New York Comic Con

Wishing all our Canadian readers a Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you’re having an enjoyable and relaxing long weekend. Our cousins to the south enjoy some good football games on their Thanksgiving, we should re-schedule and televise the Brier since its still too early for an ice fishing derby.

Hey! The New York Comic Con (NYCC) just ended and I have to ask, did anybody participate in any of the virtual events? NYCC partnered with YouTube and delivered a ton of content. How did it go? How do we even measure success? I looked at the site and saw lots of things going on, lots of panels, lots of content, I sat in and watched the Freak Brothers panel for a bit, Zoom stuff!

I’m interested to read the reviews online that will come out this week about how successful and viable this format turned out to be. I guess they’ll have traffic to the site numbers, interactive participation numbers, thoughts and reviews from fans as well as thoughts and views from celebrities and creators, and I’d like to know how well the corporate sponsors that bankrolled all this did?

One of the reasons I’m interested is that I see more of this in our near future, I can’t see 2021 being any better given how things are going with the pandemic at the moment. Skip back to early March of this year and I bet none of us would have thought we’d be here, questioning the viability of even the 2021 cons.

Just think about how big the con ecosystem was, the corporate sponsors, the publishers, the creators, the celebrities, the vendors, the fans and lets not forget all the residual jobs this huge ecosystem helped support, hotels, drivers, truck rentals, restaurants, bars and on and on. I think the biggest losers in the no con environment have to be the fans, millions would have attended the North American Comic Cons this year, many fans would have gone to several, fandom is definitely suffering.

Can we successfully move the con experience online? I’m going to be honest and say that there are many on the vendor and creator side that hope we can. I know many vendors and creators that are tired of the grind of the cons, they go to cons out of habit and out of fear that if they don’t they will miss out yet the hours are exhausting and the costs of doing the shows have also become an issue. Perhaps this reset is good for everyone in the long run, it will certainly allow creators, vendors and publishers the opportunity to explore other avenues to reaching audiences and fans.

One thing about fan participation online is that the capacity is limitless, you could have 300,000 fans sit in on a panel on line, I know its not the same but from a creator’s point of view reaching a bigger audience is better.

I see lots of restrictions when cons do start back up, no hand shakes, no photo ops (standing too close), even those lines where people are standing one on top of each other won’t be tolerated. I see those splintering into their core functions, more smaller pure comic cons, more pure toy cons etc. I’m not sure where the cosplayers will go to cos but perhaps the success of the Furry Cons shows us that cosplay cons are viable on their own.

I’m choosing to look at this Comic Con disruption as an opportunity to reassess my busniness’ relationship with comic cons. I want to make the right decisions for the right reasons when things start coming back.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

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3 years ago

Walt, will you choose virtual Bike riding or the real deal on Blue Mountain?
Conventions will return when this political covid plandemic ends. See you at a Con in 2021 pal