The Comic Book Club of Ithaca, the longest-running comic book club in the country, grew out of a middle-school comic book club, and was formally established as a community organization in 1975. The first Ithacon took place in 1976, and featured two guests. The show has grown considerably since then, and the partnership with Ithaca College began in 2014, with Ithacon 39. 2020 would have been the 45th, but it's not to be. The organisers issued the following statement,
Much to our regret, we need to inform you that ITHACON, scheduled for March 21-22, is cancelled for 2020.
In recent days we have received several communications from our guests, vendors and attendees expressing their concerns about the COVID-19 virus. We very much share these concerns, although to date there are no confirmed cases of the virus within Tompkins County or the upstate NY area from which ITHACON draws its audience. We have closely followed the communications from the CDC, which have recommended specific precautions. This afternoon, our event host Ithaca College made the following statement:
"As the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact continues to evolve, Ithaca College is instituting new restrictions on campus events and on employee travel. These policies are being implemented in the interests of the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
Effective Tuesday, March 10, the college is postponing or canceling large (more than 100 persons) non-essential events or work-related gatherings scheduled to take place on campus through March 31. We will continue to evaluate the status of events scheduled for after that date, and provide an update by March 27.
This includes events sponsored by the college and by individual schools, departments or units; student-sponsored events; and events sponsored by external organizations. Regularly scheduled academic courses are excluded from this policy. We regret that the dynamic, unpredictable nature of this outbreak, and its potential impacts on attendees, makes it necessary and prudent to cancel campus events scheduled through the end of March including Ithacon 2020.
While we recognize that cancellations are disruptive and disappointing, it is essential that we prioritize the health and safety of all members our campus community. Ithaca College will continue to monitor this fluid situation and communicate as needed with our students and their families, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors. The college is providing important information and updates about coronavirus on a dedicated website designed to be helpful in making informed decisions about travel and health, especially as this situation changes.
We want you to know that the college is partnering with local, state, and national health and higher education organizations as we endeavor to make the best decisions for our community."
– Everyone who purchased tickets for 2020 will receive a full refund. These will be sent within the next 48 hours, although they may not show up on credit card statements until the next billing cycle. An email will automatically be sent to the purchaser when the refund is processed.
– We are in the process of planning some digital events and activities that will be made public through our social media platforms and website. If you would like to be informed as these become available, please join the ITHACON Google group by going to https://groups.google.com/group/ithacon/subscribe.
Our next spring ITHACON is still scheduled for April 17-18, 2021, and we look forward to seeing you then!
ITHACON Committee Co-Chairs: Darlynne Overbaugh, Bill Turner, Ed Catto