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San Diego Comic-Con Goes Virtual With [email protected]

SDCC with no lines or sweaty crowds? We're into it.

Exhibit floor at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Please attribute to Gage Skidmore if used elsewhere.

Nerds and fans from all corners of the globe were disappointed to learn that San Diego Comic-Con was canceled this year thanks to COVID-19. It’s hardly surprising, given that the worldwide pandemic has brought life as we know it to a screeching halt. And we can think of few venues more contagious than hundreds of thousands of fans packed densely into the San Diego Convention Center and the blocks surrounding it. But still, the moment is historic: it will be the first time in fifty years that SDCC won’t happen.

Luckily, the organizers at Comic Con International (who manage SDCC among other cons) are assembling artists, creators, and vendors for an online SDCC, which they’re calling [email protected] The event will take place from July 22 to 26, and will be free for all attendees! Not only will the event be free, but there will be no cap on how many can attend. This opens up SDCC’s audience in a big way, as garnering tickets to SDCC in a normal year is a highly competitive geek gauntlet.

[email protected] is working to recreate as much of the con experience as possible from the comfort of our own homes. SDCC plans to have an online Exhibit Hall, where exhibitors can offer exclusive promotions and limited-edition products. The home con will also feature mainstays like the Masquerade, gaming, and other activities for fans.

SDCC spokesperson David Glanzer said, “For the first time in our 50-year history, we are happy to welcome virtually anyone from around the globe. Though stay-at-home conditions makes this a very difficult time, we see this as an opportunity to spread some joy and strengthen our sense of community.”

[email protected] will even provide badges that you can print at home and wear, if that’s your jam. If you really want the true SDCC experience, you can make and eat your own $12 hot dog, and wait in an imaginary line for 10 minutes to use your own bathroom.

Meanwhile, you can already enjoy some at-home activities, like the Comic-Con Museum’s #ComicConMuseumatHome program, where co-founders Connor and Bauer Lee will offer weekly video tutorials on how to build mini cardboard models of your favorite characters:

Guests and line-ups have not been announced yet, but we will be sure to update you when they do. While cons are a singular and unique experience, an online con is an opportunity for folks who could normally never make it to San Diego to participate. And if you really want to recapture the sweaty chaos of SDCC, you can always throw on your cosplay and stand directly in the sun while blasting the Super Mario theme on high volume.

What do you think of [email protected]? Who/what panels would you like to see?

(via Comic-Con International, image: Gage Skidmore)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.