Wednesday, March 23, 2005

New York may not be Book Country for much longer

Publishers Weekly (subscription required) reports that New York Is Book Country probably will disband itself as a nonprofit, and likely will not hold an event this year.

The festival had seen a growing presence by comics publishers, with last year's Graphic Novel Pavillion showcasing 10 exhibitors, including DC Comics, Drawn and Quarterly and Marvel. Comics artist Tara McPherson provided a Sandman poster for the 2004 event. Previous years had featured work by Jim Lee and Art Spiegelman.

Sources tell PW there's practically no money in the festival's coffers, and no current director. The most recent director, Anne Binkley, left the organization several months ago and now directs the Quills awards. The magazine reports that the group's board soon will vote on consulting lawyers about disbanding; insiders say the answer likely will be yes.

PW notes there's a chance The New York Times could take over the festival, but that's certainly not guaranteed. The newspaper already presents an annual Arts & Leisure Weekend.

A more in-depth report on the festival's demise is scheduled for next week's Publishers Weekly.