Earlier today, the first of con organizer and "Wizard" magazine publisher Gareb Shamus' rebranded Big Apple Comic-Con got underway at its new home of Pier 94 in New York City. The topic of much chatter and speculation in recent months, Shamus has continued to aggressively buy and promote new conventions as well as launch the nerd newsletter GeekChicDaily all the while layoffs at the Wizard publishing division had people wondering exactly what business would continue on into 2010 and beyond.
With the first convention programs being handed out today on the floor of the Big Apple con, attendees learned that the show looks to survive through next year - and into a date already held by NYC's reigning convention champ, Reed Exhibitions' New York Comic Con. CBR has learned that the program book for this weekend's show contains the notice "Save The Date For Next Year, October 7 - 10, 2010." That same weekend has been the planned date for NYCC since February, relocating the successful show permanently to the fall.
When CBR reported on the expanding and occasionally conflicting fall convention season last month Shamus said, "Right now we've only put the October date on for this year. Obviously, we're going to be doing it next year. We're still working on dates, but we'll let people know at the show what the dates are going to be for that event."
At the time, the organizer declined to comment directly on the supposed feud between his company and the Reed shows, opting instead to promote the Big Apple show based on its guest list, which includes high profile comic creators like Jim Lee and Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, as well as many non-traditional con guests including baseball legend Yogi Berra and hip hop group Naughty By Nature.
With so many non-comics-related media guests, some commenters have speculated that Shamus' shows would try to avoid direct competition with conventions like NYCC or Comic-Con International in San Diego by virtue of offering less of a comics focus (a view supported by promotional newspaper stories hitting this past week). However, with a four-day show planned at the same time as next year's expansive NYCC convention (this years' Big Apple show runs Friday to Sunday), it appears as though Shamus and company will attempt to at least capitalize on the reputation of NYCC, if not directly try to steal some of the shows thunder.
Stay tuned to CBR for more on this story as it develops and for more news out of this weekend's Big Apple show.
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