Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 18, 2014

ReedPOP Confirms The NYC Comics-Focused Show Everyone Knew About Already Because Their Letter Leaked

Here. As I wrote when word of this show leaked via a letter sent out to comics professionals, there are a number of things interesting about ReedPOP doing a "pure comic-focused" show. One is this consitutes an admission that their C2E2 and NYCC are not this kind of comics show (or, if you are super-cynical, the fact that NYCC started out as a pure comics show according to Lance Fensterman indicates this one could end up being a starting point, too). Two is that another NYC comics show, placed at a safe distance between MoCCA in the Spring, NYCC and whatever Brooklyn small-press show from Gabe Fowler might exist in the Fall, which are the shows with some oomph reasonably established on that city's calendar (there are other, more focused shows), is worth noting just because New York shows are worth noting. New York is a great comics city and should be able to handle multiple major shows and a bunch of smaller ones, no problem.

Three deserves its own paragraph. Three is that this is the first Reed show of a comics nature -- and the first show since Wizard's Chicago effort was in its prime (it's past that now) -- that might be argued encroaches on Comic-Con's traditional summer calendar perch and could therefore eventually provide a challenge to CCI's summer supremacy if only in terms of the way a lot of comics folk think. There are a lot of comics people I think could be convinced that a successful summer show in New York is a preferred alternative to the San Diego event a month later, even if for most of us there's no reason they should or would compete. There's a big-time Thor Vs. Hulk impulse in comics, a "let's you and him fight" reflex. If people compare Emerald City to Comic-Con -- and they do! -- they'll compare this one, for sure. Even at a 15K attendance cap. In fact, to see this New York show -- or a string of shows including the New York show -- as a preferred alternative might not even take much convincing for certain pros. Comics people have a tremendous capacity to believe that something that works best for them personally has industry-wide consequences in terms of how things should work. A shop that sells their comics is the definition of a good shop. A publisher that publishes their work is the definition of a good publisher. A site that covers their comics is the definition of a good site. A show they can drive to or take to the subway to while sleeping for free in their homes, a show where they feel a bigger star in terms of relative perception, that's going to be a good show for a lot of comics people, independent of other appraisal mechanisms for such a show. So we should keep an eye on the rhetoric, particularly in years two through five. Hopefully this is seen as an addition to the comics show calendar and is judged on its own merits, but I have my doubts.

A fourth interesting thing is a bit stickier, at least potentially. Bear with me, but here is something that's been communicated to me by some older, experienced convention people. The proposed NYC show has a date a week before the shared weekend of the Wizard Philadelphia show and HeroesCon in Charlotte. While Heroes competes very well against Philadelphia attendee to attendee (almost no overlap) and comics pro to comics pro (not a ton of overlap and Heroes has a devoted comics professional base), it is entirely possible that a New York City show by itself, or a NYC show followed by a show in Philadelphia, might be more attractive for some retailers than doing Charlotte only, or pairing NYC with the more distant Charlotte. That's something to keep an eye on. The overstuffed convention calendar and groundswell of enthusiasm for cons generally makes this a different era than when HeroesCon got a bunch of support from comics people when Wizard tried to launch an Atlanta show near Heroes' traditional summer dates -- back when Wizard's individual shows were more considerable than they are now. But now, I think we all know these days that there are going to be weekends with multiple shows, and months with five or six. That doesn't mean they don't have an impact on each other. Again, I suppose we'll see.
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink

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