Home Conventions New York Comic Con stuff: NYAF merges; Javits Center endangered

New York Comic Con stuff: NYAF merges; Javits Center endangered


A few notes about this fall’s New York Comic Con. ReedPOP has made official what everyone took for granted: the New York Anime Festival will officially fold into NYCC. Launched as a separate event just before the manga/anime implosion began, the event was soon co-located with NYCC while keeping a separate identity. This year, the programming and guests list—which are pretty extensive and popular among the fan community—will stay the same but the event itself will be part of NYCC.

While the PR, which you can read below, stresses that the content will remain the same, it glosses over what actually did in NYAF: not enough exhibitors who afford the high prices of the Javits Center in the shrinking anime economy.

Speaking of the Javits, several outlets have picked up on the story we’ve been covering for awhile, NY state governor Andrew Cuomo’s nutty plan to build a giant convention center in Queens somewhere—possibly with Singapore casino money—and tear down the Javits. ReedPOP is among the giant show running entities that have signed a petition AGAINST this plan, pointing out that a Manhattan location is what makes many trade and consumer shows attractive, especially in tourist and alien invasion mecca Manhattan. PLUS at least one of the proposed new locations has mass transit problems that make the Javits “Oh-my-god-I-must-walk-2-blocks-to-get-a-falafel!!!!'” annoyances look as rinky dink as they really are.

ANYHOO, here’s the NYAF PR:

Officials at New York Comic Con (NYCC) have today announced that the New York Anime Festival (NYAF) will become an integral part of the massive pop culture convention rather than continue to operate as a separate co-located event.   NYAF was launched in December 2007 as a stand-alone festival delivering quality content and entertainment to anime fans and professionals in New York City.  NYCC organizers note that while NYAF will no longer be staged as a separate entity, their mission to serve the anime community will be a priority and will remain consistent with past standards of excellence.  Since its inception, NYAF has presented the latest and the best in anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music and games and this programming will be a vital part of NYCC planning moving forward.  New York Comic Con provides something for attendees across diverse fandoms, and in this new configuration, the anime fan will play a central role – as opposed to a separate role – in defining convention activity by being part of the NYCC pop culture community.  
New York Comic Con, which attracted over 100,000 visitors in 2011, will take place October 11 – 14, 2012 at the Javits Center in New York City.  Last year’s edition of NYCC sold out and this year’s show is also expected to sell out.   Fans of this year’s convention are encouraged to purchase 4-Day tickets which are already on sale via the show’s website, www.newyorkcomiccon.com. 
“This move has nothing to do with our loyalty or commitment to the anime community and everything to do with the growth and identity of New York Comic Con as a leading pop culture event,” notes Lance Fensterman, Group Vice President of ReedPOP and Show Manager of NYCC.  “NYCC embraces all elements of the pop culture world, including anime, and we have evolved to a point where the existence of NYAF outside our universe is almost a contradiction.  We will be better able to serve the anime community from within the NYCC infra-structure rather than have a show which is separate and which will always be dwarfed by everything that New York Comic Con represents and is.   We will present the very best anime programming at NYCC, and we look forward to providing for the anime community in a manner that does service to the legacy of NYAF.”
NYCC’s commitment to booking top Japanese entertainment guests has been evident through the years and this commitment will remain as NYCC develops its list of celebrity appearances for 2012 and beyond.  In the past, NYCC/NYAF has played host to Japanese guests including T.M. Revolution, Takashi Miike, Junko Takeuchi, Makoto Shinkai, Dai Sato, Minori Chihara, Yoshiki, VAMPS, Puffy AmiYumi and Boom Boom Satellites.  These are the type of guests that NYCC will continue to showcase as part of its anime programming.  In addition, NYCC programmers will continue to feature anime and manga panels with publishers and creators and screenings of classic and contemporary anime titles.   The show will also continue to feature exhibitors across the anime and manga space, with publishers already signed up for NYCC 2012 including FUNimation Entertainment and Vertical, Inc.  
Again, organizers note that NYAF’s spirit and activities will blend into NYCC. Guests, exhibitors, screenings and panels will remain largely as is, and additional NYAF events will change within this transition.  NYAF’s traditional Saturday Masquerade will turn into daily, evening costume contests, the show will feature one live-events stage with both comic and anime content instead of separate comic and anime stages and the Anime Artist Alley will fold into NYCC’s overall Artist Alley.  Speakers interested in presenting an anime-themed panel should submit their information into NYCC’s online submission tool and artists looking to set up with anime-inspired art should apply to NYCC’s Artist Alley now.
Panel submission information is located here (http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/Whats-Happening/Panels-And-Screenings/) and Artist Alley applications can be found online at this link (http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/Exhibitor-Info/Artist-Alley-Table-Request-Form/).
Other information about New York Comic Con, as well as news about ReedPOP, which organizes a range of pop culture events, is available at Lance Fensterman’s blog, www.mediumatlarge.net.  Both comic and anime exhibitors interested in participating in the show are encouraged to contact NYCC’s Larry Settembrini as soon as possible at lsettembrini@reedpop.com.    


  1. What the PR doesn’t say is that in both 2010 and 2011 NYAF was held as part of NYCC. While technically separate conventions. They were held on the same day and in the same venue. So this is just adding a tombstone onto a 2 year old coffin.

