Update: A pervious version of this story used the word “purchased” regarding ReedPOP’s invlvement but it is a partnership similar to the one the Harvey Awards had with Baltimore Comic Con.
The Beat has learned that ReedPOP, the company that runs New York Comic Con and 28 other pop culture events worldwide, will partner with the Harvey Awards in the future. As a result they will no longer be held at Baltimore Comic Con, a development announced today by BCC owner Marc Nathan. You can read his statement below.
While no details of the ReedPOP partnership have been announced we can speculate a little bit here. The Harveys were a warm and fond evening, with the presence of many comics greats such as Ramona Fradon, Walt Simonson and other making it an evening to celebrate the great traditions of US comics.
But it was also very long. This year’s event, from the start of the cocktail hour to the last award, clocked in at just under five hours. It wasn’t a bad five hours, but it was five hours. Even the Eisners are only four hours long, from cocktails to group photo.
More importantly, in recent years the nomination process for the Harveys has come under heavy scrutiny, with small voting blocks have a disproportionate say in the results. This year’s 50+ nominations for Valiant were apparently the last straw. Whle the eventual winners are usually good, the entire process has lost credibility.
While everyone thought that changes needed to be made, these are pretty drastic changes.
As for what ReedPOP gets with the Harveys: a prestigious, high profile event that they can sell tickets to. The ReedPOP crew knows how to put on live events, so I don’t doubt that it will evolve into something bigger and better….and different. We all complained about the Harvey banquet and its length, but I’m sure we’ll look back on it as “Remember how back in the day…”
Here’s Marc Nathan’s statement.
The Baltimore Comic-Con is proud to have served as the host the Harvey Awards. During our eleven years as the longest-running host and primary sponsor, the awards grew in participation and stature, and were broadened to include appreciation of material such as Best Online Comics Work and Best Original Graphic Publication For Younger Readers.
We’re thankful to the Harvey Awards Committee, headed by Paul McSpadden, for bringing the awards to Baltimore, and the guidance and assistance of Denis Kitchen and Nellie Kurtzman for recognizing that the Baltimore Comic-Con was the right home for the awards. We’d also like to thank the award’s hosts over the years, including Kyle Baker, Scott Kurtz, Phil Lamar, Vivek J. Tiwary, Michael Uslan, and Bill Willingham, as well as the many keynote speakers including Sergio Aragones, Brian Michael Bendis, Dean Haspiel, Ross Richie, Jerry Robinson, and Gail Simone, and Mark Waid. We must also thank the countless sponsors, volunteers, presenters, nominees, winners, and voting members of the comics community.
We are proud to have presented to Harvey Awards ceremony attendees such memorable moments as Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. sharing the stage together, the tribute to Nick Cardy, and the various hilarious videos (including ones with the real Stan Lee and the fake one!) that became recurring features of the event. We wish the event continued luck in the future in their new venue, which we expect to be announced by the Harvey Awards Committee in the coming days.
The Baltimore Comic-Con is a celebration of comic books and cartooning and as such, we owe a great debt to Harvey Kurtzman. Hosting the Harvey Awards was, to us, an expression of our love for Harvey’s work and a celebration of the creators who follow in his footsteps.
In the coming months, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found on our website, Twitter,Instagram, and Facebook pages.
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.