Last year, right as the pandemic hit, several conventions like WonderCon and ECCC canceled their in-person events. But the hope was that, by summer, San Diego Comic-Con could still take place. As it turned out, that was very much not the case. And it appears it won’t be the case in 2021 either. Not for summer, at least.
In March, the official Comic-Con International Twitter account announced a different in-person event. There will be another “ Comic-Con at Home event” this summer, but only for three days as opposed to four. However, an in-person special event in San Diego is planned for this Thanksgiving. According to a press release, “Comic-Con Special Edition” will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 26 to 28 at the San Diego Convention Center.
The free three-day Comic-Con@Home virtual event is still happening in the usual summer slot. July 23-25 to be specific.
However, as of April 13, whether or not the event would take place was up in the air. Reports on Twitter started circulating that the event had been cancelled. Later that day, IGN published that Comic-Con International was still very much planning the Thanksgiving weekend event, but explained it may not be logistically possible.
“Currently we do not know whether having this event in November is even feasible as we are still in the midst of the pandemic and while we are optimistic about Q4, we have not been privy to any specific information on large gatherings,”
As part of their original statement, the SDCC account said the following: “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.”
The whole “in-person Thanksgiving” decision raised some criticism online. With vaccines in effect, Thanksgiving could be the first big family-centric holiday gathering people can safely attend this year. Holding Comic-Con that same weekend will force people to choose between trips home and trips to San Diego.
Comic-Con organizers responded to the backlash, posting an updated release on the official website that reads: “Of the dates presented with the fewest restrictions, Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend seemed to be the best balance of available space and our envisioned event. As longtime fans ourselves, we have attended many conventions over that holiday weekend, opting to spend Thanksgiving day with family and the rest of the weekend with friends and our families of choice.”
Time will tell if this Thanksgiving move is a good payoff. Or if criticism won’t provoke another date change. We’ll keep you posted if new information becomes available.
This piece was originally published on March 1, 2021 and later updated March 29, 2021.