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The entertainment world is continuing to be hit hard by Covid-19. After nine deaths and the number of novel coronavirus cases in Washington State now topping 120, DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics have decided to pull out of Seattle's Emerald City Comic Con, with the former cancelling all its appearances for March.
"As the health and safety of our employees are always our primary concerns, DC staffers will not be attending conventions during the month of March," a DC spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. "Future convention attendance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the latest information from a variety of organizations, including the CDC, WHO, U.S. State Department and local health agencies."
Dark Horse made its announcement on its Facebook page.
The comic book publishers were due to set up shop at this year's confab, set for March 12-15 at the Washington State Convention Center (in case you're wondering, Marvel talent was never scheduled to attend).
However with infections increasing rapidly throughout the Northwest and the rest of the United States, federal and state authorities have been urging business and citizens to take "proactive measures" to prevent the spread of the disease and ensure health and safety.
"We have implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitization across the show, including adhering to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants effective against the COVID- 19 virus," read a statement from Emerald City Comic Con, operated by ReedPop. "We are working closely with the [Washington State Convention Center] and our other venue partners and aligning with local, state and federal public health guidelines and agencies."
Unfortunately, the situation is proving too volatile for many exhibitors and industry stars set to grace Artist Alley.
Along with DC and Dark Horse, Penguin Random House is also pulling out – as are several comic book icons the trade reports including Hawkman, Whiteout and Detective Comics mastermind Steve Lieber, Marvel illustrator Jen Bartel, novelist and Green Arrow writer Benjamin Percy, and Wayward and Champions scribe Jim Zub.
No word from ECCC organizers how the cancellations will impact the con going forward — whether that will influence other artists and vendors to drop out — or whether the convention will be cancelled outright.
That's not the only fallout from Covid-19.
Both Universal Studios Japan and Tokyo Disney are temporarily shuttering through mid-March to help stem the tide of coronavirus infections. Warner Bros. has decided to nix its New York premiere for its upcoming animated flick Superman: Red Son and Paramount put the brakes on filming the seventh Mission: Impossible movie in Italy due to the severe outbreak in that country.