ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
(SAN DIEGO) — (NOTE LANGUAGE) With their large gatherings, sweaty cosplayers, and artists glad-handing with autograph seeking strangers, comic conventions are something of a Greatest Hits of New Normal no-nos.
However, Comic-Con International, the organization behind the massive San Diego Comic-Con, is defending its recent announcement of an in-person event billed Comic-Con Special Edition.
The event at the expo’s traditional home at the San Diego Convention Center would kick off November 26 — the day after Thanksgiving.
“[W]e understand this choice is not optimal for everyone,” the organization says on its website.
There hasn’t been a major in-person Comic Con since the pandemic lockdowns last year, and July’s Comic-Con San Diego will still be virtual. But producers are getting push-back from those who would be its guests.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with several anonymous industry insiders who shared their disapproval. One said, “During the pandemic, we’ve had Wonder Woman and The Mandalorian, but what we haven’t had is a hug from our parents and grandparents. Talent are not going to want to give up time with their families at Thanksgiving this year of all years.”
Organizers are now defending the decision, saying, “Comic-Con Special Edition was never intended to be the large gathering reflective of the summer event,” and it’s “our attempt to start slowly and cautiously while…addressing [fans’] desire…to have an in-person show.”
Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, a fixture of conventions all over the world, recently told ABC Audio he’s got no plans to “hit the floor” again any time soon.
“Who’s going to that?” he asked rhetorically of whatever convention becomes the first to re-open. “People vaccinated and people who don’t give a s***.”
He adds, “A convention is…like a packed airport.”
By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.