Comic Conventions Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
In case you weren’t able to make this year’s Thought Bubble: The Leeds Comic Art Festival, ROBOT 6 has rounded up snippets of the overall experience through social media. The festival, now in its eighth year, was held Nov. 9-16, ending with a two-day convention on Nov. 15-16. Beyond the final two-day event, Thought Bubble offered more than 80 comics-related opportunities — some in cooperation with the 28th Leeds International Film Festival.
Even as we try to figure out just how many people attended New York Comic Con and whether that number is really more than Comic-Con International’s 130,000, more than 400,000 people descended on Lucca, Italy, over the weekend for Lucca Comics & Games.
Paid attendance to the annual comic book and gaming convention was 240,000, but local reports indicate an additional 200,000 people flocked to the Tuscan city. As you can see from the photos provided to ROBOT 6 by art dealer Sal Abbinanti, the streets were jam-packed with people
– so packed, that the city of 87,000 closed the gates. Some attendees even climbed the city walls.
New York Comic Con is now the largest pop-culture convention in North America, with producer ReedPOP reporting it sold tickets for this weekend’s event to 151,000 unique individuals.
Comic-Con International has been forced to cap attendance at about 130,000 due to the capacity San Diego Convention Center, leading organizers to turn to nearby hotels and Petco Park for additional space. New York Comic Con last year strained the limits of the Javitz Center with 133,000 attendees. However, ReedPOP Global Senior Vice President Lance Fensterman told ICv2.com that by expanding Thursday to a full day this year, organizers were able to sell another day’s worth of tickets.
This year’s figure doesn’t include the inaugural New York Super Week, the weeklong series of 110 events held at 25 venues across New York City, Fensterman said.
Like most pop-culture conventions, New York Comic Con has a fairly extensive weapons policy — one that prohibits the obvious, like functional firearms (yes, BB and air soft guns are included) and, perhaps, the not so obvious.
Under the heading of “obvious” also falls firecrackers and fireworks, chemical weapons, any kind realistic firearm that could be mistaken for a real one, sharpened metal-bladed weapons, brass knuckles and the like. Less obvious, and sure to complicate more than a few cosplay plans, are functional longbows and crossbows, clubs, water guns, nunchaku, whips, and “hard prop weapons” made of metal, fiberglass and glass.
New York Comic Con producer ReedPOP, which just last month expanded to India, is now setting its sights on France.
The division of Reed Exhibitions kicked off its New York show today with the announcement of Paris Comic Con, set for Oct. 23-25, 2015, at the Grande Halle de la Villette. A partnership with Reed France and Japan Expo organizer JTS Group, it marks ReedPOP’s first European event.
ReedPOP, whose stable of events includes Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, PAX and Star Wars Celebration, has been expanding its international presence with the addition of the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention, Australia’s Oz Comic Con, PAX Australia and Star Wars Celebration Europe.
MICE, the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, is small but mighty. On Saturday and Sunday, the show will take over the second floor of Lesley University’s University Hall, better known to locals as the Porter Exchange. Admission is free, and the roster includes a mix of local creators, aspiring artists just out of school, and some big names, including special guests James Kochalka, Emily Carroll, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman and Box Brown.
We talked with one of the organizers, Dan Mazur (a comics creator and publisher in his own right), about the challenges of running a small indie-comics show in general and the unique qualities of MICE in particular.
Brigid Alverson: What is the focus of MICE, and how is it different from other comics festivals?
Dan Mazur: MICE is an independent/alternative comics show, in the vein of larger shows like SPX, MoCCA Fest and APE, and others like TECAF, CAKE, MECAF. … So it differs from the mainstream comic cons for its lack of superheroes, cosplay, etc., and for the preponderance of minicomics. But for those familiar with the alternative scene, I guess we do have more of a focus (though not exclusive) on a local comics scene, and also on kid-friendly material and activities, to a degree.
Amy Reeder, who redesigned the Brooklyn Defender beer label for New York Comic Con, has revealed the signage she created to help promote the convention’s new zero-tolerance harassment policy.
“In addition to designing the Brooklyn Defender this year, NYCC asked me to illustrate something they can use for their anti-harassment signs around the convention floor,” Reeder, co-creator of Rocket Girl, writes on her blog. “The smart idea would probably have been to draw one character in my style, for recognition’s sake, but I had this idea in my head and really wanted to try something new. I wanted it to be modular, so they could change it and use bits as they like. And I wanted it to feel inclusive. No one wants to be harassed.”
The two projects meet in the image below, which includes a Brooklyn Defender cameo.
As is usually the case, the 2014 Small Press Expo was a whirlwind affair, full of panels, hurried greetings, bumping into people while walking along the aisles and comics, comics, comics everywhere you looked.
Both Brigid Alverson and I were there, although we never actually managed to meet up (while SPX isn’t a large show by national standards, it’s still easy to miss people). Rather than write separate stories, we thought it might be fun to post a back-and-forth dialogue, similar to our MoCCA report from a few years back. Be sure also to check out Brigid’s great photos from the Ignatz Awards if you haven’t already done so.
