San Diego Comic-Con Special Edition 2021: "Less Hollywood-ish, More Community"

Check out first-day cosplay from veterans and first-timers after a two-year break from the annual sci-fi gathering

Cosplay is back on display in downtown San Diego.

After a two summer absence, the Comic-Con Special Edition (#CCSE21) made its its 2021 premiere today. The show’s unique show dates are November 26-28.

COVID precautions are in full force and being strictly monitored at the doors of San Diego Convention Center. Attendees have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

When has wearing a mask, however, been a downer for Comic-Con fans who love to dress up for the occasion?

Pre-COVID, the fun and cosplay of Comic-Con would spill out of the convention center, across Harbor Drive and onto Fifth Avenue and the Gaslamp Quarter.

Those were the days of 130,000-plus in attendance. Organizers are expecting less than half of that crowd size this year. On Friday’s opening day, a convention center security guard estimated more than 10,000 people had entered the building to check out the exhibit hall.

That security guard glanced at lines outside and predicted another couple thousand people were waiting to get in. She effusively predicted that attendance would grow on Saturday and Sunday.

Right outside the convention center, cosplayers were happy to be back in front of willing photographers. Here’s a sampling:

Anna Yeutter and Andy Holt (who has been to Comic-Con every year since 2013). “It may be a quarter of the attendance but we’ll still have fun, we always do,” he says.

Jazmine Kathleen and Mona You are first-timers at Comic-Con. “We got invited to come, and were were ready to go out after COVID,” says Kathleen. “We heard this is a big event, but this year should be more calm.”

Roger Ho is a ‘Squid Game’ fan but had never been to Comic-Con before this year. “I’m interested in the cosplayers and limited edition toys–but the lines are crazy,” he says. “People tell me these lines are shorter, but they’re pretty long to me.”

Ray Zelaya and Percy Cov are also first-timers. “We’ve heard a lot about it and we had wanted to come during COVID, so now that we have a chance we’re going to do it,” says Zelaya.

Tom and Vilma Moore have been to more than a dozen Comic-Cons. “I’d started coming after the big Hollywood stuff was happening,” Tom says. “It was usually wall-to-wall and crammed up. It’s nice to see it differently–more of the independent artists.”

Justin Scabarozi is a veteran of The Con and Giselle Dougan is a rookie. “What we’ve seen on the exhibit floor is cool,” Scabarozi says. “I know the panel selection is limited, but we’re excited to go back and check out the floor, again. And we love dressing up.”

Ariana Cohen is a reporter for CBS San Diego (KFMB-TV). A local, this is her first time covering Comic-Con. “This is supposed to be a smaller-scale version with more restrictions, and will be more intimate than the bigger version next year.” Kudos to Cohen for being a one-person reporting team–lugging a camera around dressed as Wonder Woman.

[COVER PHOTO: Miguel and Lucy Capuchino have been to 16 Cons. “This will be one from more like the past,” Miguel says. “More comics. Less Hollywood-ish. More fans who really love what they do and are more into the community of Comic-Con.”]



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