2 JULY 22, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Middle Village man hosts Comic Con in Manhattan
BY JULIA MORO
Michael Carbonaro, a Middle
Village native, has been buying
and selling comic books
since he was 12, but never thought he
would run his own Comic Con.
Carbonaro grew up in Middle Village
and has always had an affi nity for
the world of comics. He started getting
into the business in the ’80s with a
comic book store in Jackson Heights.
But in 1996, Carbonaro held his fi rst
Comic Con in the basement of St. Paul’s
Church in Manhattan. Twenty-fi ve
years later, his company, Big Apple
Convention, hosts thousands in Manhattan
“New York City has been my home.
I’ve fallen off the roof at Studio 54 and
I had a comic book store in Jackson
Heights,” Carbonaro said. “I like the
fact that I run Big Apple Comic Con in
New York City. It makes me feel good
that I’m a part of New York and I’ve
done something fun in New York City.”
Since starting in a church basement,
Carbonaro has moved his conventions
to the New Yorker Hotel.
“I love doing it,” Carbonaro said before
the event. “From fi nancing, then throwing
a party for 10,000 people, then dealing
with all the artists, the celebrities,
the dealers and the fans. Hopefully, the
fans will have a great time.”
Carbonaro also opened a pop-up
store for six months last year in
Middle Village with his friend, Ivy
Silberstein. The paranormal art and
comic book store was on Metropolitan
Avenue and 74th Street.
“I’m proud to have Ivy’s paranormal
comic book store,” Carbonaro said.
“Whenever we were open the store
fi lled up.”
Silberstein and Carbonaro are
considering opening the store again,
either as a pop-up location or a permanent
Carbonaro spends most of the
year traveling the country buying
and selling comic books. Since the
pandemic started, there hasn’t been
a convention, but that didn’t stop Carbonaro
from preparing for his next
“I have not slept and I have not
taken any time off ,” Carbonaro said.
“I’ve re-calibrated my thoughts and
decided that Big Apple is going to go
Last weekend’s convention was
the fi rst since the pandemic began.
Carbonaro said he tried to make the
convention more comic book-centered
“We got involved with wrestlers and
celebrities, but we’re trying to bring
it back to the comic book world,” Carbonaro
said. “We just want to get back.
Let my Comic Con, Big Apple, reopen
New York City this Saturday.”
Thousands of people were expected
to attend the convention.
Notable guests included Rob Liefield,
the creator of “Deadpool,” and
John O’Hurley, who played J. Peterman
Michael Carbonaro and Ivy Silberstein at the Big Apple Comic Con.
Photo courtesy of Michael Carbanaro