  2. I really, really hope the NYAF keeps its own floor. That floor was where the fun was at last year.

    I only went to NYCC once, but I *hated* the Javitz Center. I thought it was poorly laid out and difficult to navigate. I also like staying out of Manhattan as much as possible. I say move it to the Brooklyn Nets new stadium. ^_^

  3. There is a subway stop at Aqueduct. (50 minutes from Times Square to JFK. 30 minutes by car?)

    Transportation? JFK is right next door. I-678 plus Belt Parkway.

    My suggestion?

    Build a super-convention center with hotel and casino at Aqueduct, just like Vegas does.

    Keep Javits open, and let them compete. Maybe Aqueduct can steal some business from Vegas…

    Zone it between Rockaway Boulevard and the Belt Parkway. As demand grows, build more halls, rezoning the neighborhood street by street until it reaches the Van Wyck Expressway. (See: Hannover, Germany: Messegelände Hannover)

    As the “fair grounds” expand, a subway spur is extended along Rockaway Boulevard, on the north side.

    Place the truck parking south of the airport parking along the Bergen Basin.

    Cross Bay Boulvard south of the parkway can be turned into a hotel strip, overlooking Shellbank Basin. The basin can be developed into a promenade with quaint restaurants. (Or people can stay at the hotels near JFK.)

    Willets Point
    35 minutes by subway, 20 minutes? by car.
    Good transportation, near LaGuardia.
    Airport hotels.
    The site is smaller, so if it is mixed use, there might not be as much space for a large convention center.
    Food? Um… can one walk along Roosevelt Avenue to Flushing? It looks like you could, but it’s like walking along an interstate. Or walk the other way towards Corona.

    They could build it over the railyard near Shea… but that would complicate freight.

    Naw… go big, or go home.

    Hmmm… Governors Island is a good location, but most of that is already planned.

    Over the railyard near Queens Plaza?
    15 minutes by subway! 15 minutes to La Guardia! But if that space is available, why not expand Javits south to 30th Street?

  4. I actually quite like the Javits itself, it’s just surrounded by a drab industrial wasteland… Now if the 7 subway (December 2013) and the High Line park (?) finish their planned extensions to reach it, that would really class up the area.

  5. Trading in (a DAREDEVIL-less) Hells Kitchen for a future Casinoland in Queens seems like an upgrade for groups wanting to hold their Convention in the NYC area, be they Comics Nerds or not.

    Javits is just too drab, dark, industrial, and isolated for attendees looking for nearby extra-curricular activities that the seasoned Conventioneer have experienced at other
    Con Centers. Like the other entertainment and food options available at Las Vegas, or at SDCC and WONDERCON’s original SF location, say.

    I can imagine groups bypassing Javits just for these very reasons.

  6. anyone know whats going on with the west side rail yard site adjacent top the javits center? last i heard several few years ago it was slated for a the new jets/olympic stadium before MSG/Comcast squashed it. then NYC lost its olympic bid and the jets decided to stay co-tenants with the giants in the meadowlands, mooting all stadium/exhibition space plans. MSG had a legitimate beef that the stadium was being pushed through at below market deals. i’m guessing mixed use residential/commercial/retail space would make more economic sense for the city then a convention center but the location has to be light years better than anywhere in queens.

  7. Mr. Hasek:

    Information on the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project is found here:

    It seems the developers are waiting for the economy to recover (and thus produce tenants) before designing and building structures.

    The MTA will eventually be paid $1 Billion for development rights, for what could be a $15 Billion project.

    There were plans to expand Javits by 45% in 2006, but by 2008, those plans were shelved due to soaring budget costs ($5 Billion) and a $465 Million renovation was initiated instead (almost finished). (The expansion would have improved the facade on Eleventh Avenue, as well as adding an additional level of exhibition halls.)

    The Javits page on Wikipedia has a plan of what might be done with the site after the Javits is demolished.

    But given the history of the Javits Center, that’s a bit farfetched currently.

  8. Wow. Not only comic and anime nerd news, but big kinda sketchy political and economic negotiations too.

    Some friends from New York go down to NYAF. They have an artist alley table and said NYCC tables are more expensive and the little anime artist ghetto is nicer for them anyway. So I wonder if they will merge all artists into one room with the more expensive table price. Well.. not to wonder.. sure looks that way.

    And.. wow.. no pins or t shirts? Have to ask my friend about that note. She had tons of buttons as do many many anime artists. Though I forget if this was an issue last year too.

    I have yet to go one one of these, but I keep saying I want to go to both. Last con I went to in NYC was Big Apple Anime Fest a decade ago. Wow. Geez.

    And this whole bunk about the governor pushing for casino money and new convention centers reminds me of Boston with is governor and mayor getting mighty chummy with casino and convention construction folks.. who I am absolutely sure are looking out for the good citizens of the city and state and not out to line their pockets with taxpayer money. The executive and legislative branches sure were keen to get casinos in this state. And more to this topic they wanted to tear down the big but not big enough Hynes in the middle of Back Bay to move all conventions down to the new big and still growing convention center in Southie despite being in the middle of nowhere. Plus there’s an older smaller one across from it(where I went to today for a Beer Fest). They say they’re building up the area.. and someone’s getting paid quite well for that and their buddies in the state are all for it. Yet to tear down the major center that is more in the city and force everyone out to the docks in Southie? Insane. Wicked retahded. Then again.. it is Southie.. and you did see The Depahted, right? Thankfully, it seems the Hynes is here to stay.. for now.

    I love the smell of commerce in the morning.

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