WonderCon -- an Anaheim-based comics convention hosted by the same nonprofit that runs Comic Con International in San Diego -- has become one of the first major conventions of 2021 to officially go virtual as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The event, which is set to take place on March 26 and 27 of this year, will be branded as WonderCon@Home and will feature virtual experiences, panels, and events. Some fans on social media have balked at the decision, citing last weekend's Super Bowl, which was able to happen in person by way of a reduced capacity and social distancing, but the rules in Florida (where the Super Bowl took place) are much more relaxed than in California, and football games are a less tactile and interactive experience than comic book conventions.
There aren't many details yet as to exactly what content to expect; some exhibitors have been avoiding virtual conventions, and others -- such as DC -- have held back a lot of content for their own virtual events. Still, with WonderCon potentially offering a glimpse into Comic Con's future, it's likely some who wants to be sure to be part of Comic-Con@Home will jump on board WonderCon now to get the kinks out.
You can read the statement below.
"2020 was a difficult year all around. For the first time in the history of our organization, we were unable to have in-person events for WonderCon or Comic-Con. We have hoped that by now, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic might have subsided enough that we could once again come together in person for a traditional WonderCon event. Sadly, as we continue to monitor the latest information from healthcare officials, we have determined the interest of public safety will prevent this spring’s WonderCon from moving forward as an in-person convention.
"Our commitment to the community of fans who enjoy WonderCon and the celebration of comics and related popular art remains an important part of who we are. It is because of that dedication that we are happy to announce that WonderCon will again be held as the virtual WonderCon@Home. The challenges of this past year and the postponement of our two largest events have left us with limited financial resources, therefore WonderCon@Home will be a two-day celebration instead of the usual three days as we continue to marshal our resources for Comic-Con this summer.
"While we may be limited in days, we will not be limited in scope. We are currently in the process of lining up great programming, amazing exhibitors, terrific gaming, and all of the many aspects that make WonderCon a fan-favorite event. We sincerely hope that you will join us for the WonderCon@Home celebration on Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, 2021.
"We would like to thank everyone for your continued support as we anxiously look forward to a time when we can once again meet in person to celebrate comics, popular art, and spend time with our dedicated community of fans."