Not long after the coronavirus hit the United States, Comic Con International in San Diego, the world’s largest yearly pop culture convention, canceled its in-person events. Instead, to keep everyone safe and healthy, the organization created Comic Con at Home, an online convention. Now that it’s passed, some fans loved the experience, while others felt severely disappointed. Let’s take a look at the highs and lows of Comic Con at Home…
Comic Con At Home
In San Diego, California, things simply do not feel the same without Comic Con International taking place. The yearly event is a Mecca for cosplayers, gamers, collectors, and fans of just about anything and everything. Believe it or not, over 135,000 from all around the world descend on San Diego each year for the event, bringing in millions for the city. However, due to coronavirus concerns, the city and convention could not allow Comic Con to take place this year. However, the organizing team did not want to simply throw in the towel. So, they streamed as many panels, games, and other convention events as they could for the first-ever Comic Con at Home!
As a result, fans had high expectations for the team’s first-ever streamed convention. Unfortunately, despite some exhibiting booths open online, the event did not capture the feeling of the real thing…
For many, Comic Con is about the spectacle, exhibit floor, and, most importantly, the people. So, while Comic Con at Home had exciting panels from the likes of The Walking Dead, Star Trek Discovery, The New Mutants, and the new Bill & Ted movie, it did not have the same feel as the real thing. For one, there were quite literally not as many people, by a long shot. Early reports suggest that just 95% of the regular Comic Con audience attended the online event. Meanwhile, the convention team simply did not have the time to put together alternative cosplay competitions or merchandise booths, another big draw of Comic Con.
Of course, technical issues were inevitable, as well. Once again, organizations had just a few months to transition as much as they could to an online venue. As a result, the interactive map barely worked, panels often streamed in odd places, and the official YouTube page looked like a mess. YouTube bots even took down some official panels at first, thinking they were copies! Meanwhile, some panels did not live stream, simply uploading a video, leading to viewers skipping to trailers and sneak peeks. Still, despite these issues, many still had fun at Comic Con at Home…
While there were certainly some pitfalls, there was also plenty to love at Comic Con at Home. The new animated Star Trek series, Lower Decks, provided fans with a sneak peek of the first episode. Like sci-fi, horror also had a major showing at the online convention, with HBO showing a sneak peek of their new show Lovecraft Country and AMC’s vampire epic NOS4A2 delivering one of the best panels of the event.
However, without a doubt, the highlight of Comic Con at Home came in the form of Keanu Reeves who appeared twice: once during a panel on the new film Bill & Ted Face the Music (expected in September) and another on the 10th anniversary of a cult horror-superhero movie Constantine. During both panels, Reeves seemed to cheer everyone up, and many commented that they would happily watch any panel with the actor attached.
So, Comic Con at Home definitely left everyone with mixed feelings. For those who had a good time, fantastic! For those who didn’t, no need to worry. Comic Con International says it plays to be fully back in business next year!