Chris Mautner: How many times have you been to SPX before this, Brigid? What’s your previous experience with this particular convention been like?
Brigid Alverson: This was actually my first SPX, which surprised a lot of people — clearly this is a show that you come back to over and over. I have been going to MoCCA and TCAF for the past couple of years, so I’m familiar with a lot of the artists and the work. I felt there was more commingling at SPX, partly because everyone is staying in the same hotel where the show is, and also because the organizers made the effort — there was a meet-‘n’-greet for exhibitors and press the evening before the show, and the Ignatz Awards/mock wedding on Saturday. Maybe because of that, I really got a sense of community from this show.
A division of Reed Exhibitions, ReedPOP produces pop-culture events ranging from Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo and New York Comic Con to Singapore Toy, Gaming & Comics Convention and Star Wars Celebration. India Comic Con stages shows in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, with an edition debuting next month in Hyderabad.
“Working closely with leading publishers, we have put comics, especially Indian comics, back on the map and opened up the pop culture space even further in India,” Comic Con India founder Jatin Varma said in a statement. “Our partnership with ReedPOP will help us scale further and create world class events that will deliver the best experiences to audiences here in India. With this JV [joint venture], I hope to have our events counted among the top events in the world, within this sphere, in the coming years.”
The celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary didn’t end with Comic-Con International: The Dark Knight also graces the DC Comics poster for New York Comic Con.
As you can tell from “The Bronx” plastered across the head of the Caped Crusader in Francis Manapul’s illustration, Batman will be leaving Gotham for New York City, at least for one weekend.
Boston Comic Con has grown over the past few years, but it still manages to keep that hometown-convention ambiance, even while drawing in top comics creators like Scott Snyder, Jeff Smith and Sergio Aragones. The focus is still firmly on comics, although it’s branching out a bit; John Barrowman and a couple of other actors were there, and there was a costume contest as well.
Last year, the con had to be rescheduled at the last minute in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, but it came back bigger and better in a new location, the Seaport World Trade Center. It kept the momentum going this year, expanding from two to three days, while shaking out some of the bugs. Organizers made a strong effort to eliminate the long lines that plagued the con last year by starting distribution of wristbands the day before the show. On Saturday morning, as lines stretched around the convention center, they sent out an email informing con-goers who hadn’t bought their tickets yet that the line was long and they might think of attending instead on Sunday.
Some fans waited in line for more than 24 hours to buy tickets to New York Comic Con when they went on sale Thursday morning exclusively at Midtown Comics’ Downtown location in New York City. One hopeful described the scene to NY1 as “a very nerdy Black Friday.”
Passes sold out online June 27 in record time, to the frustration of many would-be attendees, but convention producer ReedPOP released a limited number of tickets to select retailers, beginning Thursday with Midtown Comics. About 5,000 were sold at the store, organizers said.
New York Comic Con hopefuls who missed out on passes when they went on sale June 27 will get another chance beginning Thursday — as long as they live near one of the convention’s official retailers.
Organizer ReePop is rolling out a limited number of tickets for the sold-out event, starting Thursday at Midtown Comics’ Downtown location in New York City. After that, they’ll also be available while supplies last at select retailers in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts. The full list of comic stores can be found here.
Some of those stores will also have cards for the Oct. 3-12 New York Super Week, a “week-long immersive and inclusive experience,” featuring concerts, live radio shows and podcasts, game shows and more, all leading up to New York Comic Con. Among those activities, ReedPop has announced, is a special edition of NPR’s Ask Me Another, featuring Neil Gaiman as the VIP (Very Important Puzzler).
Benefits of the New York Super Week Card include priority seating at events, drink specials and merchandise discounts. New York Comic Con will be held Oct. 9-12 at the Javits Center in New York City.
Tampa Bay Comic Con was scheduled to kick off this morning with a bid to set a new Guinness World Record for largest gathering of people dressed as comic book characters.
As you may recall, Washington, D.C.’s Awesome Con made the same attempt in April, but with just 237 fell significantly short of the record of 1,530 set in April 2011 at the opening of World Joyland theme park in China. And like the Awesome Con effort, Tampa Bay’s comes with restrictions — in this case, that the characters must have originally appeared in comics, rather than on television, film, video games, etc. Apologies in advance to all of the Harley Quinn cosplayers …
With Comic-Con International 2014 a few day behind us, everyone has a chance to unpack, rest up and get ready for the next big convention (New York Comic Con is Oct. 9-12, by the way). But before we’re completely finished with San Diego, let’s take a look at some interesting numbers from the big event:
• Comic-Con International is by far the largest event on the San Diego Convention Center’s 2014 calendar, with its 130,000 attendees, in the words of The New York Times, “far outstripping the combined total of its next four largest conventions, expected to be about 62,500 people.” According to a convention center report (PDF), this year’s installment was estimated to have a $177.8 million economic impact.