San Diego Comic-Con Cancels Its In-Person Event, Going Virtual Again

To the surprise of exactly no one, the convention dominos of 2021 has started to fall. Pretty much anything that takes place in LA was canceled a few days ago, WonderCon announced that they are going virtual for the year, and once again, the biggest player in the game is saying that they won't be having an in-person event. According to a statement posted on their official website and social media, San Diego Comic-Con has made the decision to cancel its 2021 in-person event and instead has opted to go virtual for the second year in a row. This isn't really a surprising move since even if the vaccine rollout does well, there just isn't a safe way to have such a massive event just yet. There is a chance that some events could happen in the fall, and Comic-Con is apparently banking on that. They have announced that there will be a three-day in-person event in November but that they don't have any details. Comic-Con@Home will be held over only three days, citing resources because of the cancelations, on July 23-25th. You can read the full statement below:

JULY 18 2019. Inside the San Diego's Convention Center for the 50th Comic-Con. Editorial credit: Alessia93 / Shutterstock.com
JULY 18 2019. Inside the San Diego's Convention Center for the 50th Comic-Con. Editorial credit: Alessia93 / Shutterstock.com

As you may be aware, due to concern for public health and safety, San Diego Comic Convention had to cancel both of its in-person events in 2020 and recently announced that our spring 2021 show, WonderCon in Anaheim, will also be canceled. In its place, WonderCon@Home will once again be held as a free online event on March 26 and 27, 2021.

It is the policy of the organization to continue to closely monitor information from local and national healthcare officials as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. Never could we have imagined what the world experienced in 2020 and continues to experience today. 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. 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.

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. As the timing and scope of our larger event factored greatly into our decision to postpone, we believe that launching a smaller in-person event at a later time may be a safe alternative. For this reason, we are happy to announce that San Diego Comic Convention is planning to present a three-day in-person convention in San Diego in November. At this time, we are still working on specific details as to attendance capacity, badge cost, and related information, and those details will be forthcoming. Please continue to visit our website, comic-con.org, for official updated information as it becomes available.

At this time, individuals who have purchased badges that were rolled over to the 2021 show will have those badges automatically transferred to the 2022 event unless a refund is requested. To submit a badge refund request, visit www.comic-con.org/cci/comic-con-cancellationrefund-policy. All confirmed exhibitors with a rollover payment from Comic-Con 2020 will receive a separate email with instructions and deadlines for continuing to forward your payment on to Comic-Con 2022, or for requesting a refund. In addition, we are currently working on an option for those wishing to transfer their badge or exhibitor deposits/payments as full or partial payment towards our 2021 November event. Information will be forthcoming, so please watch your email inbox and the Comic-Con website for further details.

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.

We look forward to seeing you in November!

–San Diego Comic Convention

We hope that Comic-Con took the last event's criticisms and applied them into something that maybe looks a bit more like DC FanDome and the way they handled their event. We outlined where we thought virtual conventions fell apart in our Post Modem on Virtual Conventions and Events.

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com