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Organizers have abruptly postponed King Con Brooklyn less than two weeks before the third annual event was set to kick off in New York City. They pledge to revamp the convention to appeal to a wider audience by encompassing elements of science fiction, fantasy and pop culture.
“In an age where even Spiderman has a hard time keeping on schedule, after consulting our own divining rods, we have opted to postpone King Con III,” a message on the convention website states. “King Con I and II were enjoyable successes pulled out from many long hours and hard fought compromises in the independent comic world, and while we were looking forward to a third year to run even smoother, by trying to keep to the same principles of independent fortitude, we hit some unfortunate speed bumps that would have sullied the experience and choose to postpone in order to ensure a great Con in the spirit of all we have worked for.”
Although the two previous installments were largely well-received, with attendees appreciating the laid-back, DIY atmosphere, there was also some criticism of the venue — the century-old Brooklyn Lyceum, a public bathhouse turned gymnasium turned warehouse turned arts venue, has no heating or air-conditioning and a unisex restroom — and a general lack of organization.
The organizers refer opaquely to criticisms of previous events, writing, “While it is our mission to correct some of the mistakes that met us with critical derision in previous years, it is worth noting that, in trying to produce the comics event the Brooklyn comics community seemed to want, we sacrificed the commercial success that comes with having events and guests that appeal to an audience broader than the die hard indie comics fan, and that despite our best efforts, there have always been entities consistently displeased with the result. With that in mind we felt it best to wipe the slate of the formula that clearly was not working, and revisit our original vision, which we believe will be both a boon to the building and bring a LOT more bodies by the tables of all who have been loyal to us since the event’s inception.”
The overhauled King Con, organizers say, will resurface as “a 1/4-1/4-1/4-1/4 mix of respected mainstream comic entities, local Brooklyn artists, emerging wet-behind-the-ears illustrators/animators and comic talent from beyond the immediate environs of New York City.”
This year’s event, initially set for Nov. 5-6 (with special events on Nov. 3-4), was to include such guests as Danny Fingeroth, Larry Hama, Dean Haspiel, Joe Infurnari, Ben Katchor, Anne Nocenti and Denny O’Neill.