SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- There could be two versions of Comic-Con San Diego in 2021 -- one being a virtual experience and the other a much smaller in-person event later in the year.
Comic-Con organizers announced Monday that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced them to once again transition the traditional in-person summer event to an online celebration.
In 2020, Comic-Con went virtual with its free Comic-Con@Home experience due to the pandemic. This year, the Comic-Con@Home online event is returning for a July 23-25 run.
Last month, Comic-Con -- citing the pandemic and its limited financial resources -- canceled its 2021 edition of WonderCon in Anaheim, opting for a free online WonderCon@Home on March 26-27.
Comic-Con organizers also announced a smaller, in-person convention that could be held in San Diego in November.
"Our thinking is that by November, things will be a little bit back to normal, so we're going to try to mount an in-person event," Comic-Con spokesperson David Glanzer said. "We'll probably still elbow meet, and we may be wearing masks. But we'll at least able to see each other again."
Organizers said of the November event: “While we lament the postponement of the in-person Comic-Con, our commitment to this community of fans and our celebration of comics and the related popular arts endures as an important part of who we are. As the timing and scope of our larger event factored greatly into our decision to postpone, we believe that launching a smaller in-person event at a later time may be a safe alternative. For this reason, we are happy to announce that San Diego Comic Convention is planning to present a three-day in-person convention in San Diego in November. At this time, we are still working on specific details as to attendance capacity, badge cost, and related information, and those details will be forthcoming. Please continue to visit our website, comic-con.org, for official updated information as it becomes available.”
ABC 10News spoke to comic book enthusiast Rick Dominguez. He has been going to the convention since the 1980's.
"I've been going since it was like five bucks to get into Comic-Con!" he said.
He said it had become a family event in recent years, where he takes his children to check out the art booths and buy collectible items. He was disappointed to hear that the event would be canceled two years in a row.
"They go so all out to make these booths and that tactile and visual being there, in-person experience that you don't get watching online," Dominguez said.
However, Dominguez said he is excited about the November event.
"I would be very interested in going, especially if they took a little more precautions to where it wasn't as packed," Dominguez said.
Comic-Con organizers said attendees who bought badges for the 2020 convention and had them rolled over to 2021 will have those badges rolled over into 2022, unless they request a refund.
According to organizers: “To submit a badge refund request, visit www.comic-con.org/cci/comic-con-cancellationrefund-policy. All confirmed exhibitors with a rollover payment from Comic-Con 2020 will receive a separate email with instructions and deadlines for continuing to forward your payment on to Comic-Con 2022, or for requesting a refund. In addition, we are currently working on an option for those wishing to transfer their badge or exhibitor deposits/payments as full or partial payment towards our 2021 November event. Information will be forthcoming, so please watch your email inbox and the Comic-Con website for further details.”