New York Comic-Con returns this year with smaller crowd and COVID safety measures


It’s official: New York Comic-Con is returning to its regularly scheduled programming this October for an in-person event. Last year the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it looks like this year, they’re doing whatever it takes to make it happen.

Is it a good idea? Should they follow San Diego Comic-Con’s lead and postpone to 2022? Many will likely feel that this decision is premature, but with optimism and enthusiasm for the future, New York Comic-Con is pushing forward.

The event will take place in person, but with a smaller capacity and increased safety protocols. Luckily, this is a comic convention and the dress code welcomes masks, even before it became a necessity.

And because masks are going to be required throughout the convention, we’re likely to see people get all sorts of creative with their cosplay. I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re going to be seeing a lot more people doing Spider-Man, Deadpool, and Star Wars cosplay than in previous years.

When is New York Comic-Con 2021?

The event will take place at the Javits Center from October 7-10 in New York City. As already mentioned, strict safety protocols will be in place to ensure all those attending are kept as safe as possible. There will be enforced social distancing, mandatory masks, regular temperature checks, and fewer guests than usual. In a normal year, thousands and thousands of people flock to NYCC, so it’ll be interesting to see what the cut-off is for this particular go-round. State and local mandates and regulations will play a big part in this decision, and of course, whatever the COVID-19 situation is at that time. If they really want to play it safe, they may require attendees to be fully vaccinated and bring their vaccination cards with them as proof.

This is going to be a huge experiment. If it goes poorly, it won’t bode well for conventions in the near future, but if ReedPop gets it right, then we may be closer to a world where conventions are back in full swing.

Of course, it’s very likely that things could change before October, given the uncertainty of the pandemic. But for now, ReedPop and New York Comic-Con remain optimistic and are ready to make changes if need be.

Along with NYCC, ReedPop also announced that they will be hosting Florida’s Supercon from September 10-12, Seattle’s Emerald City Comic-Con from December 2-5 as well as Chicago’s C2E2 from December 10-12. Whatever prompted their decision to return to in-person events also motivated them to go big or go home.

Will there be photo-ops and panels at New York Comic-Con?

As of now, there is no update on that front. I’m going to assume that photo-ops will either require you to wear a mask if you’re closer than six feet or if you’re trying to go sans mask, then maybe they’ll ask you to stand six feet apart.

As far as panels go, that will probably be a bit easier with distanced seating, but again no information has been provided as of yet. ReedPop’s U.S. Comic Portfolio director Kristina Rogers said in an email that they would be “sharing more information in the months leading up to our shows” and are determined to be as transparent as possible with the public.

If you’re not comfortable with going to large-scale in-person events just yet, then no worries. ReedPop is going to have a virtual program going on at the same time during that weekend so you can join from the safety of your home.

And let’s not forget that there is a full virtual Metaverse event happening from June 7-13. Details on that are yet to come.

It’ll be interesting to see if New York Comic-Con will face any backlash for planning multiple in-person events considering how much San Diego Comic-Con got for planning something over Thanksgiving weekend, which will likely be the first holiday folks can spend with their families in a while.

Things are still far from normal, but it is nice to see that things are heading in that direction. Before we know it, we’ll be screaming and shouting once again with thousands of fellow fans while a major studio reveals all its exciting plans for the future. Ah, how I miss that!

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h/t SYFY Wire