Some bad news and good news for comics, SF and Fantasy, anime, manga and toy fans hoping for a resumption of fan gatherings – organisations are beginning to outline plans for later in 2021, although still tentative because of COVID-19.
The bad news: the US Toy Association has cancelled the Toy Fair scheduled for 1st – 4th May 2021 in New York, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
The good news: like other organisations, they are hoping the situation will have improved later in the year and are still planning to run the Toy Fair Dallas event from 5th – 7th October 2021, with a mix of on-site and digital opportunities.
Here in the UK, convention and event organiser ReedPop has announced it is planning resume some physical events in 2021 in London and Birmingham, and both Bedford’s NICE Comic-Con and Kendal’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival have begun planning physical events this year, subject to the battle against COVID-19 and both planning for continued social distancing protocols.
NICE organiser and comic shop owner Jeff Chahal announced he had provisionally booked a hotel and begun work last week in a short statement on Facebook.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has already announced dates of 15th – 17th October, subject to social distancing measures and developments, and has begun its drive for Comics Clock Tower exhibitors. The planned event will incorporate a strong virtual element.
ReedPop has announced that “provided it can be done safely,” MCM Comic Con will return to London on 22nd – 24th October and MCM Birmingham will run from 13th – 14th November, the same weekend as the previously announced Thought Bubble Festival in Harrogate. A series of “virtual Metaverse events” will be held throughout the spring and summer.
Next year, Toy Fair will return to the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City on 19th – 22nd February 2022.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.