by Zachary Clemente

nycc-se

It’s possible you missed it last year, but New York Comic-Con has a secondary convention, starting last year in early Summer, called Special Edition. Touted as the comics-only convention for New York (and greater) fans, initial response was mixed. It was announced late, but the guest lineup was strong. It fell on Father’s Day weekend, but the tickets weren’t expensive. It seemed like people were optimistic about the first iteration of the event. Unfortunately, attendance wasn’t exactly what you’d call great. Saturday was acceptable according to a number of exhibitors I talked to but Sunday was completely dead, maybe 200-300 attendees over the full day. I saw many exhibitors pack up early to beat the traffic home – not a heartening sight. I wasn’t sure if they’d continue the event, but hey – with ReedPop’s bankroll, why not?

I’m all for having a comics-only event during this time of year in Manhattan, where a lot of people are aching for one. NYCC itself can be such a mass of people, events, and spectacle that it’s difficult to enjoy the event if you don’t really want to see the strata of what’s offered. I look forward to seeing how Pier 94, their new location, works and eagerly await a hopefully well-curated guest list. Thankfully, Special Edition has a 2 week gap from both Father’s Day and Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC; which many creators focused their time to attend as an established comics-centric East Coast show.

NYC: Special Edition is June 6-7 at Pier 94 in New York City.

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Notes from Heidi: As pointed out by Torsten in the comments, Pier 94 was previously used by Wizard World for a Big Apple con in 2009 and was where the infamous two-cons-on-the-same-weekend were going to be held until saner heads prevailed.The above is a photo from 2009.

All that said, this is a very sound venue! It’s large, airy, natural light, near the water so negative ions. I don’t remember the panel room, but this is definitely a more affordable but still spacious venue for a show that is still finding its legs.  I think it’s a way better place to build the show up from than the pricey and challenging Javits.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Two weekends after Memorial Day, one weekend after BookExpo and BookCon (which ReedPOP oversees).
    Two weekends before Father’s Day.

    HA! That’s where Wizard had their 2009 show. Also the site of their “con war” in 2010, before they moved to the Penn Plaza Hotel a week earlier. I attended in Fall 2009. It was poorly heated, and the floor was bare. Not worth the cost of attending.
    Oh, and the panel rooms were horrid. I don’t know how Reed will address that… perhaps placing two stages at opposite ends of the T?

    http://www.piers9294.com/eventplanners/floorplans/
    133K sqft compared to 80K at Javits North (that doesn’t include the panel space held in 1E).

    Why do this? Because it allows ReedPOP to figure out how to do smaller shows which can be replicated across the country. There are 166 Combined Statistical Areas in the United States, many of which do not host major comics shows.
    And remember… NYCC used to be a “small show” once. 33K attendance. No reason why a Special Edition couldn’t be expanded into a marquee show a few years later.

    Once Reed starts hosting SE’s across the country, that’s when the con wars will heat up.
    Maybe ReedPOP offers a discount if exhibitors sign up for multiple shows.

  2. The panel room was located at the top of Pier 92, (Adam West was exiting the elevator as I entered) and was created via pipe and drape.
    Just down the big room from the box office. If I recall correctly, there were three panel rooms thus created.

    It was overcast and sort of rainy. I had to walk outside from 94 across to 92 to buy a ticket. WW didn’t pay for heating? It was a bit chilly inside. Concessions were also very questionable.

    I hope ReedPOP recreates the food truck smorgasbord from NYCC14! There is space in front of the venue… Or maybe on the side streets.

  3. I had a table (Artist Alley) and did well. My friends on other tables did too.
    I did leave early, but that was just because I’d miss my flight otherwise. I’m looking forward to next years Special Edition!

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