Thanks to the pandemic, New York Comic Con is going fully virtual for its 15th edition. The physical event will not take place at New York City’s Javits Center as originally intended, but will instead shift to YouTube, which has partnered with the event’s organizers to become the exclusive streaming home of the pop culture convention.
Continue reading to get the details about NYCC 2020, and to learn what lessons the convention seems to have learned from the abysmal failure of this summer’s Comic-Con at Home.
If you’d like to participate in New York Comic Con this October, you’ll be able to do so through the convention’s official YouTube channel. According to a press release that was sent out today, here are the pop culture properties that will be represented at this year’s virtual con: “Starz will bring the epic American Gods, CBS All Access will feature the legendary Star Trek Universe, DreamWorks Animation will showcase the best of television animation, and Hulu & FX will add to the slate of exciting programming for fans worldwide.” Additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks.
One of the main reasons this year’s Comic-Con at Home experiment felt like a stagnant, lifeless shadow of San Diego Comic-Con was because the virtual event pre-recorded all of its panels, removing the “anything can happen” feeling of excitement that permeates rooms like Hall H and Ballroom 20 every year during the physical convention. Another reason it failed: the event disabled the comments on every YouTube panel discussion, cutting off the communication among the communities that showed up to see what the virtual convention had to offer.
NYCC appears to have learned from those mistakes, and instead will actively encourage those communities to talk among themselves right there as the panels are happening. NYCC 2020 will feature panels that are streaming live and on-demand on YouTube, and “fans will be able to participate in talent Q&As during panels, turn every panel into a watch party and geek out with other fans using YouTube’s Community and Live Chat features.” The event organizer says it will also “give fans the opportunity for experiences that will get them up-close and personal with meet & greets, live Q&As, personalized autographs, videos, and professional workshops” – although exactly how those elements will work is still a bit murky at the moment.
And while we focus all of our attention on the film and TV side of conventions like these, NYCC isn’t forgetting about the comic book writers and artists that normally populate its Artist Alley. A virtual marketplace will be available where exhibitors and creators will be able to share their newest items.
“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,” said Lance Fensterman, president of event organizer ReedPop. “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.”
New York Comic Con runs from October 8–11, 2020.
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