Passover Scheduling of NY ComicCon Sparks Controversy

Rick Marshall

Rick Marshall was Online Managing Editor for ComicMix before joining MTV's SplashPage. Previously, he was Online Content Manager for Wizard Entertainment. He has written for several daily newspapers, alternative weekly newspapers, trade magazines and online media, and was named "Writer of the Year" by the New York Press Association in 2005.

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19 Responses

  1. Richard Pachter says:

    Why not have a big seder at the Javits Center? A'zisen X-Men!

  2. Marilee J. Layman says:

    I go to an SF con over Easter every year. Generally, the religious people go out to church somewhere in Mpls/St. Paul. But when this was mentioned on a blog, the con got accused of being religiously bigoted. The rest of us, even the other religious people, were shocked at the idea.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Yeah, that seems a little over the top. And Passover isn't exactly a sit-in-temple-all-day sort of thing, either. I mean, the idea of going to the Javitz's food plaza for a Nathan's hot dog on matzo is kind of disgusting, but the fact that the food really sucks at the Javitz isn't religious-based. And I usually wind up going there three times a year.

      • Marilee J. Layman says:

        We do have a fair number of Jewish folk in fandom, so many of the larger cons, including Minicon over Easter, have a kosher table in the consuite to make sure there's food for people who keep Kosher. Generally, the other religions don't have food rules and all eat from the other tables.

  3. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    I wish there was a way to paste images into these comments, but I'll just post the link…

  4. Martha Thomases says:

    At worst, it's thoughtless to schedule a public event at a time that limits the public's ability to participate.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Lots of religious holidays out there. I can see avoiding the biggest and holiest — Christmas, Easter, Yom Kipper — but if promoters were to avoid all the mid-level holidays, convention centers would be torn down for parking lots. Ramadan, for example, lasts a month. Is it any less important to Moslems than Passover is to Jews?

      • Martha Thomases says:

        It would be thoughtless to schedule an event then, too. I'm sure the organizers do the math, and figure out how much it costs them to schedule an event at a time that might preclude some people from attending, compared to not holding it at all.

      • Linda Gold says:

        I have to agree with Mike on this. There are just too many religions and too many holidays associated with them to avoid them all. I think people are being too sensitive about this. If you are so religious that you don't feel comfortable attending an event that is your choice. It's not up to the promoters to take into account everyone's personal beliefs.

        • Marilee J. Layman says:

          And in science fiction fandom, there's at least one con somewhere in the US every weekend.

  5. Rick Oliver says:

    Being raised totally devoid of religion, I ain't no expert…but my understanding is that Saturdays in general are out if you're Jewish and Sundays in general are out if you're Christian — at least if you're really serious about your religion. So let's not have any kind of event on any weekends, lest we offend someone's faith. Luckily, my wife and I found a Buddhist caregiver for my wife's elderly father, so we can have the weekends off. (Really)

  6. Rick Oliver says:

    And let's not have the Superbowl on Sunday unless we can confirm that Jesus really does care which team wins.

  7. Alan Coil says:

    From the comments by the guy connected to the con, this was the only weekend that was open at the Javitz. That is why the con is going back to a February date next year—it is the only weekend open. Not really a controversy then, but an unavoidable circumstance.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Ah, yes. February on the Hudson. Standing outside in 20 degree wind chills in a long, long line with the wind coming off the river. It's just a slice of heaven.Manhattan needs a real convention center. One that's actually in Manhattan.

  8. Marilee J. Layman says:

    I'm way behind reading the WashPost and this was in one of the papers I read last night — the White House Correspondents Association dinner was also set for Passover and people were unhappy:…last article in column