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SYFY WIRE New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con going virtual in 2020, will host live YouTube panels instead

By Josh Weiss
New York Comic Con

Well, it's official: New York Comic Con's 2020 edition will be going totally digital as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to prevent large gatherings of people. While we'll be missing the cosplay and nerd-based energy that inhabits Manhattan's Javits Center every fall, the news isn't all bad. The annual event's organizer, ReedPOP, announced that it would be partnering with YouTube to host live-streamed panels from "leading entertainment brands" between Oct. 8-11.

Unlike the pre-recorded programming of Comic-Con@Home, fans will actually be able to participate in virtual Q&As with their favorite celebrities and creators, turning "every panel into a watch party and geek out with other fans using YouTube’s Community and Live Chat features," promises the release.

Starz's American Gods, CBS All Access' Star Trek Universe, DreamWorks Animation, Hulu, and FX are among the recognizable shows, networks, studios, and streaming platforms taking part. More participants and a full schedule of events (including premieres and fan contests) are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

"We are thoroughly disappointed that we can’t gather together, in-person for the New York Comic Con we love to build and our fans love to revel in. We look forward to this weekend all year long, just like you, and with this being our 15th edition, we were particularly excited. I will miss walking up and down artist alley and seeing friends that I’ve made since we were in the basement at the Javits Center," Lance Fensterman, president of ReedPOP, said in a statement. "While this year will definitely be a different experience, we are going to look to bring the best and most engaging event to our fans, exhibitors, and studios through our partnership with YouTube."

ReedPOP has already confirmed another digital convention, Metaverse, which is scheduled to kick off this Thursday (Aug. 13) and run through Sunday (Aug. 16).

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