After five years on the campus of the Bronx Community College, Kids Comic Con, the annual comics festival aimed at encouraging kids to read as well as make comics, has been forced to move to a new location due to a scheduling conflict. This year Kids Comic Con will be held Saturday May 5 from 10 am until 6 pm at the Church of the Mediator, 260 West 231st Street in the Bronx at Kingsbridge Road in New York City.

Founded in 2007 by Alex Simmons, author, comics writer, educator and longtime advocate of comics in the classroom, Kids Comic Con 2012 features more than 20 exhibitors showing off comics designed for kid readers as well offering workshops on how to make comics. Among the artists and publishers that will be on hand this year are Lerner Graphic Universe, Archie Comics, Papercutz, Josh Neufeld, Rick Parker, Graphic Classics’ African American Classics anthology and more. KCC also features lots of swag and giveaways donated from such publishers as Random House, Viz Media and retailers like Midtown Comics.

This year Simmons told PWCW that KCC will also feature San Francisco-based manga publisher Viz Media, which has donated materials to the show in the past, but this year, the publisher will be on hand. “Viz has always been great to us but this year they’re flying out an artist to be a part of the event for the first time,” said Simmons. Viz will take part in a workshop panel on the making of a series of graphic novels based on Redakai, an animated TV series on the Cartoon Network about a teenage martial artist and alien encounters.

Archie Comics is sending longtime colorist Tito Pena, “primo colorist on almost every cover Archie does,” and Simmons will also be signing copies of Archie: Clash of the New Kids, a trade book collection of a six-part Archie story written by Simmons, that will debut at the show. In addition Simmons said Dan Haskett, a cartoon character designer for Warner Bros, will conduct a class and drawing workshop; and Wildstorm and Dark Horse comics artist Pop Mahn will do an interview/workshop via Skype. Other highlights of this year’s show, Simmons said, include Batgirl artist Alitha Martinez and publisher Lerner Graphic Universe artist and LG assistant editor Robyn Chapman, who will do a workshop on new Lerner books such as I Date Dead People. Simmons also noted the publisher Diversity Inc. which is sending artist Bill Galvan to talk about The Scrapyard Detectives, a comics series drawn by Galvan and written by Simmons himself. “We’ll be signing and yakking about it all the live long day,” Simmons joked.

And this year, by coincidence, KCC will be held on Free Comic Book Day, the comics industry sponsored event that gives away millions of free comic books to kids and adults on the first Saturday in May each year.

Simmons blamed the last minute switch of venues on “a mistake make in scheduling by our usual venue,” but he also emphasized that the new venue,” has welcomed us with great enthusiasm. In fact you will find even more stores and eateries nearby to catch your eye coming and going from the show.” Although the new neighborhood has much to offer, Simmons urged fans and parents to “make sure not to miss the impressive feature attractions at this year’s show.”