Sad news, fellow nerds. San Diego Comic-Con will once again be a virtual event this year as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Anaheim-based WonderCon will also be virtual, taking place across two days later this month. Vaccines are rolling out, and we're hopefully on the back side of the pandemic — but sadly we're not there yet.
"While we are buoyed by the rollout of the vaccine and the growing number of individuals being inoculated, it appears that July will still be too early to safely hold an in-person event of the magnitude of Comic-Con," the organizers of the annual geek Mecca announced today. "For this reason, we have made the challenging decision to postpone Comic-Con 2021 as an in-person gathering until our 2022 dates, and once again hold this year's celebration as the free online Comic-Con@Home. Unfortunately, the challenges of this past year and the multiple postponements of our two largest events have left us with limited financial resources, so this year the online experience will be reduced to a three-day event, spanning July 23-25, 2021."
Those who already purchased badges for SDCC 2021 will automatically have their admission rolled over into 2022. In addition, a three day, in-person event is slated for November, although it will most likely be capped at a certain level of attendance. (Check back later for more details on the latter).
"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," continues the announcement. "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. We thank you all for your continued and unwavering support during these most challenging times."
Last summer's Comic-Con@Home did span the traditional four days, but was comprised of pre-recorded panels, as opposed to the usual live events held at the San Diego Convention Center. Fans are sure to be crestfallen over this development (which, let's be honest, wasn't altogether surprising), but can still take solace in the fact that a con of some kind is still on it's way. Moreover, the folks behind the digital event are sure to work out any kinks they may have encountered last year.
It probably won't replace physical interaction anytime soon, but virtual programming has gotten a lot better over the last year. As the old saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention."
We'll keep an eye out for you online this July.