Report: New York Comic Con Is Being Planned as a Virtual and Physical Event This Year

Report: New York Comic Con Is Being Planned as a Virtual and Physical Event This Year
Expect to see many, many more masks if NYCC has an in-person event this year. (Photo: Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images)

As the world slowly begins acclimatising to the chance of a future where more and more people are vaccinated against covid-19, the convention circuit is beginning to prepare to unleash pop culture fans on each other in person once more. But some circuit stalwarts are planning… a little less recklessly than others.

As part of a report on purported industry pushback to Comic-Con International’s (quite frankly absurd) decision to host a strictly in-person event on Thanksgiving weekend this year, the Hollywood Reporter’s Aaron Couch revealed that ReedPop, the company behind New York Comic Con and several other large fandom conventions, had been asking dealers and companies about the potential for an in-person event this year. New York Comic Con was, at the time, being planned as a virtual-only event for October 7 through 10. But according to an update from Couch, now NYCC is being planned as both.

WTF, Comic-Con?

Hey, remember when Comic-Con International: San Diego was going to have a virtual convention once more this summer but try to hold a small, in-person con in November for…some reason? The organisation has decided Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time. In the immortal words of Pugsley Addams: Eat me.

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Although none of this has been officially confirmed yet, it’s a stark contrast to Comic-Con International’s rollout of its plans for an in-person-only event in San Diego later this year. Announced through a press release blasted out late last Saturday — at a time few reporters are going to be paying attention to their inboxes — the decision to reveal an in-person event for one of the biggest weekends for flights in the United States during a pandemic (let alone what might be, for many, the first Thanksgiving people will be able to see family members post-vaccination) was met with significant scepticism. That scepticism was so potent CCI followed up days later with an updated statement attempting to clarify why it made the choice, before shrugging its collective shoulders to note that it may have to cancel the event anyway, depending on how vaccine rollout in the U.S. is going.

NYCC’s plans, if they ultimately come to fruition, offer the best of both worlds. The in-person event gives fans who have been vaccinated and are comfortable attending large-scale gatherings a chance to welcome some semblance of the pre-covid normality of the convention circuit back into their lives. But those who aren’t comfortable, vaccinated or otherwise, with attending something on that scale don’t have to miss out, and can have the virtual experience — which, on the whole, was pretty solid last year compared to CCI’s own offering — to enjoy instead. Plus, if the physical event needs to be cancelled, there’s still something to fall back on.

The con is also not taking place on the weekend of a major national holiday, so that’s a bonus. We’ll bring you more on CCI and ReedPop’s plans for two of the biggest comic-cons around this year as and when we learn them.