A lot of news regarding upcoming comic cons and events like NYCC 2021 being postponed, going online and….maybe, just maybe being in person later this year? It seems that if there is any kind of scaled-down return to in-person comics events, it won’t be until well into the fall.
§ New York Comic Con made headlines like “NEW YORK COMIC CON 2021 PLANNING IN-PERSON EVENT IN OCTOBER WITH VIRTUAL ELEMENT” but I would note that this was an extremely soft launch for news of an in-person event, coming as it did in a footnoted update to a story about objections to SDCC’s planned November event. By fall the COVID/vaccination/pandemic situation should be much different than it is now, but ReedPOP was still wise to stealth-announce the plan, given all the blowback SDCC got. As of now NYCC 2021 is planned to be a “hybrid” event with mixed online and in-person content. But as I noted in the Beat newsletter:
CCI is a non-profit organization, but ReedPOP is very much for profit. If there is even a chance that they can put on an in-person event and make money off of it after month of lay-offs and cancellations, I’m sure they will do it.
I’ve told a lot of people that when cons some back, I’m still going to wear a mask when its appropriate. Con crud was already real and NYCC, unfortunately, was an epicenter of yuck due to the Javits’ low ceilings and crowded conditions. I don’t love wearing a mask, but I love coughing my lungs out even less.
At any rate, it will be many years before we see a scene like the above from NYCC in 2016. In fact, just looking at it is enough to give me the heebie jeebies.
§ Other conventions have taken the common sense approach and postponed their return until 2022. HeroesCon, held in Charlotte, NC was the latest to pull the plug, but with a gala 40th Anniversary show planned for 2022, with a potential smaller show in the fall. ALL 2020/2021 HeroesCon Tickets, Artist Alley Tables and Exhibitor Booth Reservations will automatically transfer to the 2022 Heroes Convention. But there were many factors that went into the decision, including construction at the Charlotte Convention Center and a poll of potential guests.
After what has felt like an eternity of uncertainty, we are hopeful that there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are being distributed on a wide spectrum and we are slowly starting to see the promise of a return to “normal” in the months ahead.
However, even with the increased numbers of vaccinations, we understand that it may not be safe to hold an indoor gathering of thousands of people, even three months from now; especially when you consider that the vast majority of our guests travel from across the country, or even from across the globe.
We PRIDE ourselves on the wealth of talent that fills our Artist Alley each year.
At the beginning of March we sent out a poll to over 300 Featured Guests from recent and past Heroes Conventions. Of the 200+ responses we have received, 95% of those have stated that they would not feel comfortable attending a show in June of 2021, with most adding that they would prefer to wait until 2022 to attend a convention.
This, coupled with feedback from customers and exhibitors, has informed us that June 2021 is still too soon for most to feel safe attending a convention on the scale of the HeroesCon. We have taken all of these concerns very seriously, and agree that the health of EVERYONE is the MOST IMPORTANT factor going forward.
Other extenuating circumstances that have influenced our decision at this time: the Charlotte Convention Center will be undergoing construction that could impact our floor plan as well as the use of escalators. As of today, enforced capacity restrictions will remain in effect until fall of 2021, with limited on-site concessions, and sustained social distancing requirements between individuals as well as between tables and booths.
Under these circumstances it just wouldn’t be a HeroesCon.
We’ve waited this long — might as well wait until it’s really safe.
§ Meanwhile in NYC, the MoCCA Arts Festival has also been postponed to 2022 for an in-person event, with dates of April 2-3, 2022 at the Metropolitan Pavilion announced (a new venue for the event.)
I’m told that a virtual MoCCA with programming is still in the works, but no details or time frame have been announced.