Wizard World has acquired Pittsburgh Comic Con, the annual comic book convention held in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. This means that if you attend the Pittsburgh Comic Con, you won’t be financially supporting a man who was (twice) convicted of murdering his wife.
Michael and Renée George, owners and operators of Comics World, a comic shop in Windber, Pennsylvania, started the Pittsburgh Comic Con in 1994. It wasn’t the first Comics World Michael George owned and operated with his wife, only before, it was a different wife. Michael and Barbara George owned and operated Comics World in Michigan.
In 1990, Barbara George was murdered, shot in the back of the head, by Michael George, in the comic book shop the two owned. For whatever reason, the police were not able to gather enough evidence against Michael to charge him with the murder.
In 1992, Michael married former Comics World employee Renee Kotula. The two had been having a personal relationship while Michael was married to Barbara. They then moved to Windber and opened a new comic book shop, again calling it Comics World.
Michael George later went on to open a third Comics World in nearby Scotland, Pennsylvania. I used to buy my comics there, back when I used to buy floppy comics. Although I live in Hagerstown, Maryland, I used to work in Scotland, Pennsylvania. The store is still there, although much larger, nicer, and now under new ownership.
The Barbera George murder case was reopened years later by a special cold case unit created by Prosecutor Eric Smith.
If this whole sad, twisted tale of murder sounds like a story from Dateline, that’s because it was.
So the Pittsburgh Comic Con finally doesn’t have any connection to Michael and Renée George. Good. As long as those two owned it, if you spent money on it, you were supporting a convicted murderer and his mistress. Considering that Michael George pocketed $120,000 in life insurance money from Barbera’s death, there’s a good chance that the Pittsburgh Comic Con, founded less than four years after her murder, was at least in part financed with actual blood money. I remember there was talk of people boycotting the Pittsburgh Comic Con until Michael George no longer owned it, but I don’t remember whatever happened with that.
Now it doesn’t matter. Michael George no longer owns the Pittsburgh Comic Con. Wizard World does. Say what you will about Wizard World, at least it never murdered a woman.