Popverse EIC Chris Arrant

ReedPop has just launched the Popverse, a new pop culture site led by editor in chief Chris Arrant. Popverse is also a rebranding of the Metaverse, ReedPop’s previous iteration of a website to cover various fandoms. (ReedPop got there first in 2020, but the term “Metaverse” is glued to Facebook and Web3 now.)

According to the pr, Popverse is “a modern entertainment brand…built to support a vibrant community with a shared passion for fostering comics and pop culture conversations that are insightful, helpful, and fun. Popverse offers unrivaled comics and pop culture coverage, taking readers on a tour of their favorite fandoms – and even introducing them to their next favorite.”

The site is live now, and in a welcome message Arrant writes:

We have been privileged enough to witness first-hand how comic and pop culture conventions are the crossroads of our fandom – and to see that the celebrities who we’re fans of are fans themselves. We’ve seen the glories of Hall H and have found many treasures in the artist alleys across the country.

And we are going to bring all of that to you – and not just during conventions.

We’ll be bringing you comprehensive coverage of the major comic and pop culture conventions in North America, from New York Comic Con to Comic-Con International: San Diego, and even delving into fandom-specific events such as Star Wars Celebration, Star Trek Missions, and D23 Expo.

Popverse will also have memberships available which will include longer-form journalism, VOD access to many of ReedPop’s convention panels, exclusive pre-sale access to ReedPop convention passes, autograph signings, and photo-ops, deals on merch from The Haul, as well as an entirely ad-free experience.

Arrant leads the team as editor in chief, but has already hired a staff including deputy editor Tiffany Babb, video producer Ashley V. Robinson, and video editor/admin Veronica Valencia. Freelance contributors are a murderer’s row of comics/pop culture journos including Graeme McMillan, Caitlin Rosberg, Swapna Krishna, and Newsarama co-founder Matt Brady in a return to journalism.

“There is a true appetite within the pop culture community to connect beyond the live events that ReedPop puts on every year,” said Arrant in a statement. “With  Popverse, we have brought together some of the best comics and pop culture journalists to bring our fanbase engaging, unique content to help them interact with their fandom communities every day.”

ReedPop is best known as the events company behind New York Comic Con, ECCC, C2E2, Star Wars Celebration (with Lucasfilms) and many more. but they also own a portfolio of fan-focused media brands including Eurogamer, Dicebreaker, VG247, Rock Paper Shotgun, Digital Foundry, and Outside Xbox. Given the personnel involved, it seems that Popverse will focus on comics news and journalism – something that ReedPop has been considering virtually ever since NYCC launched.

The site will include convention coverage, how-to and shopping guides, and deep dives into popular fandoms. A three-part video series, “Hall Pass,” will feature 5 minute videos from the NYCC show floor.

“New York Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, and our other conventions are an important escape for our fans and critical to the success of our exhibitors and sponsors. These weekend events are destinations and vacations for many, but as we’ve all learned there’s a need for entertainment – and the engrossing conversations that surround it – more than just a dozen or so weekends a year,” said Mike Armstrong, vice president, ReedPop in a statement

“With Popverse,” Arrant adds, “we’re pulling back the curtain and offering the thrills that fans and professionals get out of comic conventions every day of the year. Popverse focuses on that delectable mix of news, personalities, and pageantry that fans come to conventions for, with breaking news, expert commentary, and engrossing conversations with the people behind the things we all love.”

Comics journalism hasn’t been a very lucrative field in recent years, but having a lively editorial section to back up its various events and branding opportunities makes a lot of business sense for ReedPop. Also, the site aims to pick up more subscribers for content, just as the Metaverse did, starting at $65 a year. Free memberships are also available, as is a $99 superfan level.

Welcome to the internet jungle, Popverse!