25 FEBRUARY 2014
If you listen to all the speculation and forecasting that goes on over San Diego Comic-Con's future - some of it being done right here - you'll know that a favorite prediction is the rise of a new Con somewhere in California. For instance, a new Hollywood-focused Con in LA while SDCC shrinks back to its nerdier roots, or a future where SDCC surrenders entirely to the thundering bombast of movies and TV while the comic book collectors go quietly elsewhere.
But New York beat us to the punch. ReedPop, the masterminds behind New York Comic Con and Chicago C2E2, is creating a comics-only con called "Special Edition: NYC" on 14-15 June. Fans and collectors will be able to meet authors, find obscure back issues and generally congratulate themselves on not being like those philistine Hollywood fans.
It's worth noting that this has sort of happened on the West Coast. CCI didn't create it, but other people launched the October San Diego Comic Fest a few years back as a "friendly, intimate Comic Con experience." It seems to be a success so far. But it's not quite the same as CCI spawning a new Con, or acknowledging that the comic book faction of SDCC is increasingly drowned out each year.
As for whether juggernaut SDCC does split into two, we'll have to wait and see. Probably CCI would follow NYCC's lead and still include comics in the regular summer Con, while recognizing the potential business to be had in a smaller Con that was devoted just to comics, gaming and collectibles. Plenty of attendees would be happy to skip one of the two, opening up Con attendance to more people.
Just a thought. Although CCI did renew their trademark for Los Angeles Comic-Con last fall, they are a non-profit and may not have the financial motivation or resources to hive off a new Con. But the emergence of this new comics-only New York Con is another sign that people are desperate for a solution to overcrowded Cons.