The annual Comic-Con International announced Saturday that it would hold an in-person “Special Edition” convention in San Diego in November.
Comic-Con International was canceled for the first time in 50 years in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the event penciling in a July 22-25, 2021 convention in its place. However, that July convention will instead become a virtual event, and the in-person convention is now scheduled for November 23rd to the 25th at the San Diego Convention Center.
“It is our hope that by Fall conditions will permit larger public gatherings,” Comic-Con International said in a statement. “Comic-Con Special Edition will be the first in-person convention produced by the organization since Comic-Con 2019, and the first since the onset of the global pandemic COVID-19. The Fall event will allow the organization 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 organization but also for local businesses and the community.”
Comic-Con spokesperson David Glanzer added (via CNBC), “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 organization 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.”
However, the decision to hold an in-person Comic-Con in 2021 has drawn criticism on social media, and not just because of its post-Covid optimism: Many have noted that scheduling the event for the busy Thanksgiving weekend — following a year where the nation was encouraged to not celebrate Thanksgiving with family members, and is now likely eager to — will alienate both potential attendees and celebrity guests.