Sorry, costume lovers: Your cosplay has been canceled.
New York Comic Con announced Tuesday that its in-person 2020 event at Jacob K. Javits Center will instead be held virtually on YouTube from Oct. 8-11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It follows in the wake of San Diego Comic Con and other fandom frolics that have offered streaming programming in lieu of live events.
“We are thoroughly disappointed that we can’t gather together, in-person for the New York Comic Con we love to build and our fans love to revel in. We look forward to this weekend all year long, just like you, and with this being our 15th edition, we were particularly excited,” said Lance Fensterman, president of ReedPop, in a statement. “I will miss walking up and down artist alley and seeing friends that I’ve made since we were in the basement at the Javits Center.”
The annual gathering normally draws thousands of fans — many wearing wild, Instagram-worthy cosplay — who engage with celebrities and creatives involved in television, film, comics and more. This year the event will offer virtual meet-and-greets, Q&As and workshops and will have a “virtual marketplace” to replace exhibitors’ booths normally found on the event’s packed show floor.
“While this year will definitely be a different experience, we are going to look to bring the best and most engaging event to our fans, exhibitors, and studios through our partnership with YouTube,” said Fensterman.