Wizard’s Gareb Shamus buys Paradise’s Toronto Comicon

wizard-logoNew York, NY (June 24, 2009) – Gareb Shamus, CEO of New York based Wizard Entertainment, announces today that he has purchased the Toronto Comicon, a show that has been consistently awarded The Best International Comic Book Convention (non-USA) by ComicBookConventions.com, for the last 5 years.

(Editor’s note: the Paradise con won the award for five years – 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. There was no award handed out for 2008. The vote was an online fan vote).

“We’ve always had a strong following in Canada, so buying the Toronto Comicon is something that allows me to give back to our fans. These attendees are known to be serious collectors and comic industry followers,” said Shamus. “I am thrilled to offer the guests, celebrities, artists, dealers and exhibitors to our Canadian audience for the very first time.”

Peter Dixon, owner of Paradise Conventions and former owner of the Toronto Comicon, will still be intimately involved in the show production, his friendly manner ensuring the continuation of the trademarked relaxed atmosphere of the show.

“Wizard brings greater industry recognition and star power to the show. I’m excited about having the fans get this bigger experience,” said Dixon.

The next show dates have not been set yet, but the newly managed Toronto Comicon is expected to debut in 2010.

About Wizard Entertainment:

Gareb Shamus founded Wizard Entertainment in 1991. Today, Wizard Entertainment publishes Wizard, ToyFare, FunFare and numerous books and magazines about today’s top talent, comic books and toys. Wizard produces Chicago Comic-Con at the Rosemont Convention center, August 6-9; Big Apple Comic-Con at Pier 94, October 16 -18 and Wizard World Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Convention Center June 11-13, 2010.

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Comments:

The Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon first debuted in November 2003 under the ownership and direction of Paradise Comics owner Peter Dixon and the JSA’s own Kevin Boyd. Between 2003 and 2007 the show was able to attract a number of industry professionals and saw slow and steady growth and emerged as a popular fan event, winning the online votes on website comicbookconventions.com (now conventionscene.com) for Best International Comic Book Convention (as per the press release above).The Joe Shuster Awards were held in conjunction with the event between 2005 and 2007.

Boyd resigned from working on any future Paradise events in 2007, citing non-payment of promised gate fees for services rendered for five straight years as the primary reason for his abandoning the event he co-founded.

In 2008, the event shrank from 3 to 2 days, and moved into a smaller venue.

It was announced in early 2009 that there would be no 2009 event, and that it would be relaunched in 2010.

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