Big Apple Convention

Big Apple Convention
The Big Apple Convention, also known as the Big Apple Comic Con and the Big Apple Con, is an annual pop culture convention held in New York City. Founded in 1996 by Michael “Mike Carbo” Carnonaro, it is the city’s longest-running convention dedicated to comics, science fiction and fantasy, horror, and all things pop culture.

The first official comic book convention held in New York was the Academy of Comic-Book Fans and Collectors founded by the “father of comic book fandom” Jerry Bails in the early 1960s. A number of conventions ran in the subsequent years but all of them were eventually discontinued.

In 1996, promoter Frederic Greenberg canceled the Great Eastern Convention scheduled at the New York Coliseum. Naturally, local comic book fans were disappointed but comic book retailer Michael Carbonaro came too rescue. As a spur of the moment decision, he held an improvised convention in the basement of the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The event was named after a popular nickname for New York City. It attracted about 4,000 thousand attendees.

Inspired by the success of the inaugural Big Apple Comic Con, Carbonaro kept on organizing conventions in the following years. They were held at irregular intervals, two to six separate shows a year. In 2009, the convention was purchased by Wizard Entertainment, an event organizer responsible for many Comic Cons in North America, and was made an annual event. By the early 2010s, its main rival, the New York Comic Con (managed by ReedPOP) had become New York City’s most popular fan convention.

Carbonaro regained the rights to the Big Apple Comic Con Brand in 2014 and relaunched the festival. The return of the Big Apple Con coincided with its 20th anniversary. Carbonaro also organizes two associated festivals, WinterCon and New York Comic Book Marketplace.

Although the Big Apple Convention will probably never be able to outshine the New York Comic Con with its huge exhibition space and numerous celebrity guests, it doesn’t need to. Patrons love it for a more relaxed atmosphere as well as for its history and traditions. Besides, the Big Apple Convention does feature media guests. Past guests have included James David Frank (Power Rangers), Lori Petty (Point Break, Orange Is the New Black), Johnny Brennan (Family Guy), and others.

Big Apple Con





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