Wizard Entertainment CEO Gareb Shamus has announced an additional New York City convention set for May 6-8, 2011, overlapping with Free Comic Book Day and the premiere of Marvel's Thor.
Comic Con NYC -- not to be confused with rival Reed Exhibitions' New York Comic Con, certainly -- will be held in the newly renovated Penn Plaza Pavilion, which will play host in October to Shamus' Big Apple Comic Con.
"Response to last year's Big Apple Comic Con and advance interest in the show this October has been so strong that we had to add the Spring event," Shamus said in the announcement. "Everyone – the celebrities, the fans, the dealers, manufacturers, artists, and the entire community we deal with was begging us to bring a huge Spring event to New York. And now we have Wizard World Comic Con NYC."
Rich Johnston suggests the date might be "ideal" to tempt Marvel back into the Wizard fold. However, it's tough to imagine Marvel viewing as some sort of olive branch an event that stands to compete with Thor's opening weekend, at least regionally. What's more, the studio doesn't need Wizard World to market the movie -- to its core audience, no less -- particularly that late in the game.
What may be interesting to see is reaction from New York-area retailers regarding the possibility of the convention siphoning off Free Comic Book Day traffic. I don't know, maybe some attendees will still wander over to Midtown Comics or Jim Hanley's Universe to pick up free comics before heading back to the Penn Plaza Pavilion.