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Comic-Con at Home is free: How to watch SDCC 2020 and what to expect

Ever year round now, the crowds are descending into Southern California for the massive personal cultural blowout known as San Diego Comic-Con. It will not happen this summer because of coronavirus pandemic, but fans can join another type of collection.

The organizers are planning Comic-Con @ Home, a digital version of the event, for July 22-26. A preview video boasts free parking and comfortable chairs, the personalized snacks and the lack of lines that come with the home conference experience. Here̵

7;s a guide to everything we know about how Comic-Con @ Home will work.

The basics of Comic-Con 2020

Comic-Con @ Home will take place online from July 22-26, and unlike the actual event, it’s free. But just like the actual event, there are expected to be over 350 panels featuring actors, writers and more famous names from the worlds of television, movies, games and series.

Comic-Con panels usually reveal long-awaited teasers, trailers and news from the entertainment world. The online panels should still boast of some of that, but with so many movie delays due to COVID-19, it is possible that some movies and programs will not be as far as usual and may not have previews ready to be shown yet.

All panels will be pre-recorded, The Wrap reported on July 6, so there will be no live fan interaction with panelists. Still, some shows, such as the animated Netflix show The Dragon Prince, have invited fans to send questions to their panels.

How to follow

Subscribe now to Comic-Cons’ official YouTube channel and sign up for notifications. This way you get the latest news when the panels have been published online. You can also check out Comic-Cons’ official Toucan blog for the latest. SDO unofficial blog is also a good place for news and desire.

Hot panels to look for

Who will participate? All! If you’re a sci-fi, fantasy, animated or comic junkie, this is your downside. Look for everything from large Hollywood blockbuster panels to small indie series. You can scan through the entire schedule here, but here are seven to look at.

Star Trek Universe

Space is still the last limit. This panel brings together cast members and producers from Star Trek: Discovery, the new animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, and Star Trek: Picard. Participants will include Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, Marina Sirtis, Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh, Wilson Cruz, Rebecca Romijn, Mike McMahan and more. Get engaged!
Thursday, July 23 at 10 PT

Marvels 616

The Yes, Marvel will present at the virtual Comic-Con 2020. Here is what is planned is huge and complex. Marvel’s 616 is an anthology series coming to Disney Plus, and each episode will explore a different corner of the Marvel Universe. Author and host Angélique Roché will moderate the panel, which includes directors Gillian Jacobs and Paul Scheer and executive producers Sarah Amos and Jason Sterman.
Thursday, July 23 at 1 p.m. PT

The new mutants

Some superhero movies are awful, but a superhero horror movie? The New Mutants movie hopes to pull it off. The New Mutants is a group of teenage mutant heroes who train, a spinoff of Marvel’s X-Men universe. Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones fame and Charlie Heaton of Stranger Things are among the stars who will be on this virtual panel.
Thursday, July 23 at 2 p.m. PT

The Walking Dead

Chris Hardwick, who hosts the Walking Dead after the show Talking Dead, will moderate a panel on AMC’s zombie show. Cast Norman Reedus (Daryl), Melissa McBride (Carol), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie) will be featured, as well as executive producers Greg Nicotero and Scott Gimple, and showrunner Angela Kang.
Friday, July 24 at 1 p.m. PT

Bob’s Burgers

Fire up the grill. Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard and his voice actors, including H. Jon Benjamin (Bob), John Roberts (Linda), Kristen Schaal (Louise), Eugene Mirman (Gene), Dan Mintz (Tina) and Larry Murphy (Teddy) will discuss the animated Fox comedy and answer questions about fans.
Friday, July 24 at 4 p.m.

Correct things

The landing of the Apollo moon was more than 50 years ago, but it still fascinates almost everyone who has ever stared at the sky. The new original Disney Plus series The Right Stuff is a scripted series that looks back to the early days of the space program, after seven astronauts as they prepare to make history. Real NASA royalty will help with this – former astronaut Mae Jemison will moderate the panel, which will feature the huge role, as well as showrunner Mark Lafferty and executive producer Jennifer Davisson.
Saturday 25 July at 13 PT

Bill & Ted Face the Music

Dudes, were excellent against each other. Bill & Ted Face the Music reunites Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as the now middle-aged rock friends, who have their own daughters. Filmmaker Kevin Smith – yes, Kevin Smith – will moderate the panel, which will include Reeves, Winter, director Dean Parisot and writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson.
Saturday 25 July at 15.00 PT

Cosplay, but not personally

It’s hard to imagine Comic-Con without the colorful and creative cosplayers attending the conference dressed as everything from superheroes to anime characters to robots to mythological creatures. Unfortunately, this year no one will encounter the Hulk in the corridor on the way to get a sausage, but the organizers say that there will be a virtual version of the event’s annual Masquerade, its cosplay exhibition.

“Call all customers!” the tweet began. “For this year’s virtual masquerade, a page will be our stage. Participants can see your entry as a video presentation or a series of photos showing your cosplay talents on the official Comic-Con Tumblr page.” A linked page provides more specific details. Applications are limited to a maximum of 50, so apply soon if you hope to be one of them.

The masquerade site will go live on July 23, but entries will be judged in advance, and winners will be announced online on July 24.

If cosplay is not your thing, maybe chalk art? Comic-Con invites interested fans to submit photos of their own family-friendly chalk masterpieces. Selected entries will be displayed on the conference website or on social media.

Watch parties

Part of the fun of Comic-Con personally was sharing with your friends. There is a virtual version this year. Comic-Con offers online watch parties for nerd-favorite movies, such as Monty Python and Holy Grail and Space Balls, where fans can watch the movie and comment, Mystery Science Theater 3000-style, as the movies develop. Please note that you need a subscription to which service the movie is connected to, such as Disney Plus, Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Shop for things

Comic-Con is so huge, visitors need a map of the exhibition hall to have any hope at all of finding their way. The same goes for the virtual version. On July 22, Comic-Con @ Home Online Exhibit Hall will go live. The interactive floor plan allows visitors to click on a cross-section of exhibitors and will include “company listings, exclusive products for sale, campaign links” and more, the organization says. Campaign links and company listings sound like a yawn to us, but limited edition products can be interesting. We have to see what is offered.

Book it

Comic-Con is still planning to publish a souvenir book in 2020 to celebrate the big event. Usually, the book is a full-color paper book given to all participants for free. This year’s book will be a downloadable PDF and should be available around July 23. It contains bios and photos of the event’s guests, tributes to industry stars who have died in the past year, special series and articles. This year’s edition will mark events including the 100th anniversary of the late sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury and the 50th anniversary of Conan the Barbarians’ first appearance in series. Fans could submit articles and artwork earlier in the year.

Honor writers

Six authors are honored with the Bill Finger Award, which honors the memory of William Finger, Batman’s first author. The organizers of the congress decided that it would not be fair to honor a living recipient for a year when the person has no event to attend in person, so all six awards go to authors who have died. Their biographies are rich and can be read on the Comic-Con website.

See you next year?

Comic-Con organizers hope for a regular, personal gathering in San Diego 2021, even if the coronavirus pandemic goes, it’s someone’s guess if it’s possible. Currently, the 2021 Comic-Con is set for July 22-25 at the sprawling San Diego Convention Center.

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