New York Comic Con Will (Carefully) Return This Fall

Unnamed cosplayer outside the Javits Center at New York Comic Con, on October 19, 2019.
Unnamed cosplayer outside the Javits Center at New York Comic Con, on October 19, 2019.
Photo: Craig Barritt (Getty Images)

Looks like you won’t need to wait until San Diego Comic-Con’s spectacularly ill-timed Thanksgiving event to get your in-person con on. ReedPop has officially announced that New York Comic Con will return as a physical event this October, along with several other conventions—as well as a lot of rules in hopes of keeping everyone safe.


Here are your returning con options and dates:

For those who can’t make it, or for those who aren’t interested in taking the risk of attending a physical con, ReedPop will simultaneously be running a virtual con for each event at FindThe For those eager to mill about with a crowd of nerds again, here are the new health rules being enacted, as announced by ReedPop’s U.S. Comic Portfolio Director, Kristina Rogers (bold emphasis hers):

“1. We will be running all our shows with reduced capacity. With our new safety precautions in place, attendance and badges will be very limited so that we can ensure physical distancing. We’re working closely with each convention center to determine how many people are permitted in the building every day and at a given time.

“2. We are requiring approved face coverings for all individuals attending our events, including our exhibitors and staff. They must be worn at all times within our venues. For more information, you can visit the FAQ pages on each of our show websites.

“3. Temperature screening upon entry will be required to enter our events. Anyone with an elevated temperature will not be permitted to enter the event.

“4. We will have increased sanitization and cleaning with enforced physical distancing throughout the event.

“5. We have also adopted a firm no handshakes, no high-fives, no hugs policy. We’re all going to have to get very smooth and cool-looking at either the elbow bump or air high-fives. Please start practicing now.”


There is, tragically, no cool way to do an elbow bump, but it’s definitely the right call. Unsurprisingly, there have been no announcements yet about what guests might be coming to these conventions, but it’ll be interesting to see how many celebrities and creators will be willing to attend in person—or, more likely, how few.

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Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.


Adam Withers

4. We will have increased sanitization and cleaning with enforced physical distancing throughout the event.

How do they plan on enforcing social distancing at a convention? If you’re at an artist’s table, that’s less than 6' - will people not be allowed to actually approach the tables? Only one person looking at a table at a time? Guards at every booth to keep the numbers down? How is anyone supposed to do any business like that? As for sanitization and cleaning, people are constantly picking up and handling merchandise at almost every booth, table, and exhibit - how will they enforce sanitization? And an awful lot of the merchandise on sale is paper, so you can’t spray and scrub it. Are they going to ask me to hand-wipe every book at my table after every customer, because that’s a lot and they’d better be providing the wipes, and be willing to compensate me if their rules lead to the damage of my merchandise.

As an artist for whom conventions are a massive component of my job, I’m looking forward to cons returning, but I fear these early events will either have such strict distancing rules that we won’t be able to do any business, or the rules will all be theater and we won’t actually be safe. Maybe by December we’ll be at or around herd immunity levels with vaccinations, but that’s a big “if.” It still just feels too soon, but at the same time I don’t feel like I’ll be able to afford to not exhibit if they open. This whole situation sucks for the creators.