A few notes about this fall’s New York Comic Con. ReedPOP has made official what everyone took for granted: the New York Anime Festival will officially fold into NYCC. Launched as a separate event just before the manga/anime implosion began, the event was soon co-located with NYCC while keeping a separate identity. This year, the programming and guests list—which are pretty extensive and popular among the fan community—will stay the same but the event itself will be part of NYCC.
While the PR, which you can read below, stresses that the content will remain the same, it glosses over what actually did in NYAF: not enough exhibitors who afford the high prices of the Javits Center in the shrinking anime economy.
Speaking of the Javits, several outlets have picked up on the story we’ve been covering for awhile, NY state governor Andrew Cuomo’s nutty plan to build a giant convention center in Queens somewhere—possibly with Singapore casino money—and tear down the Javits. ReedPOP is among the giant show running entities that have signed a petition AGAINST this plan, pointing out that a Manhattan location is what makes many trade and consumer shows attractive, especially in tourist and alien invasion mecca Manhattan. PLUS at least one of the proposed new locations has mass transit problems that make the Javits “Oh-my-god-I-must-walk-2-blocks-to-get-a-falafel!!!!'” annoyances look as rinky dink as they really are.
ANYHOO, here’s the NYAF PR:
Officials at New York Comic Con (NYCC) have today announced that the New York Anime Festival (NYAF) will become an integral part of the massive pop culture convention rather than continue to operate as a separate co-located event. NYAF was launched in December 2007 as a stand-alone festival delivering quality content and entertainment to anime fans and professionals in New York City. NYCC organizers note that while NYAF will no longer be staged as a separate entity, their mission to serve the anime community will be a priority and will remain consistent with past standards of excellence. Since its inception, NYAF has presented the latest and the best in anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music and games and this programming will be a vital part of NYCC planning moving forward. New York Comic Con provides something for attendees across diverse fandoms, and in this new configuration, the anime fan will play a central role – as opposed to a separate role – in defining convention activity by being part of the NYCC pop culture community.
New York Comic Con, which attracted over 100,000 visitors in 2011, will take place October 11 – 14, 2012 at the Javits Center in New York City. Last year’s edition of NYCC sold out and this year’s show is also expected to sell out. Fans of this year’s convention are encouraged to purchase 4-Day tickets which are already on sale via the show’s website, www.newyorkcomiccon.com.
“This move has nothing to do with our loyalty or commitment to the anime community and everything to do with the growth and identity of New York Comic Con as a leading pop culture event,” notes Lance Fensterman, Group Vice President of ReedPOP and Show Manager of NYCC. “NYCC embraces all elements of the pop culture world, including anime, and we have evolved to a point where the existence of NYAF outside our universe is almost a contradiction. We will be better able to serve the anime community from within the NYCC infra-structure rather than have a show which is separate and which will always be dwarfed by everything that New York Comic Con represents and is. We will present the very best anime programming at NYCC, and we look forward to providing for the anime community in a manner that does service to the legacy of NYAF.”
NYCC’s commitment to booking top Japanese entertainment guests has been evident through the years and this commitment will remain as NYCC develops its list of celebrity appearances for 2012 and beyond. In the past, NYCC/NYAF has played host to Japanese guests including T.M. Revolution, Takashi Miike, Junko Takeuchi, Makoto Shinkai, Dai Sato, Minori Chihara, Yoshiki, VAMPS, Puffy AmiYumi and Boom Boom Satellites. These are the type of guests that NYCC will continue to showcase as part of its anime programming. In addition, NYCC programmers will continue to feature anime and manga panels with publishers and creators and screenings of classic and contemporary anime titles. The show will also continue to feature exhibitors across the anime and manga space, with publishers already signed up for NYCC 2012 including FUNimation Entertainment and Vertical, Inc.
Again, organizers note that NYAF’s spirit and activities will blend into NYCC. Guests, exhibitors, screenings and panels will remain largely as is, and additional NYAF events will change within this transition. NYAF’s traditional Saturday Masquerade will turn into daily, evening costume contests, the show will feature one live-events stage with both comic and anime content instead of separate comic and anime stages and the Anime Artist Alley will fold into NYCC’s overall Artist Alley. Speakers interested in presenting an anime-themed panel should submit their information into NYCC’s online submission tool and artists looking to set up with anime-inspired art should apply to NYCC’s Artist Alley now.
Panel submission information is located here (http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/Whats-Happening/Panels-And-Screenings/) and Artist Alley applications can be found online at this link (http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/Exhibitor-Info/Artist-Alley-Table-Request-Form/).
Other information about New York Comic Con, as well as news about ReedPOP, which organizes a range of pop culture events, is available at Lance Fensterman’s blog, www.mediumatlarge.net. Both comic and anime exhibitors interested in participating in the show are encouraged to contact NYCC’s Larry Settembrini as soon as possible at email@example.com.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.