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Never been to San Diego Comic-Con? This is your year

With the con going virtual there is no barrier to entry. Attend panels and check out Artists' Alley from the comfort of your own home.
Credit: SDCC

If you’ve ever wanted to go to San Diego Comic-Con and couldn’t swing a ticket, this is YOUR year. It is perhaps the one thing we have to thank COVID-19 for – SDCC is virtual this year and you will be able to access all the panels you might have otherwise missed.

Beginning on Wednesday, July 22 there will be panels that you will be able to access online and at Comic-Con’s YouTube page.

There is a full schedule of panels through Sunday, July 26.

Not only are there panels to appease just about every nerd, from discussion comics that deal with real-world issues like racism and socioeconomic issues to how to teach courses using comics to the ethics of a mask/the power of anonymity – there are also challenges you can participate in at home which can bring some of the fun of Comic-Con into your house.

A big part of cons is, of course, cosplaying, and people who spend all year on their costumes still have the opportunity to display them in a cosplay challenge where winners will be picked in a number of categories.

Those who aren’t into getting in costume can participate in the sidewalk art challenge.

And super fans of the Comic-Con experience at home can do a sort of bingo situation where you can earn achievements by participating in different Comic-Con at home events and earn achievements for them.

There will also be the beloved Artists' Alley – but of course, it will be virtual like everything else. It will include artists' virtual stores, which will include exclusives that were going to be sold at SDCC, exhibitors, small press and fan tables, just like the real Artists' Alley does.

Though this Comic-Con looks a lot different than the years before, it seems that there are still a lot of activities for people who head to cons to do more than shop. But hey, if retail therapy is how you're dealing with quarantine, the Artists' Alley line-up is truly begging to make my wallet hurt.

It is a unique experience that the panels will be available for anyone. Even people who get tickets to SDCC (which is a hell of a process in and of itself) are not guaranteed to get into the panel of their choice. Moving the experience virtual is one of the first group comic experiences the nerd world has had. Many comic cons canceled due to the pandemic and few did online gatherings, but none to this extent. It really gives people from all over the chance to experience some of the SDCC magic.

Check out the website for the rest of the events going on for the five days of SDCC. Don't forget to print out your own badge!

Destiny Johnson is a digital reporter at KGW in Portland, Oregon. She also hosts a YouTube show called Nerd News with Destiny which covers all manner of nerd news including comics and video games. She'd love it if you subscribed. I'm writing this in third person and it feels weird, bye.

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