Comic-Con Special Edition 2021: Updates & Observations

The popular San Diego event will be celeb-lite, with more focus on cosplay. PLUS: 10 intriguing breakout panels for diehard fans

After two summers without the celebrity-studded Comic-Con, downtown San Diego is prepping to re-embrace diehard fans with a down-to-earth, cosplay-centric convention.

The Comic-Con Special Edition 2021 takes place November 26-28 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Yes, this year’s event kicks off the day after Thanksgiving.

No, big-budget Hollywood movies will not be previewed by the celebs who portray big-screen action heroes.

“I think veterans of the show will see this as an intimate throwback to earlier shows,” says Comic-Con chief communications & strategy officer David Glanzer.

No, there won’t be 130,000 on hand for the show. Glanzer expects less than half of that high-water attendance mark from year’s past.

Yes, badges are still on sale!

Two notes for The Con Special Edition:

  • There’s definitely an emphasis on cosplay and the artistry of costumes–including a special contest.
  • There will be some intriguing panel discussions in the just-released program. You probably won’t see many of these panels again on future Comic-Con lineups (warning: snark alert).

The 2021 Comic-Con Special Edition focus will be on cosplay. (Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Masquerade Costume Competition

The Comic-Con Special Edition Masquerade Costume Competition takes place on Saturday, November 27 at 8 p.m. The event takes place at Ballroom 20 in the convention center. It’s free to all badge holders.

The deadline to accept advance entry forms recently was extended to November 12.

This Cosplay Contest is for original costumes not previously seen or worn in the halls during the show.

In the past, guest judges have selected winners in the categories of Best in Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Most Humorous, Most Beautiful and Best Young Fan.

Cash prizes will be awarded.

For more information, go to information and rules.

10 Panels With Intriguing Titles

Show some love for the Comic-Con Special Edition program. (Photo: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Breakout panels during the 2021 Comic-Con Special Edition won’t sizzle with super-hero star power. Still, while these (real) titles can be provocative and titillating, they’re also practical, pragmatic and capture the post-pandemic zeitgeist (here’s comes the snark).

1. How to Be a One-Person Comic Company (Nov. 26, 2 p.m.) Congrats you’re the president! And the janitor.

2. Professional Pivoting (Nov. 26, 4:30 p.m.) Leads off with the Ross Geller “Pivot!” cheer; offers coaching on how to re-geek yourself.

3. Couples Who Cosplay (Nov. 26, 5:30 p.m.) Or, “How I went home with the wrong Spiderman.”

4. How to Become Superhero Fit (Nov. 26, 6 p.m.) Sorry, it involves exercise, not cosplay. Sponsored by Arby’s.

5. Swipe Right for Superheroes (Nov. 26, 7 p.m.) Name, Hulk. Enjoy working out, stretchy pants and connecting with Kermit the Frog movies.

6. Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Nov. 26, 7:40 p.m.) No, it’s cool. Sponsored by the San Diego Police Department.

7. Over-30 Cosplay: Advice for the Mature Cosplayer (8 p.m.) The pros and cons of Depend Adult Diapers.

8. Cardboard Superheroes: Past, Present and Future (Nov. 27, 10 a.m.) Forever friends for the next pandemic.

9. The Squid Girl (Nov. 27, 10:25 a.m.) Probably the Japanese manga series, but based on Netflix evidence, wearing a bulletproof vest is recommended.

10. Science Fell In Love So I Tried to Prove It (Nov. 27, 1:35 p.m.) We’ve all been there, right? Must be over-21.

For the full breakout panel listings, go to programming schedule. SDSun

[Cover photo: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images]


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