Comic-Con International has issued a clarifying statement about the Comic-Con Special Edition convention they announced over the weekend. They also attempted to explain why they chose Thanksgiving weekend for the event.
This weekend’s announcement was for a smaller convention that would be held Nov. 26-28, though few details were shared. Part of the reason for the event would be to “shore up our financial reserves and mark a slow return to larger in-person gatherings in 2022,” CCI said in their original statement.
The announcement received some backlash, however, from creators and fans; this CNBC story rounds up several pieces of feedback from Charles Soule, Dan Slott and others, who question why they would schedule the event for Thanksgiving.
“My family missed Thanksgiving last year because of the pandemic,” wrote Dan Slott. “This year, we’ll all be vaccinated. There’s no way I’d be attending any event instead of spending that time with them. Even if everything were magically back to normal. I can’t imagine others feeling differently.”
In the new statement, CCI questions whether a November event will even be feasible, “as we are still in the midst of the pandemic and while we are optimistic about Q4, we have not been privy to any specific information on large gatherings.”
“Our decision to hold an in-person event in 2021 was driven by a number of factors,” the new statement begins. “Our primary hope was to be able to gather in-person as a community, something we have not been able to do since early last year. Another was to try to determine how best to effectively and safely produce events in light of current health concerns with the least negative impact on attendees.”
Due to a “very packed Convention Center calendar,” they said Thanksgiving weekend would “the best balance of available space and our envisioned event.”
You can read their entire statement below:
Our decision to hold an in-person event in 2021 was driven by a number of factors. Our primary hope was to be able to gather in-person as a community, something we have not been able to do since early last year. Another was to try to determine how best to effectively and safely produce events in light of current health concerns with the least negative impact on attendees.
As conventions and events have had to cancel their in-person shows or have converted to virtual formats during the pandemic, some have been postponed to later years while others have been rescheduled to the later part of 2021, resulting in a very packed Convention Center calendar. When reviewing dates for an in-person event, it was clear that available meeting and exhibit space would limit our options. Of the dates presented with the fewest restrictions, Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend seemed to be the best balance of available space and our envisioned event. As longtime fans ourselves, we have attended many conventions over that holiday weekend, opting to spend Thanksgiving day with family and the rest of the weekend with friends and our families of choice. While this is not unusual in the convention trade, we understand this choice is not optimal for everyone.
Comic-Con Special Edition was never intended to be the large gathering reflective of the summer event. As a shorter event, it was our attempt to start slowly and cautiously while at the same time addressing the desire from fans to have an in-person show. There are still many factors that are unknown to us at this time, including space accommodations, travel restrictions, capacity restrictions, and required safety protocols. While open to all and with the hope that we will be able to accommodate fans from all over, we understand that due to potential travel-based restrictions and challenges, Comic-Con Special Edition may be an event attended mostly by fans more easily able to travel to San Diego.
Currently we do not know whether having this event in November is even feasible as we are still in the midst of the pandemic and while we are optimistic about Q4, we have not been privy to any specific information on large gatherings. However, it was our desire to have something in place for our fans who have longed for an in-person event. We truly hope that you will join us for this entry back into the world of in-person celebrations of the community we so love.