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New York Comic Con 2021: What to know about this year's hybrid in-person, online event
After a two-year hiatus, ReedPop is bringing New York Comic Con back to the city that never sleeps. Much has changed in the world since the biggest pop culture gathering on the East Coast celebrated its last genuine edition back in 2019.
Taking COVID-related concerns into serious consideration, the organizers of the annual meeting have made some important changes to the way things are run in the uncertain pandemic age. New rules are in place and there are more ways to attend than ever before. So before you decide to put on your cosplay best and head over to Hudson Yards (where the convention center is located), here's everything you need to know about NYCC 2021.
When is it?
New York Comic Con 2021 will return to Manhattan's Javitz Center between Thursday, Oct. 7 - Sunday, Oct. 10. For individuals who either can't make it in person — or are still avoiding large crowds of people amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — there will be a schedule of digital events running concurrently with the physical ones.
"We look at it as our shows will never sell out again, in a good way," ReedPop President Lance Festerman recently said during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "If you want to be a part of a show like New York Comic Con, you’ll be able to be a part of it, whether you can buy a ticket or live in the area or not. We’re going to invest pretty heavily in that from a distance participation in shows like New York Comic Con."
How to attend
If you're planning on turning up to NYCC in person this year, there are two pre-requisites to keep in mind: 1) you must be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus (so bring your card along!) and 2) you must wear a face covering at all times, unless eating or drinking. If either of those requests are too much of a big ask on your part, then you simply won't be allowed in the building. If an attendee is under the age of 12 — and therefore not elligible to receive the vaccine just yet — they must arrive with an inoculated guardian and proof of a negative COVID test.
Fortunately, ReedPop is going above and beyond the vaccine, mask, and negative test requirements.
“If you walk up to a table you will have plexiglass there protecting both the fan and the guest,” ReedPop director for U.S. conventions Kristina Rogers told THR. “If anybody is a Star Trek nerd you can re-create that scene with Kirk and Spock really nicely. It looks really great.”
"What success looks like has changed in some ways," added Festerman. "We would think much, much less about the quality of the content and more about, 'Was it safe, and did people have fun?' So much of what we are focused on is logistics and safety and let’s bring people back together. And doing it in a safe way."
In-person and digital badges can be purchased right here.
While the full line up NYCC panels has yet to drop, below is small tasting platter of what to expect...
- Psych 3: This is Gus (Room 405 — Saturday, Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. EST)
- One of Us is Lying (Room 405 — Saturday, Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. EST)
- The Girl in the Woods (Room 411 — Saturday, Oct. 10 at 6:45 p.m. EST)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Friday, Oct. 8):
- Director and co-writer Jason Reitman will be joined by producer Ivan Reitman (director of the first two Ghostbusters films) and a portion of the cast for a discussion about the long-awaited sequel.
- The Legend of Vox Machina (Friday, Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. EST)
- The Expanse (Friday, Oct. 8 at 12:45 p.m. EST)
- The Wheel of Time (Friday, Oct. 8 at 2:30 p.m. EST)
- I Know What You Did Last Summer (Friday, Oct. 8 at 4:30 p.m. EST)
- Hanna (Saturday, Oct. 9 at 3:30 p.m. EST)
- Star Trek: Discovery (Saturday, Oct. 9)
- Star Trek: Prodigy special screening (Sunday, Oct. 10)
- Y: The Last Man (Empire Room/Javits Center — Saturday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. EST)
- What We Do in the Shadows (Empire Room/Javits Center — Sunday, Oct. 19 at 2:45 p.m. EST)
StarTalk Live — Science in Science Fiction (Thursday, Oct. 7)
The Shows That Changed the Way We Watch TV (Friday, Oct. 8)
Cosplay Central Crown Championships 2021 — NYCC Qualifier (Saturday Oct. 9)
ComiXology Originals presents: CONversations with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (Saturday Oct. 9)
VIZ Media Official Panel (Saturday Oct. 9)
Ghost Hunters LIVE! (Saturday Oct. 9)
If you can't make it to NYCC 2021 in person, don't worry. You can still pick up all sorts of exclusive swag via The Haul, "a new online marketplace that aims to be a true one-stop shop for fandom, bringing together the biggest brands in pop culture with small business retailers and independent artists in a virtual Show Floor," reads the official press release.
The goal is to replicate the thrill of walking amongst the various booths (and discovering the merch they have to offer) in a completely virtual setting. Not just at major conventions, but throughout the entire year.
As of today, you can pick up apparel, accessories, collectibles, board games, art, and toys from such brands as Zen Monkey Studios, Alex Ross Art, Icon Heroes, hustl., Jordandené, Mobyfox, and Tenacious Toys. Marvel, Star Trek, Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, and more of the hottest brands are all represented.
“One of the inherent experiences of a comic con is that sense of discovery fans get from exploring the Show Floor and Artist Alley, and the loss of in-person conventions over the past year was detrimental for artists and businesses who depend on large-scale fan conventions to bring awareness to their products,” Lance Fensterman, Global President of ReedPop, said in a statement. “As our team at ReedPop moves forward with a hybrid virtual and live convention model, we want to make sure we are maximizing the scale at which these businesses are being discovered by recreating that experience 365 days a year. The Haul will get new and exciting products — including the type of highly-coveted exclusive merch only found at a con — into fans’ hands all year long.”
“The convergence of digital and physical events has only accelerated the need for progressive brands like ReedPop to launch complementary channels like The Haul,” added Brandy Alexander-Wimberly, Managing Partner of Spaceshop Commerce. “We see a massive opportunity for ReedPop to grow this unique marketplace and to continue to innovate by integrating with additional platforms and channels. We look forward to continuing to support ReedPop’s transformational approach to the pop culture industry and the future of commerce.”
Click here for the entire New York Comic Con 2021 schedule