SAN DIEGO — San Diego Comic-Con announced its Comic-Con@Home event will take place on the originally scheduled dates, July 22-26, and the event will be entirely free.
In-person events at the San Diego Convention Center were canceled in April for this July.
"For the first time in our 50-year history, we are happy to welcome virtually anyone from around the globe," said SDCC spokesperson David Glanzer. "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."
Going from in your face to on your screen, Comic-Con 2020 is virtual kicking off Wednesday lasting until Sunday.
“It'll be a lot like Comic-Con, but you get to sit in your comfy chair at home,” said Glanzer.
Glanzer highlighted the perks of free parking, comfy chairs, personal snacks and no lines.
Online attendees can download their very own souvenir book that has over 250 colorful pages of all things comic and pop culture. This year, the cover celebrates famous sci-fi author Ray Bradbury's legacy.
"You can see every panel you want to see. In the past, one of the challenges with Comic-Con is the space limitation we've had,” Glanzer said.
Glanzer stressed there will not be any camping out waiting to get inside like years past as it will be virtual, open seating for the five-day festival.
On Wednesday, there will be a "Comics in the Classroom” panel, and Thursday takes a serious tone.
"One of the panels that I'm looking forward to is 'Art and the Holocaust,' and it's actually talking about how art is used both in a positive way and oftentimes in a negative way,” Glanzer said.
It’ll be star power on Friday featuring Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron in her "Action Hero Career" panel.
Saturday has the “Afrofuturism: Black to the Future” panel at 6 p.m.
“Hopefully Comic-Con at home will give a little bit of a respite to looking at the four walls in our homes. Maybe for a few days we can forget about the outside world to a degree,” Glanzer said.
If you love dressing up in a costume, this year you still can at home and win a prize for the “Virtual Masquerade Costume Competition.”
An online exhibit hall will still sell merchandise, and multiple panels and presentations about comics and popular culture will be available for attendees. Activities such as a masquerade and gaming competitions will also be available, and badges can be printed from home. There is no limit to the number of attendees.
The in-person convention cancellation is costing Comic-Con tens of millions, in addition to the businesses and hotels taking a hit, but all is not a loss as sponsors have stepped in and many moved their badge registration to next year.
“We look forward to 2021 when we hope that we can all get back together in person,” Glanzer said.