Let's appreciate the controversy and ambiguity of "Comic-Con Special Edition"

 29 MARCH 2021

CCI stepped up today and shared additional information about their in-person November event. (Which by the way, should NOT be called SDCC and is instead named Comic-Con Special Edition. You know CCSE-emblazoned swag will be major collectors' items one day.) This message was somewhat in response to the three main reactions to their Saturday night announcement:

  • Why are they trying to hold an in-person Con when this pandemic is still out of control and we don't know if the vaccines really work and this one event could undo all our precarious progress?
  • Yes, I want to go but Thanksgiving was an idiotic choice between travel chaos and family obligations and they should have tried harder to pick a different weekend.
  • I'm going no matter what, holidays and pandemics be damned.

Guess which category I'm in.

The Plus ca Change of CCI

I've really enjoyed all the cynical coverage and teeth-gnashing of the last 2 days, because it's quintessential Comic-Con. CCI is blamed for their fumbling ineptitude and lack of clarity on an important subject; fans, vendors and reporters have weighed in with sulking, enthusiasm, and confusion; attendees have jumped into action to start plotting new badge sale strategies. It all feels so comfortingly familiar!

Or maybe not, for you. I've heard from people who are genuinely annoyed and they have a right to their opinion. But I do think we need to remember 2 points:

  1. This isn't taking the place of some other, bigger SDCC we would otherwise get. It's just a bonus event that happens or not. So you can't really feel robbed if it's impossible for you to go, or if it doesn't roll out the same pageantry and splendor of real SDCC.
  2. CCI needs money. They admit, no surprise, they've lost $$$$ because of this pandemic, and I fully support them creating new revenue streams any way they can. The same applies to the hotels, vendors, restaurants, artists, etc. who've lost income. David Glanzer referred to "reduced work schedules and reduction in pay for employees" which is very sad and I'm sure you want CCI to put on a beautiful show in 2022 - so this show would be a step in helping them recoup their losses.

So will Thanksgiving ruin Comic-Con Special Edition?

I don't think so. It may cast a shadow, but not a fatal one. Will travel be tough to book and ungodly expensive? Sure. But other than that, I think plenty of people - attendees, studios, exhibitors - will happily prioritize this event over turkey and football with the family. By November, many of us will have already caught up with distant relatives, and others have been cooped up with family members they're desperate to get away from. People are feverish to travel, see new faces, drink in bars, blow money on pretty toys that are right in front of them. 

Maybe I'm overestimating this because I don't celebrate Thanksgiving or care about Black Friday, but I do know many people are craving adventure right now. "Comic-Con Special Edition" is kind of perfect in that it will dish up both excitement and nostalgic gratification.

If it happens. Their statement today admits they don't know if "having this event in November is even feasible." So, as has happened so often in our Comic-Con histories, we will wait for more information, tantalized and jaded at the same time. I, for one, am enjoying the return to normality.

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