In the face of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, many high profile comic book and fan conventions have been postponed and outright cancelled in order to quell the spread fo the virus. CinemaCon, SXSW, and E3 have all been cancelled with Emerald City Comic Con and ACE Comic Con Boston postponed for now. As a result, Wizard Entertainment Inc. has announced a new type of Wizard World event with the “Wizard World Virtual Experiences" officially announced by the company today, bringing the experience of Wizard World cons to fans online all around the world.
The online event will launch later this month with talent and groups involved with the event set to be announced later. According to a press release the event will give fans "the ability to purchase a personal one-minute video chat, :15- or :30-second personalized video recording, signed 8x10 photos and signed memorabilia, group chats and exclusive limited edition art." Live video panels will also be available, free for fans to watch and listen to, the Wizard World website and their social media platforms.
“‘Wizard World Virtual Experiences’ will bring the Wizard World experience to fans across the globe, wherever they live,” John D. Maatta, CEO, Wizard Entertainment, Inc said in a statement. “We will capture the excitement of interacting one-on-one with celebrities and creators in a format that will be unique and compelling.”
As of this writing it remains to be seen how far into the future events and conventions will be cancelled or postponed due to the spread of the virus. ComicBook.com previously reached out to the organizers of San Diego Comic-Con about how organizers are dealing with the potential threat of coronavirus and though SDCC is still five months away, it remains on the schedule for the time being as they monitor the situation.
The spread and outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus has resulted in many disruptions around the world with international travel restrictions and feature film productions being halted. For the time being, an online comic con may not have the same feel to it as the real thing, but it will be the best alternative to thousands of people arriving at one location.
According to the World Health Organization, who officially dubbed the Coronavirus outbreak a "pandemic" on Wednesday, there are 125,048 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide with 6729 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours. Worldwide there have been 4613 deaths. In the United States there have been 987 confirmed cases with 29 deaths as of this writing.