Reed Exhibitions, which launched the fast-growing New York Comic-con in 2006, plans to launch the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, a new comics and pop culture convention, in April of 2010 at the McCormick Place convention facility in downtown Chicago. And after four years of shifting dates for New York Comic-Con, Reed plans to move the New York show permanently to the fall with the next New York Comic-con scheduled for October 8-10, 2010 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Reed also owns the New York Anime Festival scheduled this year for September 2009 at the Javits Center.
Lance Fensterman, v-p and show manager for NYCC, said the new Chicago show had the support of traditional comics publishers like DC Comics and Marvel as well as a wide range of current NYCC exhibitors. “We spoke with our exhibitors and they told us they wanted a professional show like NYCC in downtown Chicago. Our customers came to us and we saw it as an opportunity,” Fensterman said. Despite the distressed economy, Fensterman said, “Reed Exhibitions has the resources, even in a down economy, to act on an opportunity.” Fensterman declined to speculate about the future of the New York Anime Festival, and said that it would remain in the Fall.
Fensterman also said moving New York Comic-con, which has had a series of shifting dates since its launch, to the Fall of 2010 would “balance the sequence of our events.” NYCC has been a success for Reed, growing from more than 30,000 attendees in 2006 to more than 67,000 last year. This year’s NYCC is scheduled for February 6-8 at the Javits Center. In 2010, Fensterman said, the NYCC will move to October and remain in October at the Javits Center for three years with an option for a fourth year. “We needed consistency on the calendar to keep NYCC growing,” Fensterman said. He said the 2010 show would have more space at Javits (“the entire top floor”) and that exhibitors were indifferent to the switch to later in the year. “They said just do what you do and we’ll follow,” Fensterman said. Chicago has a long running comics show organized by the Wizard World company that is scheduled for August.
Marvel v-p of merchandising Michael Pasciullo, called the new Chicago show, “very exciting news” and said Reed’s success with NYCC showed the organizer can “bring together comics, TV and film in new and exciting ways for the industry and the fans.” DC Comics president Paul Levitz said he was, “looking forward to Reed adding a Chicago show. Our Midwest fans have a great history of celebrating comics at conventions.”