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What to Expect From Comic-Con at Home

San Diego Comic-Con logo.

In a normal world, we’d be getting ready for San Diego Comic-Con right now by running down the announced panels, planning what to catch and what we’d have to give up. We’d be prepping cosplays and feeling the excitement rise, along with the anxiety. But in our current COVID-19 world, we’re already anxious all the time, and there’s no big trip to be excited for. But there is still Comic-Con! And this year we don’t have to worry about missing anything.

Yes, SDCC is going online this year, with Comic-Con@Home, and while there won’t be as much programming, the fact that every panel will be available to anyone from anywhere certainly to make up for it. The full schedule hasn’t yet been announced but what we already have is pretty amazing, and all of them will be accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Many major fan-favorite shows will have panels (though the exact date and time for all of them hasn’t been revealed): Wynonna Earp, His Dark Materials, Bob’s Burgers, The Walking Dead, Vikings, Motherland: Fort Salem, The Simpsons, and many more. A few entertainment panels we already have in our calendar include:

The Star Trek Universe bloc, which livestreams Thursday, July 23 at 10:00 a.m. pacific:

 Join us as we virtually bring together the casts and producers from STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, new animated series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS and STAR TREK: PICARD. Dominic Patten, Deadline’s senior editor, moderates the overall “Star Trek” Universe panels with an introduction and discussion with Secret Hideout executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin, who give a glimpse of what’s ahead in the ever-expanding franchise. The cast of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY reprise their roles in a virtual table read of the season two finale, “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2.” Cast scheduled to appear include Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou), Doug Jones (Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Commander Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Ensign Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), Tig Notaro (Commander Jett Reno), Alan Van Sprang (Captain Leland), Jayne Brook (Admiral Katrina Cornwall), and the Discovery Bridge crew Emily Coutts (Lt. Detmer), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. J.G. Owosekun), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Rhys), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. J.G. Bryce), Sara Mitich (Lt. Nilsson), and upcoming STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS stars Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Rebecca Romijn (Number One) and Ethan Peck (Spock), alongside STAR TREK: DISCOVERY executive producer and co-showrunner Michelle Paradise and executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi, who also directed the season two finale. Act one of the table read will be shown at Comic-Con@Home followed by a brief cast Q&A. Mike McMahan (“Rick and Morty,” “Solar Opposites”), creator, showrunner and executive producer of the upcoming animated series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS, which premieres on CBS All Access on Thursday, August 6, will debut an exclusive extended first look from the premiere episode. McMahan also moderates a fun discussion with the Starfleet crew residing in the “lower decks” of the U.S.S. Cerritos, including Ensign Beckett Mariner, voiced by Tawny Newsome, Ensign Brad Boimler, voiced by Jack Quaid, Ensign Tendi, voiced by Noël Wells, and Ensign Rutherford, voiced by Eugene Cordero, as well as the ship’s bridge crew including Captain Carol Freeman, voiced by Dawnn Lewis, Commander Jack Ransom, voiced by Jerry O’Connell, Lieutenant Shaxs, voiced by Fred Tatasciore, and Doctor T’Ana, voiced by Gillian Vigman. Join Patrick Stewart and the lively cast of the hit original series STAR TREK: PICARD, as they come together (virtually) for the first time post-finale to discuss the critically acclaimed first season. Cast members scheduled to appear include Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dahj/Soji), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Raffi Musiker), and Santiago Cabrera (Cristobal Rios) along with special guest stars Brent Spiner(Data/Dr. Soong), Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh), Jonathan Frakes (William Riker), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi).

We’re excited to hear more about season two of Amazon The Boys on Thursday, July 23 at 3:00 p.m.

 Join executive producer Eric Kripke, along with series stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara and Aya Cash, with moderator Aisha Tyler, for a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming second season of The Boys. Executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will also make a special appearance. Based on The New York Times best-selling comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The Boys is a fun and irreverent take on what happens when superheroes – who are as popular as celebrities – abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. The even more intense, more insane Season Two finds The Boys on the run from the law, hunted by the Supes, and desperately trying to regroup and fight back against Vought.

We can’t wait to catch up with our favorite vampires from What We Do In The Shadows either. On Saturday, July 25th at 5:00, series stars Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Mark Proksch, Harvey Guillen, along with writers Paul Simms and Stefani Robinson will join for a panel moderated by none other than Haley Joel Osment.

Though there won’t be as many big movies at SDCC this year, since, well, there aren’t many movies coming out right now and no one honestly knows when anyone will go into a theater again, there will still be a few movies panels that look very fun and the two we’re most excited for have one thing in common: Keanu Reeves! Reeves will be online for both a panel for Bill and Ted Face the Music and a 15-year reunion for Constantine. Day and time for both have yet to be announced but, it’s not like you’ll be going anywhere.

But some of the best panels at SDCC are the smaller, more specialized, and intimate ones that focus on specific creators, issues, or topics, and those will be part of Comic-Con at home too. There’s many on the full schedule (which will be complete on Sunday) that we’re already interested in.

Like, “This is not the apocalypse you’re looking for” which seems especially relevant right now:

Things are rough right now, but we’re going to pull through together. Tyler Houston (comic and culture expert), Kelley M. Boston (infection prevention epidemiologist), Bobbiejean Garcia (public health epidemiologist), and Monti Pal (trauma therapist) talk about how disaster events and emergency management are often handled in pop-fiction, and in the real world. Art and fiction give us a way to think about our world as it is now and our future. Science fiction and comics are used as a frame to discuss how humans respond to disaster events, and how individuals and communities move from disaster to healing and wholeness.

Now you’ll notice a few big ComicCon staples are missing from the TV and movie line-ups: Marvel and DC. DC will be doing their own dedicated online event, DC Fandome, in August when their shows have hopefully started shooting again and they have some footage to show. As for Marvel, well, we don’t know. They’ve skipped the regular SDCC in years past as well, only to make big announcements at other cons or events like D23, but since those aren’t on the horizon either, who knows.

But there’s more than enough content at this virtual SDCC to keep us occupied, and for the first time ever, we don’t have to worry about when we need to line up or missing anything! What caught your eye?

(Via: SDCC Blog, image: Comic-Con International)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.