At this point, there are practically no major events taking place in-person this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its continued impact, things like Comic-Con are taking place virtually. While it’s a bummer for those who planned on attending in San Diego, it isn’t a total loss.
After all, the organizers are planning a virtual event called [email protected] Unlike the real event, this one is free to attend. It will allow those who can’t usually afford tickets and airfare to attend more than 350 panels and enjoy long-awaited teasers and news from the geeky entertainment world.
Still, just like the real thing, [email protected] is pretty confusing to navigate. Before you attend the online event from July 22-26, this is what you should know.
Comic-Con is Going Virtual
This year’s virtual Comic-Con is scheduled to take place next week. There will be plenty for attendees to do and watch once the event starts.
All of the panels will be pre-recorded. Sadly, that means there won’t be any live fan interaction like there is during the in-person Comic-Con. Nonetheless, some panels are still promoting interaction by asking fans to submit questions for the panels. Netflix’s “The Dragon Prince” is one show taking that approach.
These panels typically reveal things like trailers for new seasons or movies, news about cast members and plots, and various other tidbits and teasers. While fans should still expect plenty of updates there might not be as many as usual. The pandemic has delayed countless movies and TV productions. So, even if they are scheduled to finish on time, they might not have previews ready yet.
How to Participate in [email protected]
As mentioned, [email protected] is slated to take place from July 22 through July 26. Fans wanting to “attend” virtually should clear their calendars as there are plenty of events and panels to fill the time.
For the latest news and updates, Comic-Con’s official Toucan blog is a great resource. So is the SDCC Unofficial Blog. As always, The Burn-In will continue to bring you breaking news and updates from [email protected]
Noteworthy Panels – Thursday
During this year’s virtual Comic-Con, there are endless panels to take in. Although it doesn’t replicate the feeling of being there in person, getting to hear news and stories firsthand is a cool experience.
Thursday (July 23) will play host to several of the most notable panels. At 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS All Access will host “Trekkverse,” a panel of all-things Star Trek. It includes a table read of the season two finale of “Star Trek: Discovery” and a Q&A with the cast. The cast of “Star Trek: Picard,” including Patrick Stewart, will be present as well.
At 2:00 p.m. ET, Hulu’s “Solar Opposites” will have a moment to shine. The animated adult comedy series immediately became a hit for the platform. Its panel includes a Q&A with the cast members and executive producers as well as a sneak peek at season two.
Another noteworthy panel on Thursday is “A Look Inside Marvel’s 616” at 4:00 p.m. ET. It will give fans a glimpse an upcoming docuseries that goes behind-the-scenes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The series will make a debut on Disney+ this year.
Noteworthy Panels – Friday
After an exciting day of panels of Thursday, pop culture fans will need to stay alert for all that Friday has to offer.
“Vikings: A Look Back With The Lothbroks” will air at 2:00 p.m. ET. It includes stars Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, and others alongside showrunner Michael Hirst. The panel will give “Vikings” fans an exclusive clip from the second half the sixth and final season.
Later in the day, “The Walking Dead” gets its perennial moment to shine. The panel will spotlight the season 10 finale with executive producer Greg Nicotero. It also includes cast members Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Josh McDermitt, and more.
Noteworthy Panels – Saturday and Sunday
Some of the biggest panels are occurring on Thursday and Friday. Still, the weekend has plenty to look forward to.
“The Simpsons” will make its [email protected] appearance at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday to discuss season 32. Panelists include Al Jean, Matt Selman, David Silverman, Carolyn Omine, and Mike B. Anderson.
At 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, “The Right Stuff” will look at the Apollo moon landing and the eponymous scripted Disney+ series that transports viewers to the early days of NASA’s space program. NASA astronaut Mae Jemison will moderate the panel alongside its massive cast and showrunner Mark Lafferty.
Also on Saturday, at 6:00 p.m. ET, is a panel for “Bill & Ted Face the Music.” The panel will include Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter alongside filmmaker Kevin Smith (yes, that one).
Finally, a panel for “The 100” will take place on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. ET. As of now, the participating cast members haven’t been announced.
One of the biggest draws of Comic-Con is the creative cosplayers who show off their homemade costumes. While the annual convention isn’t taking place in person, cosplay will still prevail. The event’s organizers are hosting a virtual version of the annual Masquerade cosplay showcase.
It announced the event on Twitter, saying, “For this year’s virtual Masquerade a page shall be our stage. Attendees can watch your entry as a video presentation or a series of photos showcasing your cosplay talents on the official Comic-Con Tumblr page.”
Calling all costumers! For this year’s virtual Masquerade a page shall be our stage. Attendees can watch your entry as a video presentation or a series of photos showcasing your cosplay talents on the official Comic-Con Tumblr page. For more details visit https://t.co/JGYfTndGRJ pic.twitter.com/qJ5rhoeap4
— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) July 7, 2020
The Masquerade website goes live on July 23 and winners will be announced on July 24. Entries will be judged ahead of time.
Grab Your Stuff
Second only to cosplay is the appeal of spending way too much money on merch at Comic-Con. Fortunately, online shopping is nothing new. This year’s virtual event will feature the [email protected] Online Exhibit Hall, an interactive floor plan that lets you do all of your Comic-Con shopping at the click of a button.
Visitors can expect limited edition products, company listings, and various promotions throughout the duration of the event. Keep in mind that right now is a great time to support small businesses and independent creators that will be selling their art and merchandise.
As always, there will also be a Comic-Con Souvenir Book. This year’s edition pays homage to the 100th birthday of late author Ray Bradbury and the 50th anniversary of Conan the Barbarian’s comic book debut. It also includes bios and photos of [email protected] participants, special comics and articles, and tributes to industry stars who died in the past year.
What Comes Next?
If virtual events aren’t your thing, fear not. Comic-Con organizers hope to host an in-person event next year in San Diego. As of now, it’s impossible to say whether or not that will be possible.
Still, Comic-Con 2021 is tentatively scheduled for July 22-25 at the San Diego Convention Center.