In a more normal world, I would have spent Wednesday through Sunday of last week methodically refreshing Google News to bring you the highlights of Comic-Con International: San Diego. You would see photos, links, commentary, and the occasional weirdness as I slowly went insane from seeing the umpteenth link to a celebrity party, Hall H shenanigans, and the usual unusual stuff that happens at what I describe as “Mardi Gras meets the Super Bowl”.

Not this year. Yes, I’m still ensconced at an undisclosed location, sitting in front of a computer, writing for The Beat. However, so are most of our staff, practicing social distancing, and hoping that Life does not imitate Art. Truth be told, I’m not very curious about what happens at Comic-Con, or similar shows. First, I’m there to meet comics creators, some of whom I know personally. I’m there to discover new stuff, acquire and curate my collection, and hangout with friends as we enjoy our fandoms. Second, The Beat has a crack staff of reporters at these shows. I’m part of that staff, but my coverage is that of the fan on the street; finding stuff that gets overlooked when everyone else is interviewing or reporting. I’m horrible at reportage. But because of others’ reportage, I can scroll down the list of articles posted every hour on this site and be informed.

That said, here’s a selection of what happened during the Year Without a Comic-Con. If you’ve seen something cool, let us know down below.


First up, Getty Images. They offer a lot of good photojournalism, and this year continues that tradition.

Not all heroes wear capes, but this year, they all wear masks.

AP? We can’t embed, but you can view them here.


WOW. I clicked an old link on CNN, thinking it would refresh to the current content. Nope. It’s stuck in 2011. Well, why not revisit a more pleasant time? Maybe there’s something here worth another look back. For example:

Lady Gaga went to geek camp, too

This 2010 article discusses the more prestigious summer camps for geeks and nerds.

…and finally, Google News. BUT! Don’t use it directly. Instead, perform a regular Google search, then click on the News tab, and then select your sorting criteria. I like “past week” (shorter if I’m constantly refreshing) and “sorted by date” so that the most recent results appear at the top of the first screen. If I’m coming in from overnight, then I’ll select “last 24 hours” and search until I reach results from the previous day.

Like so.


Comic-Con@Home Ends But Some Elements Will Live On

50 years of Comic-Con, and most of the panels are lost to time? We finally have a virtual Comic-Con, and that content won’t be available indefinitely? Let me see if I can find it… HERE.

Hmmm… no blanket exemption for public filming? I’ve seen that for ReedPop events. Generally, that’s so RP can use candid photos for publicity and other uses, and to cover press coverage.
That Comic-Con can’t archive panels from each show seems to run counter to their mission statement.

The SAN DIEGO COMIC CONVENTION (Comic-Con International) is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation organized for charitable purposes and dedicated to creating the general public’s awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, including participation in and support of public presentations, conventions, exhibits, museums and other public outreach activities which celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.


Moving on…

Here’s a zeitgeist:

Comic-Con At Home Failed to Generate Buzz, With YouTube Panels Averaging 15,000 Views

According to ListenFirst, tweets that mentioned Comic-Con at Home were down 95% from 2019’s live convention — just 93,681 tweets against 1,719,000 tweets in 2019. Tweets about the top 10 TV events were also down 93%, and tweets about the top 5 movie panels were down a whopping 99%.

Meanwhile, the YouTube numbers looked even more bleak. YouTube, which hosted the majority of the Comic-Con panels, showed an average of 15,000 views per panel on Thursday, on which the majority of this year’s biggest panels were scheduled. Variety notes that 15,000 people is over double the capacity for Hall H, Comic-Con’s biggest venue, but it’s a pitifully small number for a video on YouTube, where a minor viral hit will average in the millions.

