As Covid-19 infections surge due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, just how and when comics conventions will return is still very much a work in progress.
New York Comic Con just added an advisory to its front page:
Health & Safety Update
On August 3, 2021, the city of New York announced that it will be putting in place requirements for vaccination verification at NYC events, with official guidance to be released by August 16. We are closely monitoring these changes and working with the Javits Center to update our health and safety guidelines for NYCC 2021. We will update our website once NYC has issued its guidance and message attendees as soon as possible about how this will impact NYCC protocols.
This week New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio announced that proof of vaccination will be needed for a variety of indoor events, such as indoor dining, gyms and performances, starting on August 16th. Enforcement will begin on September 13th.
How this will affect a large event such as NYCC is unknown. However, just this week, it was announced that the New York Auto Show — an event held at the Javits Center that is even larger than NYCC, some say — has been canceled for 2021. The event was slated to start on August 20th.
While COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in New York City, Delta surges in other countries have dropped sharply after a peak. Whether this will happen in the US is unclear, and experts are baffled as to why it occurs.
When NYCC was first planned for October 7-10, it seemed likely that COVID would have receded enough by the fall to hold such a large event – but nothing about this pandemic has been as expected.
Meanwhile, down in Florida, where mask mandates are illegal, MegaCon has been fast approaching, planned for August 12-15 in Orlando. With no restrictions on large gatherings in the state, the website claimed that 100,000 people would attend.
Unfortunately, Florida has been experiencing one of its biggest COVID surges since the pandemic began, with a 700% increase in cases from a month ago. And Orange County, where Orlando is located, declared a state of emergency last week over the rising infection and hospitalization rate.
MegaCon’s website has a Health and Safety Plan posted which originally only suggested wearing masks. Now it reads “Masks are mandatory” — a rule that may not sit well with many Florida residents.
Meanwhile, some creators and celebrities have canceled their appearances at the show, including Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Wil Wheaton
Megacon is one of my favorite conventions, organized by terrific people, full of some of the best fans. But with 2 young children in the house — one with prior health issues — the infection rates in Florida are just too high right now for me to visit. I’m so sorry to miss it 1/2
— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) August 4, 2021
However, many creators are still planning to attend.
Going to Megacon soon! I will be doing sketches and signatures there. Remarques and side profiles will be available at the show, but I am taking a very very limited list for some deluxe commissions I’ll be doing. Contact Percy at @ibiscomics for more info.
— RYAN OTTLEY (@RyanOttley) August 3, 2021
As of this post, MegaCon plans a full complement of creators, nerdlebrities and cosplay. We just hope everyone can have a good time….safely.