It was inevitable. Like last year, San-Diego Comic-Con 2021 will remain virtual. While there are multiple COVID-19 vaccines right now, the pandemic remains a very serious issue. And as much as everyone would like things to go back to normal, it’s unlikely that we’ll see anything close to “normal” anytime soon. With that in mind, Comic-Con has made the tough but wise choice to remain virtual for one more year.

Last year, Comic-Con canceled its in-person events, and that will remain true for 2021 as well. “It is the policy of the organization to continue to closely monitor information from local and national healthcare officials as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the organization said in a statement. “Never could we have imagined what the world experienced in 2020 and continues to experience today.”

As a result, the organizes have “made the challenging decision to postpone Comic-Con 2021 as an in-person gathering until our 2022 dates, and once again hold this year’s celebration as the free online [email protected] Unfortunately, the challenges of this past year and the multiple postponements of our two largest events have left us with limited financial resources, so this year the online experience will be reduced to a three-day event, spanning July 23-25, 2021.”

The statement continues:

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.

If you purchased badges that were rolled over to the 2021 show, you will have those badges automatically transferred to the 2022 event unless a refund is requested. To submit a badge refund request, visit www.comic-con.org/cci/comic-con-cancellationrefund-policy.

One has to wonder what other in-person events will follow suit. SXSW is remaining virtual this year, and while some international events like the Cannes Film Festival still hope to have an in-person, non-virtual experience, domestic gatherings remain in doubt. That said, virtual events can still yield good results. The virtual DC Fandome was a surprise success last year, and while the 2020 virtual Comic-Con was a bit of a bust, they’ve hopefully learned from the experience and are ready for something better in 2021.

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