SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The 2021 edition of Comic-Con officially kicked off on Friday, but just like in 2020, the pop culture convention is being held virtually.
While the Con is “@Home” for the second straight summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, that didn’t stop groups of fans from celebrating in downtown San Diego Friday morning.
In a sight not seen in what feels like a long time, ABC 10News was in the Gaslamp Quarter as dozens of people dressed up as superheroes ready to take on villains as bystanders took pictures and checked out their cool cars.
Chris Canole, or “Dude Vader” as he calls himself, said he helped organize a cosplayer community shrine as a way of keeping the spirit of Comic-Con alive.
“We wanted to put this all together for everyone who missed this year, this is our gift back to the community of San Diego,” Canole said.
Meanwhile Comic-Con organizers put together virtual workshops that people can log onto, something many are hoping will stick around once the actual convention returns.
Leana Ahmed, a participant added, “I like the fact that more people got the opportunity to attend online and virtually versus in person, because it’s so hard to get a ticket to the show. I’m hoping next year they do something online as well as in person.”
The group of cosplayers will be near the convention center for the next three days. They have organized a blood drive and will have a small parade of costumes on Friday afternoon.
As for the convention center, crews are getting the facility ready as the first convention is scheduled to arrive in the beginning of August.
Officials say more than 150 convention center events were canceled or postponed because of the pandemic, costing an estimated $2.3 billion in lost revenue and about $50 million in tax revenue for the City of San Diego.