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The Unholy Union of Anime and Comics?


This bombshell piece of news comes courtesy of Anime News Network:

The event organizers at Reed Exhibitions have confirmed on Thursday that New York Comic Con and New York Anime Festival will share the same weekend and location next year. Both events will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan on October 8-10, 2010. While the two events will have separate guest rosters and programming schedules, they will share a common show floor and one ticket price. Each ticket will give an attendee access to both events.

Mike’s Take: I had a great time at New York Anime Festival 2008, which, in my experience, was the best-run convention I’ve attended thus far. It’s no surprise, given that it’s run by a group that actually knows how to run professional exhibitions and, at least when I went, sure knows how to give press a good shot.

This news, however, is quite bold and is almost like a big social experiment. Unlike San Diego Comic Con, which this seems to almost be intentionally rivaling, it seems Reed Exhibitions still wants to make a distinction between the anime-related events and the comics-related events. While there’s one dealer hall, and one ticket, everything else is relatively segregated. I’m not sure why they decided to do this: while I know that the fandom for American geek properties and anime/manga overlap less than one might think (based on my Comic Con experiences), SDCC always got by without any separation. Could we see a virtual “war” between otakus and non-otakus, somewhat similar to the divide at this year’s SDCC between Twilight fangirls and the rest of the geeks? (“Scream if you think Twilight ruined Comic Con!” as a memorable sign put it.) In particular, I’m thinking of competition for large halls and other main events, as well as dealer hall space, which is considerably smaller at Jacob Javits compared to San Diego.

However, I just hope that the great treatment that I received at NYAF in 2008–and that hopefully we will be getting this year–is not going to change with the introduction of many more people. (NYCC had 75,000 attendees last year, so a combined convention with NYAF would have almost 100,000.) More than any other group I’d trust Reed Exhibitions to pull it off, but sometimes scale gets the better of things. Who knows. I just want my press badge and VIP ticket with the guaranteed signing–and all the greatest footage from the front row. 🙂

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