July 2020 is the month that hordes upon hordes of geeks, nerds, cosplayers, gamers and other such mortals descend on San Diego, California to partake in the fifty plus year convention known as Comic-Con.
This year however, that event took place in a virtual environment not at the San Diego Convention Center like it normally does. Instead, it happened wherever you are in the world. For you see, for the first time in the history of the Con, panels and interviews will be conducted virtually. Due to the global pandemic that has ravaged the civilized world, the convention in San Diego was cancelled. Much to a lot of chagrin and disappointment, the show must go on and it has…sort of.
It will be interesting to see how the panels will progress under this temporary format. There is a downside to doing it virtually, the thrill is not there. As someone who has been in countless press rooms, there is nothing like sitting down at a round table and getting the chance to talk to a star, producer or writer of a show that you are covering. To be able to ask your question in person and have a one-on-one interaction is priceless. Or just to be able to see and feel the vibe in the press room. It is quite exhilarating to say the least, to hear all the questions and answers bandied about. The zoom press rooms will be different and will not have the same feel, but we as professionals will have to make do.
The pros about having a virtual con is that fans who were not able to purchase the coveted “golden ticket” to the convention were be able to watch the event from the comfort of their own home. It will be a lot easier for them to be able to be a part of that panel, even if it is not in person. I have several friends who have not been able to get tickets these past years but are looking forward to seeing their favorite panels virtually.
The beauty for me of traveling to San Diego from my hometown of San Francisco, is that I can get away from the madness of my job and jump into a whole different madness and beauty.
What is that famous Shakespeare line “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.”? I always enjoy my time down at San Diego Comic-Con, it is the one time of year that I can enjoy what makes me (and others) geeks or nerds.
I will miss walking on the convention floor and scoping out where certain vendors are and seeing all the amazing booths certain studios always have every year. I will miss seeing all the incredible cosplay that I always take pictures of. I will miss the feeling of finally getting into that room where your favorite panel (the one you waited for all day) will take place in a matter of minutes. I will also miss finding those exclusives that are ONLY available at comic-con and nowhere else.
This year with the con being virtual, it is the first time that I can see ALL the panels that I really want. I am not forced to choose what panels are more important than others. I was elated to be able to watch ones that would have normally overlapped had the convention took place. I did not have to worry about waiting in the Hall H line or trying to find the door to Ballroom 20. I also did not have to wait to use the restroom or worry that my seat would be taken if I got up.
One of the panels I watched was for the upcoming paranormal/horror comedy called Truth Seekers with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. With those two funny, brilliant men at the helm, I knew that I would be in for a big treat. I have no doubt that with a movie like Shaun of the Dead under their comedy belt that this series will be just as funny if not more. The panel kept things close to the cuff, not revealing too much as they wanted to give fans just enough of a taste to get them interested. Frankly, all they have to say is Pegg and Frost are involved and it is pretty much a guaranteed hit. They also brought along with them a legendary actor who shall remain nameless for the moment, I want viewers to get a treat when they see him as part of the show. If you have already watched the trailer, then you know of whom I speak.
With Truth Seekers beginning streaming on Amazon Prime later this year (release date is still TBA), Amazon is proving itself to be a formidable force when it comes to series. I am sure that if the con had happened there would be an off-site probably located on the lawn behind the convention center for fans to participate in.
Having “off-sites” is another thing that will be missed this year. It is always a treat to see what kind of fun adventures the studios dreamed up for fans to take part in. One year there was a zip line that promoted the latest season of Gotham. You could pretend to be zipping across Gotham City, another year the hotel from the American Horror Story franchise was there for fans to walk through and get an interactive experience.
With its third season currently on hold due to the pandemic, Haley Joel Osment (the moderator) asked the cast about the past season and what were some of their favorite episodes. Haley was able to get a little detail for us fans that can keep us satisfied until the third season airs. The vampires will be getting a hellhound!
I for one am so excited about that because I know it will be as memorable to watch as was the Comic-Con at Home panel!
With all major studios pushing their production dates back due to the pandemic, I am hoping that next year for Comic-Con 2021 we will have some great content for fans. It will be interesting to see how studios recover from the massive loss of revenue from the convention being cancelled.
There is always a silver lining to situations we find ourselves in. Around social media fans are posting about what they are doing for virtual comic-con. I have seen countless families camp out in their living rooms to simulate the same atmosphere as they would camping out for Hall H. Fans are still dressing up in cosplay and walking around their neighborhoods. They are even getting their pets involved in the activities. I have seen a few pictures of both dogs and cats dressed up in cosplay or as line monitors, badges and all. It made me smile to know that despite the cancellation of the con that fans are still having fun.
With Comic-Con 2021 only 359 days, 9 hours and 57 mins as of this post, we can only keep the faith that next year we, the fans, will be treated to the biggest, baddest, boldest convention the modern world has ever seen. I am looking forward to being able to see my friends again in San Diego. I am looking forward to the blissful chaos and sheer joy that comes with the convention and all it entails. I am looking forward to seeing all the panels of my favorite shows and movies. I am looking forward to being able to find some hidden gems on the convention floor. I am just looking forward to everything getting back to “normal” whatever that may be.
Well, Comic-Con fans, I bid thee a fond farewell for now. Keep dreaming and I will see you next year in San Diego!
Thank you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency. And thanks to Kenn for video embedding and adding images for my Comic-Con At Home article. I will be back in the near future with and look forward in eager anticipation with more on my ongoing awesome adventures at San Diego Comic Con 2021!
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Until next time,