Given the tragedies of violence in the real world, this year’s attempted armed assault at Phoenix Comic Con, and ongoing trolling and harassment or comics makers and readers on twitter and other social media, it’s safe to say that as we head into this year’s New York Comic Con, there are heightened tensions.
A lot of pros – both comics creators and comics journalists – are worried that unpleasant online interactions might be carried into the real world.
I reported on NYCC security a little for my PW article on San Diego con security. While no one can – or should – talk openly about security measures, I’m reliably informed that even before the most recent events, the con was planning increased security for 2017.
The Jacob Javits Center is itself on the list of potential terror targets in New York Not only the NYPD but NY State police, the National Guard, the FBI and other organizations are all involved in keeping it safe.
None of it is a guarantee, but honestly, I feel safer in a place like Javits than walking around my neighborhood sometimes.
Also, ReedPOP has set up very robust reporting methods. I’m told that staff has been specially trained to be more aware of harassment issues and several unfortunate incidents in the past have been handled properly.
I’m also told that ReedPOP has no qualms about enforcing their harassment policy; they have removed both fans and even industry professionals in the past.
What’s important to remember is this: If you are threatened or harassed IMEDIATELY report it to a ReedPOP staff member or security. They will take steps to remove harassers from the event.
Harassment can also be reported on the con’s app; it is monitored in real-time and will be acted upon accordingly.
Find a friend and tell someone. Don’t be ashamed; the fault is in those who want to ruin other people’s enjoyment not yours.
I’ll throw this in here as a 30+ year convention veteran: look out for each other. This is a strong community no matter how much we argue on twitter, and most people are good at looking out for their fellow congoers.
Also, seriously: don’t be a douchebag. Seriously. Don’t be the “tough one” and act out when it’s least needed. This is a con where people come to enjoy pop culture and creativity, not a wrestling ring.
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.