(W)In Quarantine – Where In The World Is San Diego ComiCon?
For the first time since the con launched in 1969, San Diego ComiCon is taking the year off. This may not be a surprise, but it’s somewhere between disappointing and catastrophic news, depending on whether your favourite summer destination was cancelled or if your main source of income has been taken from you during an already shaky year.
SDCC, and most local cons, have come off like they were bound to hit critical mass soon, with cons publicly negotiating with their host cities for larger convention space to accommodate every year’s record breaking attendance. I don’t think anyone predicted that what caused the bubble burst would be attendees inability to attend the conventions, but here we are. Gen Con, scheduled for the first weekend in August, is one of the bigger conventions to not publicly postpone or cancel this year’s event, but I highly doubt it’s happening this year. August may feel far away, but even if quarantine is lifted by then, experts are suggesting that social distancing should be observed for long after. Conventions are the opposite of social distancing, and coming back from a major convention with a longbox of weird symptoms is already commonplace, with the well-earned nick name Con Crud.
Shortly after I started writing this article, Montreal Comic Con announced that they too were cancelling their 2020 event. Like SDCC, this was the obvious right call, and one everyone saw coming, but it’s still a bummer being told not to expect a con until 2021.
When I get nostalgic for the days when myself and 50 other attendees packed into the basements of office buildings for local comic conventions, I watch the first 10 minutes of Chasing Amy. Anyone who isn’t familiar with late 90s comic con (or is familiar with the budget of Chasing Amy) might think that director Kevin Smith cheaped out on the con scenes that bookend that movie. To me, they are the most authentic scenes he’s ever directed, and bring me back to my teens, when every booth had unique treasures that I may have seen mentioned in Wizard magazine but never saw in person.
To get over the similar void not having any similar cons to confidently look forward to this year, I might rewatch The Guild season 5. The Guild changed how I thought about the Internet and how it empowered artists in ways television gatekeepers kept us out of, and I remember Season 5 being a highlight of the series. Hopefully this doesn’t backfire and make me miss cons that much more…