Boston Comic Con has been rescheduled for this weekend, August 3-4, at The Seaport World Trade Center. Founder Nick Kanieff joins us for a two part interview about the challenges of moving this great independent comic book show and the incredible growth Boston Con has seen since its first years. The Boston comics community was looking forward to the show in April, and now are even more ready to get together this summer as a celebration of comic books and pop culture at the rescheduled date and venue.
DIGBOSTON: Can you tell me how you started running this show?
NICK KANIEFF: We had our first show in 2007. I had been a collector most of my life. I got to a point where I decided to sell my collection. I had some good friends that ran a comic book store, I asked them the best way to liquidate the collection, they suggested a combination of eBay and going to Cons and setting up as a vendor. There is a little show that’s been run here for 15 years. I set up there, was selling my comics and I noticed that it was a small show and the vendors were unhappy. It wasn’t what I remember as a kid. I remember there was an electricity in the air. It was crowded with people, it was colorful. It was a huge trading floor, it was a stock exchange with so much excitement. I started poking around, how come Boston doesn’t have a major comic book convention? No one could give me a good common sense answer to that question.
If I could start a show and bring back the magic, the allure, the electricity that I felt as a kid, then this thing can go through the roof.
I did just that. I started the show in 2007 at the Back Bay Events Center with 900 attendees. Three-four times the amount of the existing show, that had been there for 15 years.
The show has gone from 900 people to last year’s 10,000. We moved from Back Bay Events Center to The Hynes. Unfortunately, the Boston Marathon tragedy happened and we postponed and rescheduled to The Seaport. Our estimated attendance for 2013 is between 12-15,000 people.
It’s just gotten bigger and better and we are now nationally recognized and ranked and a show people come to from all over the country.
We’re putting Boston back on the map as a major city that has a major comic book convention for fans that deserve it. Boston deserves a well-run, big comic book convention. We’ve hopefully given that to them. My goal at the end of the day is to put on the best show that I can. The way I know that I’m successful is if the fans, the vendors, and the artists all walk away saying we had a great time, a lot of fun, we made some money and that was the best show I’ve ever been too.
I just want to make it bigger and bigger and better.
That’s great. I’ve been going since 2009, and each of the Cons keeps getting bigger and bigger — to the benefit of the Con. There was plenty of space, and lots of happy people last year. I have just as good a time at Boston as I do at New York.
That’s the barometer, when a fan like yourself says that, I know we are doing our job right.
[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]
HEY…PART 2 is HERE!