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Indie comics news: "ReedPOP" to create a second "pure comic" con for this summer

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"ReedPOP", producers of some of the biggest comic conventions in the United States including October's "New York Comic Con" and Chicago's "C2E2", are once again in the news expanding their empire as well as providing more exposure for comic book companies, creators, and their fans. Last week, "ReedPOP" revealed that they'd united with the Australian based "Oz Comic Con"; this week, they have revealed plans to hold a second comic con in NYC this year.

Beginning in 2006, "ReedPOP" has held the "New York Comic Con" (NYCC) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, usually within the first or second weekend of every October. It merged with the "New York Anime Festival" in 2007 to form one big annual super con that honors comics from both the east and west. Every year the convention gets bigger and bigger, and while the focus is more comic based than California's "San Diego Comic Con", there are still a slew of companies there to promote things which have little to do with comic books - video games, films, and genre TV shows in particular. Enlarging every year, "ReedPOP" themselves claim that in the 2013 NYCC that 133,000 fans attended (alongside 2,500 members of the press, including yours truly) and 850 companies exhibited their wares. For the last two years, the "trade floor" and the "artist's alley" have been separated by what seems to be a mile of walking within the convention center.

The company confirmed to Comic Books Resources that they are planning a second con from June 14-15 called "Special Edition: NYC". It is considered a "pure comic-focused show" that is "really about creators, artists, dealers and some publishers" rather than major corporate sponsors which may have nothing to do with comics. Having heard that "Artists Alley" was one of the most highly rated parts of their con, "ReedPOP" have created a con which is essentially two days of "Artists Alley" as a con itself; it will even be held at Javits Center North where the usual "alley" is held for the NYCC. No prices or official press releases have been made, but are expected within the next few weeks.

Considering how profitable the "NYCC" has been for "ReedPOP", it makes sense to expand their convention into another time of the year in the prime NYC comic community. This also may be due to a gap in the comic convention market which is more exploitable now than when "ReedPOP" first began holding their big con in 2006. This is because the "Big Apple Comic Con", which was run by Michael "Mike Carbo" Carbonaro from 1996-2009 and held at venues throughout the year such as the basement of The Church of St. Paul the Apostle or the Penn Plaza Pavilion acted as competition. Mike Carbo organized anywhere from two to three cons throughout the year on average, with 2001 being a peak with five cons held throughout that year. Wizard Entertainment (which has long since abandoned their once iconic magazine to become a con production enterprise) bought the "Big Apple Comic Con" in 2009, although by then the "ReedPOP" con had supplanted this elder one in terms of size, status, and attendance. Carbo went on to hold his own "New York Comic Book Marketplace" cons apart from Wizard from 2012-2013 before seeming to retire from the practice.

Carbo's cons were often less expensive, but gained a reputation for having a "seedier" environment with more male dominated fans and more guests from alternate mediums than comics (such as wrestlers or B-list film stars). Now without Carbo and with even Wizard Entertainment giving the NYCC space (having sat out a Manhattan con in 2012 entirely), now may have been seen as a prime time for "ReedPOP" to expand their con empire. On the whole, "ReedPOP" runs a great con with massive scale and their own line of exclusive merchandise for each one, so this should be an interesting move to regain some of its' "indie cred".

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