The New York Comic-Con announces its new point man, Jay Williams, and his email is in included — so you people feel free to contact him. We’re told he LOVES it.
New York Comic Con (NYCC) has announced that it has appointed senior staff member Jay Williams to the post of Manager of Programming & Education. The role is considered critical as much of NYCC’s activity and opportunity is generated by the special events and panel discussions which supplement the excitement of the show floor. Organizers are pleased to have both a trade show professional and veteran, as well as a huge comics fan to fill the role. Williams is expected to bring an intuitive grasp of creativity and management skills to the function.
In a related announcement, show organizers note that one of Williams’ first initiatives is the launch of Kids’ Day, a significant all-day program on Sunday, April 20 which will focus on events and activities designed to attract and entertain young fans. A key partner in the development of this program is Kids Love Comics (KLC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and growth of children’s comic books in North America.
New York Comic Con will be held April 18 – 20, 2008 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. Jay Williams is open to receiving ideas and suggestions for all areas of programming at NYCC and may be reached at jaywilliams at nycomiccon.com.
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone like Jay to step to the plate,” notes Greg Topalian, Show Director for the Con. “Jay has directed all on-site operations for NYCC since the show’s inception and he’s been absolutely indispensable through our launch. In one of our very first brainstorming meetings he showed up dressed as Spider-Man, and I knew then and there that he was the right guy for NYCC.”
As noted, one of Williams’ first tasks is to create and organize programs for a special Kids’ Day at NYCC which he is doing in association with Kids Love Comics. The non-profit KLC believes, among other things, that there is a strong untapped potential for kids’ comics and that the supply of comics to children has been hampered for many reasons, not the least of which is a lack of parental and educator awareness. “The younger generation is the future of our business and we want to make sure they are totally involved and catered to,” continues Topalian. “Our Kids’ Day events are two-pronged. Obviously, we will be creating programming just for kids, but we will also offer some adult seminars focusing specifically on kids’ issues.” Representative samples of the kid-based adult programming will include discussion on topics such as: Comics & Literacy: Using Comics and Graphic Novels in the Classroom/Library; Creating Study Guides from Comic Books; and Creating Kid-Friendly Comics.
Meanwhile, a full range of programs and events designed specifically for the entertainment of kids is currently in development. The kids’ programming and entertainment will include green screen photos and videos, roving crayon artists, a special “kid” drawing area, and numerous giveaways just for kids. Samples of the panel discussions devoted exclusively to kids’ topics will include sessions on Creating Your Own Superhero, Turning Your Real-Life Experiences into Comics, and Self-Publishing Your Work.
“Our kids’ stuff is only one small part, though a very important part, of a comprehensive schedule of approximately 125 special events that we’ll be offering, including author activities and conversations, screenings and premiers, and many panel discussions,” Topalian concludes. “As always, our goal is to provide something challenging, entertaining and educational for everyone who attends New York Comic Con.”
Registration for NYCC is now “live” on the Web, including registration for all professional creators. Last year, artists and creators were only allowed free registration to the show through their respective publishers and/or exhibitors. This year, NYCC will accept free registration applications directly from artists and creators but only until December 1, 2007.