We’ll see if numbers go viral. (My prediction: They won’t. I don’t think people will watch an hour-long panel. Podcast? Certainly.) In past years, most viral videos got taken down quickly, because they featured exclusive content. Also, if there was a Comic-Con video on YouTube, it was on the owner’s channel (such as Marvel) and not on CCI’s. Still, I’m certain the panelists and moderators are happy with those numbers (and Heidi’s already written about why using social media metrics might not be the best way to measure the con’s success). Certainly, it’s nice to generate buzz at Comic-Con, but I think marketeers are savvy enough to know that you don’t depend solely on Comic-Con, and the money spent to organize a panel is sometimes wasted. But that’s the gamble of Hall H…and why some corporations skip these presentations some years.


Column: Comic-Con 2020 has a Cinderalla ending for Oceanside fan

Her winning contest entry was titled “Cinderella With a Twist.”

Read the article. I won’t spoil it for you, but it is freakin’ amazing!
Comic-Con lists the winners, but does not provide any photos from the event. Nor is there a YouTube video. Oh…it’s on their Tumblr feed.


Fans Still Find Ways to Express Love for Comic-Con on Event’s Last Virtual Day

Here’s the video to the Comic-Con shrine pictured above.


The 5 Winners (and 3 Losers) of San Diego Comic-Con 2020 (at Home)

Gizmondo has a quick list. Comic-Con itself earns all three brickbats.

In related news:

These TV Companies’ Comic-Con Livestreams Went Dark Thanks to Their Own Copyright Claims

On Thursday, ViacomCBS livestreamed an hour-long panel for this year’s virtual SDCC to showcase properties in its ever-expansive Star Trek universe such as Picard, Discovery, and the upcoming Star Trek: Lower DecksThe stream briefly went dark, however, after YouTube’s copyright bots flagged the stream and replaced it with a warning that read: “Video unavailable: This video contains content from CBS CID, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

So, they were hoisted by their own Picard?
(Yes, I’ve waited decades to use that pun. I am not throwin’ away my shot. Even though this joke may bomb, you gotta have balls, to be, as the French might say, très buchet. You’ve got to be caliver. It could backfire on you, but it could also be dynamite. I guess I shouldn’t fulminate on it too much.)


COMIC-CON@HOME IS MISSING THE BEST PART OF COMIC-CON: THE “THIRD SPACE”

This is something con organizers don’t often consider because these third spaces come for free. If you assemble a group of people with common traits in a common space, they will establish their own socializing community, even if it wasn’t the focus of the event entirely.

So what’s the best way to build a third space for an event like Comic-Con that usually has them built-in? McCulloch suggests a solution used by an academic virtual conference she previously attended.

“They set up a Discord server with live streams of talks, but they had all these different channels, some of which were explicitly not topic-based,” she says. “So they would have channels called The Lobby, or The Bar, or just Spontaneous Room One, Spontaneous Room Two.”

I think that event planners, especially at sold-out shows, need to develop a robust online community that parallels the event. Events are already running metrics on their social media exposure. Imagine the revenue generated from a parallel, virtual experience! Hell, partner with Reddit to manage it all.


Economic loss from canceling in-person Comic-Con exceeds $160 million

The President and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center said the absence of an in-person convention means the loss of $166 million to the local economy.

Some of the money is in restaurant and retail sales, while a portion of the total comes from sales and hotel occupancy taxes. Those tax receipts help the City of San Diego pay for municipal services such as public safety, neighborhood libraries and parks.

Because of the Coronavirus, the San Diego Convention Center has lost 100 shows that were scheduled to take place between March and November.


From the Archives: Superman’s creator was a headliner at the 1975 Comic-Con

Clark Kent and Lois Lane are alive and well and living in Los Angeles.

Their true identities, of course, remain unknown to all but a few. To the public they are known only as Jerry Siegel, a mild-mannered civil service mail clerk and his wife, Joanne.

But their fans know.

The fans, about 3.000 of them, will pay the Siegels due homage next weekend at the 1975 San Diego Comic Convention at the El Cortez Hotel a gathering of funnies freaks and B-movie maniacs from all over the nation.


Okay… after 20 pages of results, I’m seeing posts from five days ago, which seems to cover most of Comic-Con.
Did I miss anything? What did you find amazing about Comic-Con @home?

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