SDCC updates: Refunds, badge sales & online Cons

10 MAY 2020

Happy Mother's Day! We're at a point where most of us have emotionally accepted the deletion of San Diego Comic-Con from our summers. Now that it's May, and we're entering the traditional season of watching for announcements and lusting for exclusives, that absence is beginning to feel painful. Maybe that's why there is still so much fervid talk about Comic-Con - buying groups, badges, hotels, fond memories of SDCCs past. As Marx (probably) says in the afterlife, Comic-Con is the opiate of the masses.

So let's talk about a few developments.

I have been involved in 2 badge refunds so far (neither my own) and both were easy to request and quick to be paid out. As in, the quickest I've ever seen CCI act in regard to anything. However, you will need the Member ID of both the attendee and whoever bought their badge so prepare for that when you make your request.

Badge Sales for 2021
Some rumors and misinformation are circulating online, namely that Open Reg has been cancelled for 2021. Fact time: CCI has stated "There will be no Returning Registration for Comic-Con 2021." That's logical, since there will be no 2020 Con for anyone to return from. Anyone with a 2020 badge is already locked in for 2021 if they want to be.

But Open Registration? No official announcement has been made. CCI did say, "Depending on the number of refund requests received, there may be reduced inventory for sale in the fall of 2020." No kidding. But they did not officially cancel Open Reg yet. There's still 51 days to go for attendees to request refunds and many people could be driven to do so by financial despair - but probably, few refunds will be requested. SDCC attendees, even broke and unemployed ones, know to hang onto any existing badge for dear life. So maybe if there's not enough room for Open Reg, CCI will auction off packages (hotel and badge, as they've done before), hold contests or choose some other route. Regardless, let's wait for CCI to announce their plans when they're ready.

If you lost out for 2020 and had high hopes for 2021, the news that you may need to wait for SDCC 2022 is probably a bitter pill to swallow. But in a season where we're all swallowing many bitter pills, it helps to remember there will be other Cons you can go to over the next 2 years.

Comic-Con at Home
You may have seen CCI's pithy little video announcing no lines, comfortable chairs, free parking - i.e., an online version of SDCC 2020. We don't know what it will involve yet. It's a fair guess that some of the content (celebrity interviews, panels) will be interesting and some not so much, and the final sum won't be much like the real thing.

But I hope everyone still checks it out to see if there's some way they can support a favorite vendor/artist or connect with their fandom. As attendees, we're saving money by staying home - but the other side of fence is taking a financial hit. You won't be spending $$$ on hotels or restaurants, so consider getting yourself an expensive exclusive, back issue, print or other treasure. You can indulge yourself a bit with new toys while helping creators stay in a position where they can make more great stuff. Obviously this is if you can afford to do so.

CCI is also serving up Comic-Con Museum at Home, promising videos and downloadable content for all ages. If you haven't done much with the Museum so far, take a look.

Hope you're all keeping your spirits up and staying connected with your nerd brethren. We're at a stage where our pandemic experiences are beginning to differ. Some of us are employed, some aren't, some are recovering from illness, some have a positive antibody test, and some are hiding out. Some are scared witless and some think this is all a conspiracy. (There's going to be a COVID-19 graphic novel anthology with all our different stories covered, right? Right?) Whatever you're thinking and however you're coping, I hope you're still finding ways to escape into the magic of your favorite nerd world. Be safe and one day we'll walk back into Comic-Con.

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