WTF, Comic-Con?

WTF, Comic-Con?

Hey, remember when Comic-Con International: San Diego was going to have a virtual convention once more this summer but try to hold a small, in-person con in November for…some reason? The organisation has decided Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time. In the immortal words of Pugsley Addams: Eat me.

Yes, it’s true. As Comic-Con’s WonderCon was rolling on virtually, a press release was sent out at 9:00 p.m. EST Saturday night — a great time to get everyone worked up — to inform the world that SDCC would be holding its previously announced November convention on Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S.

While Comic-Con@Home will still take place virtually over three days (July 23-35), the newly dubbed Comic-Con Special Edition (a name previously used by con competitor ReedPop in NYC) will take place in person in San Diego, California on Thanksgiving weekend, November 26-28, 2021 at the San Diego Convention Centre. “It is our hope that by fall conditions will permit larger public gatherings,” the release said in part.

For a moment, let’s put aside the most obvious concern — the covid-19 pandemic. Sure, vaccines are rolling out at a nice pace now, more things are opening up (whether or not they should), and people may be more comfortable travelling by the end of the year. Putting all that aside, this convention may not happen because of coronavirus concerns, right?

But if the con organisers expect it to…why the flying fuck do you choose one of the biggest holiday weekends in the United States to hold a comic convention?

The flights alone — typically already horrendous to book during regular SDCC — will be atrocious because of people trying to get home for the holidays. But exactly what talent are they going to be able to secure to make the convention worth the trip at all? This might be the first time in almost two years that people will actually get to spend time with their loved ones in person. You really think they’d rather spend it in a convention hall? I know I don’t.

Bizarre choice of date aside now, the press release stressed a very important reason Comic-Con is even attempting this. The “event will allow the organisation to highlight all the great elements that make Comic-Con such a popular event each year, as well as generate much needed revenue not only for the organisation but also for local businesses and the community.”

David Glanzer, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer for Comic-Con International added, “While we have been able to pivot from in-person gatherings to limited online events, the loss of revenue has had an acute impact on the organisation as it has with many small businesses, necessitating reduced work schedules and reduction in pay for employees, among other issues. Hopefully this event will shore up our financial reserves and mark a slow return to larger in-person gatherings in 2022.”

While Comic-Con is a non-profit, it obviously still needs money to survive and its existence is an enormous part of the downtown San Diego economy. But this? This isn’t it. Perhaps it’s time to reach out to all those Hollywood studios you’ve boosted the profiles of in fan’s eyes for so many years and ask for a bailout.