The company behind New York Comic Con is creating a convention in New York for, well... comics. ReedPop, which runs not only NYCC but also the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo and the PAX gaming convention, has announced a purely comics-focused new event known as "Special Edition: NYC." Held on June 14th and 15th in Manhattan, it's meant to be a gathering for comic book fans, artists, writers, and collectors. ReedPop VP Lance Fensterman describes it as an "intimate destination" in contrast to NYCC, which had over 130,000 attendees in 2014.
As an events management company, ReedPop will always have an incentive to test new gatherings. The fact that it's launching Special Edition now, though, speaks to the growth and evolution of existing comic conventions beyond comic books and towards general pop culture. Events like NYCC and the unaffiliated San Diego Comic Con draw thousands of dedicated comic book fans, but they're often there to get some hard-earned kudos for cosplay outfits, see panels held by big-name authors, filmmakers, and TV stars, or catch previews of next year's movies. The show floor has plenty of collectors or artists selling commissioned work, but it can also be a free-for-all of booths showing off video games and TV shows.
The Special Edition event is lower-profile and focused exclusively on comics and graphic novels; among other things, it's meant to be a place where fans can meet authors in a less hectic environment. The guests announced so far have won both dedicated followings and critical praise, but they aren't household names. Artist Alex Maleev won an Eisner award for his work on Daredevil, and Brian Wood wrote and helped illustrate DMZ, which launched to critical acclaim in 2005. The list also includes illustrator Frank Cho and Greg Pak, who currently writes DC's Batman / Superman and Action Comics series.