set up shop; such as Aspen, Top Cow, and DC comics to name a few. There will be screenings and announcements galore. If you’re still hungry for stuff about Marvel characters, WonderCon will be a perfect push point for Amazing Spider-Man 2 which opens just two weeks after the show. Would we like to see a big Marvel presence at the show, complete with Avengers Mansion? No doubt. But at the end of the day we’ll barely even notice they weren’t there.