First announced back in January, MorrisonCon seems to be a stylish and forward-thinking antidote to the chaos and commercialism of the traditional comic book trade show. Curated by Grant Morrison and the Ignition Sequence (a collaboration of Isotope proprietors James Sime & Kirsten Baldock and iFanboy co-founder Ron Richards) and featuring no showroom floor, no merchandise dealers, and no lines, MorrisonCon will be held in Las Vegas this September and feature event programming based around Morrison and just nine hand-picked guests: Jonathan Hickman, Gerard Way, Frank Quitely, JH Williams III and Chris Burnham, with four more yet to be announced. Admission will be limited to only around 1,000, and take the form of all-inclusive packages that cover lodging at the Hard Rock Hotel, attendance to parties and symposia, and con-exclusive gifts. Existing comics conventions, even the more manageable and extremely fun ones like Emerald City Comicon and Stumptown Comics Fest, are generally based around the same basic concept of a showroom floor where various retailers, cartoonists and other creators can sell their wares, publishers can host signings and other events, and where fans can attend panel discussions generally designed to promote upcoming products. MorrisonCon is more in the model of a TED Talk or something similarly symposium-based, but seemingly with the rock n' roll attitude of something like the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival. There will also be an art gallery.

MorrisonCon prices reflect the VIP approach. A pre-sale period begins May 9, with $699 for a single package (or Singularity, in MorrisonCon parlance) or $1,099 for a double (Polarity) package. Both package prices will increase by $100 after June 15, when the pre-sale period ends. Packages will be sold on a first come, first serve basis, and the costs include lodging at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel, which will also host nightclub parties which will be DJ'd by Morrison and other guests.

While some of the special guests have now been announced, specific programming information is still forthcoming. In an interview with Kiel Phegley at Comic Book Resources, Richards and Sime hinted at the flavor of MorrisonCon's events:

Sime: When we first talked to Grant about this, I was sitting at a table in a restaurant with him and his wife Kristan, and I said, "Grant, what I envision is you and Jonathan Hickman sitting in a room together doing a panel called 'Splitting The Atom.'" I was just throwing ideas out, and you should have seen Grant's eyes light up with the magic sparkle of Grant Morrison-ism. It was a beautiful thing. So the creators are people that Grant and we have worked to combine ideas on in terms of who it would be excited to have along.


Richards: For example, we know Sundays at shows can be kind of burnt out, so on Sunday we'll have "Chris Burnham's Sunday Hangover Breakfast and Sketch Jam." We'll have a breakfast for all attendees, and Chris will be on stage doing some sketching that's projected on a screen. He'll be taking requests from the audience and talking about his process.

Perhaps most auspiciously, Ignition Sequence hope to host an event that will require no waiting in lines.

You can learn more about MorrisonCon and the venue by visiting the event's official website.

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