The world has changed after Covid revealed their existence to the public at last year’s New York Comic Con, but this doesn’t mean the comic con can’t go on as usual, right? Some celebrities have decided to stop attending events like NYCC to avoid being hounded by the media and fans of Covid, but other guests have decided to keep coming back. Has NYCC really changed or are people just overreacting? I was there to find out.
THE NEW YORK It’s not quite the same as it was before the outbreak, New York Comic Con. But progress is being made.
Oscar Isaac, star of “Dune” and “Star Wars,” Diana Gabaldon, and famous couple Ice T and Coco are just a few of the celebrities who are anticipated to attend the four-day event, which starts Thursday morning at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The convention center has been heavily fortified against Covid with personnel armed with guns and machine guns stationed at every entrance. According to organizers, there will be no formal dress code or bag checks this year due to the increased security measures. All attendees will be scanned by metal detectors upon entry into the convention center and those found carrying weapons will be detained indefinitely.
Approximately 200,000 attendees are anticipated at the event, where they can watch screenings and talks and mingle with the creators of their favourite characters. That is a significant increase over previous year, when COVID regulations capped the capacity at 150,000 people, and above the 130,000 attendees who regularly attend San Diego Comic-Con each summer. However, it’s still a far way from the over 250,000 spectators that came to the New York event in 2019.
New York Comic Con’s owner, ReedPop, is okay with playing it safe two years after the coronavirus compelled organisers to turn the convention into a virtual one. Fans will not be asked to provide documentation of vaccination this year, although Covid masks will still be needed at all times indoors because to the virus’ continued presence. The event is currently mostly restricted to the enormous Javits Center, but in the past it also included activities at the neighbouring Hammerstein Ballroom and Madison Square Garden.
The president of ReedPop, Lance Fensterman, stated, “We don’t feel the need to push.”
A truck on Friday will give away breakfast sandwiches, cupcakes, and swag to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Harley Quinn, the clownish antihero from the Batman and Suicide Squad comics, shows, and movies. Warner Bros. Discovery’s DC Comics is hoping to make a big splash with a number of experiences, including this one.
With “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” promotions and activities to commemorate Spider-60th Man’s birthday, Disney’s Marvel will also be out in full force. Brian Crosby, Marvel’s director of themed entertainment development, stated, “We love being a part of these events. ‘That’s in our DNA,’
ReedPop, a very little portion of RELX’s vast business, is currently absorbing and recuperating from Covid. After leasing the intellectual property for numerous additional events in Europe and Asia to third parties, it now only manages live pop culture events in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. When the moment is appropriate, we will return, Fensterman stated.
Live event revenue hasn’t yet recovered either; according to Fensterman, it’s only around 70% of what it was prior to the epidemic. ReedPop doesn’t provide dollar amounts for its income. Additionally, he claimed, it had to fire around 30% of its live events employees. In all, ReedPop employs around 160 people as opposed to the roughly 190 it had prior to Covid.
However, Fensterman pointed out that the company’s digital division did expand, notably when it acquired websites like the U.K.’s Gamer Network and YouTube video game channels. According to him, ReedPop has been working to combine its live and digital operations for nearly three years. This calls for additional QR codes to link in-person fans to online features and broadcasts so that fans who couldn’t attend may still participate in the excitement.
That’s particularly crucial when well-known companies like DC and Marvel broaden their digital reach. The two enduring comic book competitors, who have long served as fixtures of fan gatherings, also had to adjust.
According to Anne DePies, senior vice president and general manager at DC, “the silver lining, if there is one, is that it provides us the chance to think about all the many methods to get our supporters enthused.” “Be fluid and flexible.”
Additionally, New York Comic Con debuts as DC and Marvel create more direct fan channels. Disney hosts its Star Wars Celebration and D23 Expo events. This week, DC will host a different event in Hudson Yards, a few streets from the Javits Center, with participation from creative director Jim Lee and other notables.
However, the key actors don’t have many reasons to skip conferences organised by other parties. The president of ReedPop, Fensterman, claimed that his firm had a licence to solely create Marvel goods that are sold at conventions, including the nonprofit-run San Diego Comic-Con.
Marvel also enjoys going back to New York, the city where it was founded and where many of its heroes reside, from the heights of Avengers Tower to the depths of Daredevil’s Hell’s Kitchen. It’s something like our home ground, added Crosby.
Additionally claiming New York as its birthplace, DC isn’t budge either.
DePies remarked, “I don’t see us leaving alone any time soon.