San Diego Comic-Con organizers have responded to fan and attendee criticism after setting a date for the postponed, in-person convention to take place over Thanksgiving weekend.
On Saturday, organizers announced on the official website that a “Comic-Con Special Edition” will be held as a three-day event scheduled for November 26-28 at the San Diego Convention Center.
“Hopefully this event will shore up our financial reserves and mark a slow return to larger in-person gatherings in 2022,” said spokesman David Glanzer in a statement, alluding to the financial impact caused by COVID-19.
Last year’s in-person edition of the wildly popular pop-culture convention Comic-Con — which brings more than 135,000 attendees to the San Diego Convention Center annually — was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tom Cruise presented a clip from "Top Gun: Maverick" on day one of Comic-Con International on July 18, 2019, in San Diego. (Photo: Chris Pizzello, Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Multiple voices on social media objected to the holiday date, especially as the coronavirus pandemic hampered many families from gathering over Thanksgiving in 2020.
“So they scheduled #SDCC on the same weekend as the first chance most families will (hopefully) be fully able to celebrate Thanksgiving in two years. See you in 2022!” tweeted Charles Soule, author of “Light of the Jedi” and Daredevil comics.
So they scheduled #SDCC on the same weekend as the first chance most families will (hopefully) be fully able to celebrate Thanksgiving in two years.
See you in 2022! https://t.co/5TUS26rOsQ
“My family missed Thanksgiving last year because of the pandemic,” tweeted comic book author Dan Slott. “This year, we’ll all be vaccinated. There’s no way I’d be attending any event instead of spending that time with them. Even if everything were magically back to normal.”
Slott added, “I can’t imagine fans and pros who celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S. feeling differently.”
My family missed Thanksgiving last year because of the pandemic.
This year, we’ll all be vaccinated. There’s no way I’d be attending any event instead of spending that time with them. Even if everything were magically back to normal.
I can’t imagine others feeling differently.
“A Thanksgiving #ComicCon?,” tweeted one fan, @TheFirstEcho. “Am I supposed to wait in line for Hall H while eating leftover stuffing and cranberry sauce?”
Comic-Con organizers set a Thanksgiving weekend date for the 2021 convention. (Photo: Christy Radecic, Christy Radecic/Invision/AP)
Following the criticism, organizers posted an updated release on the official website explaining and defending the Thanksgiving date, citing a “very packed Convention Center calendar.”
“Of the dates presented with the fewest restrictions, Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend seemed to be the best balance of available space and our envisioned event,” the statement read. “As longtime fans ourselves, we have attended many conventions over that holiday weekend, opting to spend Thanksgiving day with family and the rest of the weekend with friends and our families of choice.”
“While this is not unusual in the convention trade, we understand this choice is not optimal for everyone,” the statement continued.
Comic-Con’s statement made it clear the event would not be a full-capacity event of past years, but an “attempt to start slowly and cautiously while at the same time addressing the desire from fans to have an in-person show.”
The Thanksgiving event might not even be “feasible” due to the pandemic, organizers said, but worth the attempt.
“It was our desire to have something in place for our fans who have longed for an in-person event,” the statement said. “We truly hope that you will join us for this entry back into the world of in-person celebrations of the community we so love.”
Additionally, there will be a three-day [email protected] online experience July 23-25.
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