DC have decided to pull out of their planned appearance at the Emerald City Comic Con later this month, as well as all other conventions for the rest of the month, per a statement released to ComicBook.com this evening. The publisher said that conventions going forward after March will be evaluated at that time. DC joins Dark Horse Comics and Penguin Random House, both of whom announced today that they would not attend Emerald City Comic Con as King County, Washington (where the convention takes place) is under a state of emergency after more than a dozen cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) have been detected in Washington State and three people have died. King County has not specifically asked that large gatherings be rescheduled or cancelled, but given the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that people should avoid crowds if possible, it seems like an easy leap to make.
With a number of companies and conventions electing to shut down big group meetings in recent days, Emerald City Comic Con has so far elected to keep the show on the schedule, instead focusing on keeping the facilities cleaner and less conducive to passing germs along. Convention organizers have said that they are monitoring the situation, but so far the onus is on fans and exhibitors to decide whether to pull out.
"As the health and safety of our employees are always our primary concerns, DC staffers will not be attending conventions during the month of March," per a statement released to ComicBook.com. "Future convention attendance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the latest information from a variety of organizations, including the CDC, WHO, U.S. State Department and local health agencies."
Presently there are about 100 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States, with an expected jump in the weeks to come since COVID-19 can be present without symptoms for a while.
Earlier this week, Warner Bros. announced that they would cancel the planned New York premiere of Superman: Red Son, the DC Universe animated movie that is set to hit DVD and Blu-ray later this month. Reports came later that indicated that WarnerMedia was limiting travel across the board in response to the outbreak.0comments
With no clear end to the current viral outbreak in sight, the start of convention season will present a lot of question marks for comic book fans and professionals as companies weigh concerns about the spread of disease with the need to carry on their day-to-day business and make the big announcements common to major conventions.
Keep your eye on ComicBook.com for more on this developing story.