So San Diego Comic-Con 2020 is Shut Down. What’s Next?

Program Schedule | Comic-Con International: San Diego

When San Diego Comic-Con announced this morning that it’s cancelled for this year, other events must follow suit. This news was inevitable because of Wondercon preferring to err on the side of caution. With no surprise, Anime Expo 2020 is next to be cancelled until next year. In the Pacific Northwest, that means Emerald City Comic Con, managed by ReedPOP, should be brought back next year than continue this summer. I understand they are a business and is motivated to give a show (making a profit or not) than bite the bullet. When the grandmother of all pop culture events made the tough call, all other events should pay attention. Even concerts from the likes of ZZ Top and KISS are not likely to continue; It’s ironic to note that it’s not quite the “End of the Road” yet when it’s postponed.

Pushing a show to another season is not always the best idea. When Covid-19 is a virus that doesn’t pick who to infect and has no known medical cure, every mass gathering is just courting disaster and potential law-suits. The request by the government to the populace to stay at home is to mitigate the number of people getting infected. When stepping out for doing essential tasks is required, all the top doctors advice is to keep your distance away from other folks. Having as many barriers all around you might help prevent catching or spreading it, but there’s no guarantee.

If I am to attend any event, I’m cosplaying! I can think of a lot of characters who have a mask as part of their wardrobe. To make it a truly protective means customizing them so filters can be put in to block out those deadly microscopic particles. I’m sure there will be a surge of Cobra grunts, Stormtroopers and Mandolarians. I’m not tall enough to be Darth Vader or bulky to be Bane, but I can be The Rocketeer or Snake Eyes! There’s even the choice of the dozen characters from Mortal Kombat. Failing that, there’s always walking around like a ninja. Whatever the choice, the modification to the costume must include a proper filter so that you’re breathing from your own oxygen supply instead of the surrounding air. That’s the only way to be safe.

Failing that, there’s always going virtual. I’ve teased on the forums I’m on about using a platform like Second Life to get your geek on. Attempts have been made from shows early this year to go online. As for how successful they were–many operations have been mum.

Comics and Entertainment at the Calgary Expo
Calgary Expo Packs ’em in! But not so much for the future…

I’m more curious about the impact for the future. While some have moved to the Summer, namely Calgary Expo and Emerald City Comic Con along with a handful of others, the decision makers involved are hopeful that all the embargoes and restrictions will be lifted by then. For international geeks, not everyone will be as invested to travel to another country. In these trying times, complete travel insurance is a must!

Even if a show is to take place later this year, there’s a potential for this virus to strike hard and make matters far worse. Even though some attendees are healthy, or have recovered, they are still carriers! Reports from science websites, like, iterate “… 25% of people infected with the new coronavirus don’t present any symptoms or fall ill but can still transmit the illness to others.”

That’s a large number of people event organizers have to consider gambling on. If it wasn’t for how easily and quickly this virus has impacted an entire world, then taking a chance will mar that show for life. High-profile events have to decide on what to do best for the fandom than for the pocketbook. Instead of considering how much money can be made, it should be in how many lives can be saved. The show will go on. All anyone has to do is to be patient and wait for next year when vaccines and a cure becomes available.

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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