San Diego Comic-Con will return this year with an in-person convention during Thanksgiving weekend.
The pop culture event will host a “Comic-Con Special Edition” at the San Diego Convention Center from November 26-28. The announcement comes less than a month after Comic-Con International announced a virtual event would be held this summer due to uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic and the risk of large-scale gatherings. The three-day Comic-Con@Home virtual event is set for July 23-25.
“It is our hope that by Fall conditions will permit larger public gatherings,” an announcement for the event said. “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.”
David Glanzer, spokesperson for the nonprofit organization, noted that while it has been able to switch 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,” Glanzer added.
There are no additional details on badge costs or attendance capacity at this time.
The announcement for an in-person Thanksgiving weekend event received immediate criticism across social media, with many noting the pandemic impacted the ability for many to be with their families during the holidays last year.
“So they scheduled #SDCC on the same weekend as the first chance most families will (hopefully) be fully able to celebrate Thanksgiving in two years. See you in 2022!” Charles Soule, writer and author for Daredevil and She-Hulk, shared on Twitter.
“Sure. Make it during the one non-denominational fall holiday weekend in U.S., w/ always peak airfare prices. And I’m sure A-list celebs will LOVE doing this. Black Friday, indeed,” author Tara Bennett wrote.
Linda Ge, who writes for CW’s new series Kung Fu, also tweeted “Does Comic-Con realize that most people didn’t get to spend last Thanksgiving with their families because of the pandemic? #SDCC”
Last year was the first time in San Diego Comic-Con’s 50-year history that the in-person component was canceled. The fandom-rich con launched as a small, comics-focused event in 1970, and grew into a massive gathering that sees fans, movie and TV stars and movie studios descend upon the city. An estimated 135,000 people came to the San Diego Convention Center for the 2019 con.