For the second year in a row, fans will not be swarming the San Diego Convention Center as part of July’s annual Comic-Con celebration. Comic-Con International announced Monday that the upcoming con will be virtual as uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic continues to make large-scale gatherings a dangerous proposition. A free, three-day Comic-Con@Home virtual event will take place July 23-25 as was the case last year.
Organizers did note, however, that they were planning a smaller, in-person event in San Diego for November, with information to come at a later date. Comic-Con is expected to be in person for July 2022.
“The past several months have taken a great toll on both families and friends, and we hope this effort is a small move toward a return to gathering as a community to not only celebrate popular art, but also friendship, education, and the enduring spirit of the fandom that is so much a part of Comic-Con,” read the statement from Comic-Con Internatinal.
2020 was the first time in San Diego Comic-Con’s 50-year history that the in-person component was canceled. Comic-Con@Home replaced the experience with virtual panels, something that has become the convention norm in the age of COVID-19.
San Diego Comic-Con launched as a small, comics-focused event in 1970, and grew into a massive gathering that sees fans, movie and TV stars and movie studios descend upon the city. An estimated 135,000 people came to the San Diego Convention Center for the 2019 con.
Said organizers Monday: “While we lament the postponement of the in-person Comic-Con, our commitment to this community of fans and our celebration of comics and the related popular arts endures as an important part of who we are.”