For many, 2021 offers a lot more hope than the feverdream that was 2020. Vaccines are slowly starting to be distributed, giving a glimmer of hope that life could return to “normal” sometime in the near future.
But how quickly will life be “normal” again — normal enough to, say, attend conventions including San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon Anaheim again?
The answer is very unclear, and depends in large part upon how quickly vaccines can be distributed to a large swath of the population, as well as statewide and federal laws and guidelines.
“I don’t think anything is off the table,” Comic-Con International’s Chief Communications and Strategy Officer David Glanzer recently told IGN about the fate of both events in 2021. “But scenarios can change rapidly.”
Currently, both events are still listed on CCI’s website (WonderCon Anaheim is scheduled for March 26-28, while San Diego Comic-Con is scheduled for July 21-25). However, WonderCon has also quietly disappeared from the Anaheim Convention Center’s website, which you can read into as much as you want.
Glanzer told IGN that CCI “hopes” to have an update on SDCC plans by the end of January, but also noted that planning any in-person event is currently a moving target.
“We can, as an entity… plan one event and secure dates and all that,” Glanzer said to IGN. “But if there’s a surge [in cases] or something happens, it can be shut down very quickly. There’s just so many variables that I don’t think any of us have ever had to deal with before, short of a natural disaster.”
One likely scenario is that we could once again see WonderCon @ Home and Comic-Con @ Home — virtual events that CCI held in 2020 when the conventions would have normally taken place. These events included hundreds of pre-recorded YouTube panels, featuring everyone from Hollywood stars, comic creators, authors, toymakers, and more.
“Is it going to be 100% online? Is it a hybrid [event]? Those are questions we just can’t answer yet,” Glanzer told IGN.
Currently, the San Diego Convention Center is being utilized as a shelter for the homeless during the pandemic. Last month, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria told media he was proposing the city authorize more funding to keep the shelter open through March 2021, with the financial plans possibly discussed by the City Council in January.
Many have also floated the idea that the convention could postpone to later in 2021 — but it’s worth noting that Comic-Con International was one of the few conventions who opted to cancel their in-person event entirely in 2020 rather than try to reschedule.
With WonderCon’s dates looming closer, expect more updates… you guessed it… soon.