New York Comic Convention is often regarded as the second largest, most prestigious comic convention in America. The popular depiction of the convention is that, unlike the behemoth that is San Diego Comic-Con International, NYCC is more about comics than pop culture and nerd-adjacent memorabilia. However, in what could be a shift in focus for the convention, many industry veterans are reporting that they received rejection emails in response to their application for passes that identify them as comics professionals.
As the rejection emails started landing in inboxes, word began to spread that many creators, who have worked on mainstream comic books for years, had been turned down for pro passes. Jamal Igle, artist of titles such as Supergirl, Firestorm and BLACK tweeted confirmation that he was turned down for a pro badge for the first time since the convention's inception.
I got turned down for a pro badge at @NY_Comic_Con. That’s the first time since the show started. I didn’t meet their criteria in spite of having multiple published projects come out in the past year and being a special guest at the show multiple times. Huh. pic.twitter.com/rRVAPsnG6L— The Igle of Doctor Moreau (@JAMALIGLE) May 31, 2018
Other creators who didn't meet NYCC's criteria include Ryan Ferrier, Matt Miner, Alex Paknadel, Nate Stockman, Eoin Marron, Taylor Esposito, Deron Bennett, Sarah Stern, Chris O'Halloran and even the legendary Tom Orzechowski. Some creators have noted that while many veterans of the convention have been shut out, a search of the #NYCC hashtag on Twitter reveals that those who did receive pro passes are in marketing, largely coming from fields unrelated to comics. This has brought into question if NYCC's criteria for doling out professional passes has changed since last year and, if so, how?
The rejection email which many creators received this evening states:
Thank you for applying as an industry professional for New York Comic Con 2018. We have reviewed your application and based on NYCC's professional registration requirements , we are unable to provide you with an industry badge for New York Comic Con 2018.
An industry professional badge at NYCC isn't a free pass to the convention for creators, and it doesn't entitle them table space, but it does allow many creators to better navigate the convention, which in recent years has expanded beyond the Javits Center. NYCC is organised by ReedPOP, which also handles Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, as well as dozens of major conventions around the world.
CBR has reached out to ReedPOP for comment and will update the story as news develops.