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San Diego Comic-Con backtracks on Thanksgiving weekend event [Update]

In a story broken by Geoff Keighley, San Diego Comic-Con looks to have backtracked on plans to hold a special in-person event on Thanksgiving weekend.

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Update: The Comic-Con International team posted the following statement in the hours following Geoff Keighley's tweet, indicating that the in-person event is still tentatively on:

Due to recent inquiries, we would like to clarify that the traditional Comic-Con in-person event in San Diego, normally held in July, has been postponed until summer 2022. However, Comic-Con@Home will return as an online event on July 23-25, 2021. This fall we’re planning a smaller, supplemental event we’re calling Comic-Con Special Edition, taking place on November 26-28, 2021. It is our hope that by that point, conditions will permit in-person public gatherings of this kind. As details are still being finalized, badge cost, attendance capacity, and related information will be forthcoming.

We will continue to monitor this story for the latest.

Original story: As more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine each day, a return to normalcy feels inevitable. San Diego Comic-Con was not quite ready to hold its annual in-person convention in July but had announced plans a few weeks ago to hold a special Thanksgiving weekend gathering. The San Diego Comic-Con 2021 Special Edition, however, does not appear to be happening, according to Geoff Keighley.

While Keighley issued this statement on Twitter on Tuesday morning, it should be noted that there is no official word from Comic-Con itself on the matter. Comic-Con Special Edition was originally announced at the end of March, a decision that met backlash due to its timing for the Thanksgiving holiday. For the past week or so, the organization has had the following statement on its front page, indicating that the Thanksgiving event was always up in the air:

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.

(Photo credit: Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The other wild card in this matter involves the use of the San Diego Convention Center for the ongoing influx of migrants. The San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported that the San Diego Convention Center, which would normally house Comic-Con, has opened up temporarily for unaccompanied migrant children. The report adds that the California Border Patrol rounded up more than 18,000 children in the last month. How long the Convention Center will be used in this capacity is unknown at this time.

We'll be following this story closely, watching for any further word from Comic-Con International. Keep it here on Shacknews for any updates regarding the immediate future of San Diego Comic-Con.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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