San Diego Comic Convention, AKA Comic-Con, is taking the convention virtual this year with their first-ever [email protected].
For the first time in its 50-year history, Comic-Con’s organizers were forced to cancel the annual celebration of comics and pop culture, and soon after announced an online version that will run from July 22-26.
“We’re very excited about bringing Comic-Con online,” said David Glanzer, spokesperson for the nonprofit organization. “And it couldn’t have been achieved without the help and support of so many of our usual friends, and some new ones too.”
The virtual event will be hosted on the Comic-Con website, which will transform into [email protected] at 9 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, July 22. Through the redesigned home page, fans will be able to access programming, the Online Exhibit Hall, and various events and interactive elements.
YouTube will host over 350 panels and programs, as well as the 2020 Eisner Awards. The Online Exhibit Hall, with approximately 700 exhibitors, will exist on the GoExpo by Community Brands page. For those who love gaming, those activities will be offered on Discord.
DC Comics will provide artwork for the official event T-shirt, which will be accompanied by a variety of official Comic-Con-related merchandise on the convention’s Merch store page.
Amazon and Prime Video are official sponsors of [email protected] and will be treating fans to additional activities from a variety of Amazon-owned platforms through their Amazon Virtual-Con portal. Prime Video is also the sponsor of the Comic-Con 2020 print-at-home badge, which allows fans to print and wear the free badge and take part in many yet-to-be-announced interactive challenges.
Collaborator and sponsor IGN will stream roughly 34 panels, as well as produce extensive hosted shoulder content, hosted interviews and more.
Tumblr will be the host of both the Comic-Con Art Show and the 46th annual Masquerade, which will open for viewing on Friday, July 24 and have winners announced on Saturday, July 25.
The tradition of showcasing films and anime at Comic-Con will continue with the Scener Watch Party Platform. Funimation will exclusively host all of the anime watch parties, and Scener is a Chrome browser plug-in that will allow fans to simultaneously watch and discuss movies and anime.
Immersive activations will be represented with FX Unlocked, where fans will engage with virtual experiences for “American Horror Story,” “What We Do in The Shadows,” “Cake,” and “DAVE.”
There will also be a number of other activities including portfolio review, gaming, a SideWalk Art Challenge, a Cosplay Challenge, the SuperVolunteer Challenge, and even some shared recipes if you need a snack to refuel on during the [email protected] weekend.
Comic-Con will also be offering an online version of its Souvenir Book, which will be available as a free downloadable PDF starting Wednesday, July 22. The 260-page book features new art and articles that celebrate various anniversaries, including the 100th birthdays of Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen, as well as celebrations of EC Comics, Moomin, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comics, and more. This year’s cover is by William Stout.
“This type of online event is a first for us,” said Glanzer, “and we are grateful for the support of all involved. Our hope is that Comic-Con can provide a small respite from the confines of various stay-at-home orders. While we can’t be together in person, we can be together online.”
For more information, and to attend the virtual event this weekend, visit Comic-Con.org.