Comic-Con is back! In person! It’s not happening on its traditional July dates—but Comic-Con Special Edition 2021 is beaming back for a November 26-28 run at the San Diego Convention Center.
Dust off your storm trooper helmet. Put new batteries in that light saber. All the glorious cosplay returns for the first time since pre-COVID 2019.
“It was an emotional decision to not have the show in 2020, but we didn’t know what we were facing with COVID,” says David Glanzer, chief communications & strategy officer for Comic-Con. “Then, 2021 didn’t pan out for the summer. But people are getting vaccinated now. And the convention center had the slot available after Thanksgiving. So, we’re sticking our foot back in the water.”
Remarkably, badges are still on sale online—and probably will still be available up to the start of the show. For past summer shows, entrance badges would have sold out months earlier.
It’s expected that less than half of the 130,000 sci-fi and action-adventure fans that usually attend will make it this year.
Comic-Con Special Edition will include an exhibit floor—albeit with fewer booths. The layout is still being configured.
The program lineup for speaker panels is expected to be announced on November 5.
Unlike past years, there will be no mega-breakout panels held in huge Hall H. Organizers will strictly enforce COVID protocols, especially attendance in breakout rooms.
A mask mandate will be in place—slightly ironic, since many attendees usually come dressed as characters whose costumes include facial coverings.
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If your Spidey-sense is tingling, you’re excited for Comic-Con Special Edition. (Photos: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)
The San Diego Convention Center will be dark on Thursday, November 25, in observance of Thanksgiving. Ergo, there will be no preview night at the Special Edition.
The Con will run three days, with doors opening at noon on Friday, November 26.
Almost all events will take place in the convention center. A few activities are scheduled in the adjacent Marriott Marquis hotel.
As had become the custom in previous years, Harbor Drive will be closed to traffic during the event. The closure will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., affecting Harbor Drive between First Avenue and Park Boulevard.
Glanzer didn’t have specifics, but says there will be some but not as many activations—restaurant takeovers, theme rides, etc.—outside the convention center.
“I think what people will experience this year will be something veterans of the shows will enjoy—it’ll be a lot more intimate,” he says. “We’re expecting a lot of participants from California and Arizona. But who knows? Some travel restrictions have lifted and we may see people from all over the country and maybe all over the world.”
Or, the universe. SDSun
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