BOSTON COMIC CON, Postponed, but Artists Sign/Sketch Anyway

Update Saturday April 20: We received this email from Boston organizers:

"We have thrown together a signing with some of the artists who are stuck in town tomorrow if you could please throw some atention that way.

Details here: http://www.conventionscene.com/2013/04/19/boston-artists-sign-at-comicazi-on-saturday-april-20th/ "

Consider attention thrown, folks.

Update 4:05pm EDT: And what a difference half an hour makes, as the Boston Comic Con is now officially postponed. in a statemen on their facebook page, here's what the organizers had to say:

"Due to the unfortunate events that have transpired here in Boston, a lock down has been put into effect until further notice causing the Hynes Convention Center to suspend all events. As such, The Boston Comic Con will be rescheduled to a date in the not too distant future. All people who purchased advanced tickets on line will have their tickets honored at the rescheduled show. If for some reason, you can not come to the show on that date, we will refund your ticket.

Please, we ask for your patience, understanding, and cooperation. We appreciate your loyalty, and continued support for the Boston Comic Con. Unfortunately, this situation is beyond our control."

UPDATE 3:55pm ET: At 3:30 p.m., Newsarama spoke to Jim Tournas live from the Hynes Convention Center, where some Boston Comic Con vendors are waiting to enter the building.

"We got bounced from one site, and now we're at another lockdown site," Tournas said as he stood outside the convention site. "They don't know where he [the bombing suspect] is. So the problem is, he's got devices with him. And they don't want to open up everything until they find out if they've got it secured.

"There could be an IED somewhere," he said. "They said that he had some devices, but they're not sure where. And they really want to get him before they release the city."

As Newsarama spoke to Tournas, he said that he could see military personnel entering the subway nearby. "About half a mile behind us, they have military and police going into the subways, and they're in the park, and they're not letting people around there," he said.

Hynes Convention Center is located on Boylston Street, where the Boston Marathon took place — the same street where both bombs exploded on Monday. "[Boylston Street] is all completely blocked off," Tournas said. "They're still working that street, which is front of the convention center."

Tournas, a Boston resident, is attending the show as both an inker and a dealer with Harrison's Comics, which has several comic book stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

"The Boston Comic Con is set up inside. They're just waiting for the doors to open," Tournas said. "They're waiting for the police to let them open the doors."

The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau is providing updates on its website, stating most recently that "in compliance with the 'shelter in place' order for the City of Boston, operations have been suspended at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center."

More information as it's available...

Original story 2:52pm ET: As police are conducting a Boston area manhunt for the Marathon bombing suspect today, fans, creators and dealers traveling to the Boston Comic Con are concerned about the status of the show.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, set-up for the convention was being hindered by the lockdown occurring across the city.

As convention guest Billy Tucci told Newsarama: "I just spoke with a friend, a dealer, who's waiting to get in, but because the convention center, and the whole city for that matter, is on lockdown, there's no union to assist them in opening up the hall.

"He's worried that it'll be cancelled as there's a huge line of vendors needing to get in," Tucci said. "If the show is cancelled it will be just terrible as the promoters are really, really  great people."

The Facebook page for the promotions company running Boston Comic Con stated: "Exhibitors: Load in at the Hynes is currently suspended till further notice. We are still operating under the assumption that today's situation is temporary and the convention will proceed. Apologies for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience at this trying time." That was approximately 9:45am EDT, and no further official update had been given at press time.

With most public transportation ceasing operation today, including mass transit to Boston from area cities, the convention may be in danger of cancellation.

"Hopefully they'll catch this son of a bitch soon so the show can go on as scheduled," Tucci said. "Of course the safety of the citizens of the Boston area are priority number one of the police and they are doing an amazing job to finish this. I pray for their safety."

More information as we receive it...

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