ReedPOP has added a new show to its lineup of conventions: Keystone Comic Con, set to debut in September 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Keystone Comic Con is scheduled for Sept. 14 through Sept. 16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, and in the official announcement is billed as having "all the elements that fans have come to expect from ReedPOP's family of pop culture conventions." That family includes New York Comic Con, C2E2 in Chicago and Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle -- three of the highest-profile American comic book conventions that aren't Comic-Con International in Seattle.
The press release states that beyond the expected combination of exhibitors, panels and guests, Keystone Comic Con is slated to have a "local twist that will be unique to the Keystone State." CBR asked Mike Armstrong, Event Director at ReedPOP, what that might mean.
"Right now, we are starting a deep dive into the community to figure out exactly what the local fans are most interested in," Armstrong told CBR. "We will be listening intently to the local fans, retailers and creators so that we can create a show in their city that they can be proud of. We’ll have a dedicated ReedPOP team working on this event year-round, and we are going to work hard to develop partnerships and collaborations with local businesses, fan groups, retailers, breweries… you name it."
According to Armstrong, ReedPOP has considered a Philadelphia convention for the past several years, due to it being a strong market for comics sales.
"We’re always exploring new markets and have been talking about doing something in Philadelphia for more than a few years," Armstrong said. "Depending on the year, Philly is a top 6 or top 7 market for comics and graphic novel sales, so clearly there’s an engaged and enthusiastic fanbase there. In conversations with publishers, retailers and artists, Philly kept coming up as a city that they see a ton of opportunity in. We have also developed a relationship with the convention center and the city at large through our launch of PAX Unplugged which is coming up this November. It’s been a perfect storm of opportunity, interest and availability."
This is the first major expansion of the ReedPOP lineup since the company acquired the popular Emerald City Comic Con in early 2015.
Tickets for the inaugural Keystone Comic Con are slated to go on sale in early 2018. The next show on the ReedPOP calendar, this year's New York Comic Con, happens this week -- from Thursday, Oct. 5 to Sunday, Oct. 8.