John Macaluso Tells Us About Fandemic Comic-Con In An Interview

July 29, 2018

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:

John Macaluso, a name once associated with the fashion industry, then the CEO of Wizard World, is now head of one of the best new Comic-Cons around, Fandemic.  John took a few minutes out of his very busy schedule to talk with me about Fandemic ahead of its September arrival.

Horror Fuel: “How did you go from being in the garment industry to conventions?”
John Macaluso: “It’s funny that you ask that. I sold my company in 2000 and retired. In 2010 my wife and my kid sat me down and said ‘We’re really happy that you’re retired, but you are driving us crazy. You need to go back to work.’ I got invited to go on a tour of Wizard World and I realized that I really liked what they were doing and they asked me to become the CEO, so I got involved in the event business.”
Horror Fuel: “Tell me about Fandemic? What sets it apart from other conventions?”
John Macaluso: “This is our second event. I think we have a great celebrity lineup. All the celebrities and artists that come to our event and world class. Hopefully, our program will fun and educational. I can’t say that we are so different from another event, but our mantra is ‘Take care of the fans, take care of the fans, take care of the fans.’ What we want to do is give them a logistically sound show with fantastic celebrities, artists, and vendors. One of the unique things about Fandemic is that we have a layaway program for tickets. So many people love that.”
Horror Fuel: “That’s fantastic. I know people appreciate that program. I also saw your ticket prices, they are very reasonable.”
Horror Fuel: “It has to be difficult to manage all of that chaos. How do you do it?”
John Macaluso: “We are a very sound logistic company. I think we are very good with crowd control, not overselling, our registration is easy. You just have to ride the tidal wave. Because there will be a wave that will come and you need to make sure that you are prepared for it. At every event, if something can go wrong it will go wrong. You really just have to be able to move and groove.”
Horror Fuel: “What is your favorite aspect of doing conventions?”
John Macaluso: “I think it really comes down to the fans, seeing fans and attendees when they see their favorite celebrity. We like to see people be happy. I think when all is said and done, we want to see the joy on people’s faces. That’s the most rewarding part for me.”
Horror Fuel: “I love that. It’s fantastic that that is what your convention’s goal is.”
Horror Fuel: “I looked through your lineup and was very impressed. You will have quite a few Walking Dead cast members too. How do you go about getting the guests?”
John Macaluso: “I had a lot of friends a couple of years ago that called me and asked me to come back because they liked the way I run a show. I really missed it. Ninety-five percent of the guys coming to the show are my friends at this point. Basically, there were a lot of phone calls and their answers were ‘I’m in.”
Horror Fuel: “If you are ever looking to expand, might I recommend Georgia.”
John Macaluso: “There are a couple of shows already in Georgia.”
Horror Fuel: “Not in South Georgia.”
John Macaluso: “They are all in Atlanta. But Georgia would be a good spot. I did a show once in Atlanta. What would be the city that you would say?”
Horror Fuel: “Savanna.”
Horror Fuel: “Tell us about some of the events at Fandemic.”
John Macaluso: “There will be a drink and draw on Friday night. There will be a costume contest on Saturday night. There will be a pre-event that I can’t talk about yet. There will also be a costume contest on Sunday.”
Horror Fuel: “What has been your favorite cosplay you have seen so far?”
John Macaluso: “There are so many, but I have to say my favorite was this gentleman who looked exactly like Stan Lee, exactly. He came through the event dressed like Stan with a Members Only Jacket, white sneakers, exactly the way Stan dresses. He came through with five different Iron Men behind him and that’s how they walked through the event. I a moment where I took Stan to meet the fake Stan. I have a picture of fake Stan, real Stan, and all five Iron Men. My next favorite was a family of six who dressed as the Incredibles.”
Horror Fuel: “Oh, that is awesome. I would love to have seen the Stans.”

John Macaluso made one thing very clear during our conversation, that he is dedicated to the happiness of every person that visits his convention. That’s a very good thing.
Fandemic Comic-Con will take over Houston, Texas on September 14, 2018, through the 16th. Don’t miss out on the panels, contests, celebrities, vendors, and more. For more information or to get your tickets please visit the official website. Keep a lookout for John Macaluso while you are there. If you see him stop and say “Hi.”

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