Even if the conditions were not quite right to attend San Diego Comic-Con International in person this year, you can still attend Comic-Con @ Home online this weekend and enjoy all the events and vendors for free. Without lines. And free parking.
Comic-Con @ Home has been running since Wednesday, but there̵7;s still a lot to check out as it continues through Sunday. Just like a traditional Con, this one has a packed schedule with panels, exhibits, games and lots of other fun activities besides keeping everything online. Sure, it’s not exactly the same as wading hundreds of Harley Quinns and Psychos from Borderlands, but this time you do not have to worry about waiting in lines for hours (or wiping out your budget with impulsive purchases of fan art).
If you want to keep your Con experience as close to the real thing as possible, San Diego Comic-Con International has a page on their website with printable Comic-Con badges and signs. It even has audio files with classic SDCCI announcements (like those that welcome you to Con or point out where food is), as well as videos of interactions with volunteers asking you to have your brand ready. It’s the perfect atmosphere for your Con away from Con. You can also follow in real time by following #ComicConatHome and #ComicConAtHomeExperience on Twitter.
You can find the complete Comic-Con @ Home schedule on the SDCCI website, and you can build your own custom event schedule by signing up for a free account and logging in. Schedules are also split every day so you can see events for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can also go back and watch events that are already being broadcast just by clicking on a specific day and time on the schedule. Individual events display names, descriptions, start and end times and links to join the event when it starts. As expected, there are panels spanning a wide range of interests, from creating cosplay and writing video game stories to a celebration of queer comedians and discussing popular sci-fi shows like Disney Mandalorian.
Exhibit Hall & Artists’ Alley
One of the most exciting parts of a Con is spending hours walking through the exhibition hall and exploring stalls. From nerdy t-shirts and plushies to signed comic books and fan art, sorting through everything usually takes several days. This year, though, you can hop on the Comic-Con @ Home Tumblr page and check out their digital art show, which is the next best thing! The site is full of original art prints, indie series, jewelry and anime enamel pins. You can also see a virtual mockup of Con’s online exhibition hall and click on suppliers there to see their offers and links to their website where you can buy goods.
While it’s always entertaining to see a gaggle of Deadpools or Pyramid Heads running amok, it’s the original cosplay costumes that make the cons so fun. Thankfully, you can still see cosplay this year in the Masquerade costume contest, which will be held Friday, July 24th. You can see photos, videos and GIFs of over 50 costumes on Con’s Tumblr page. The winners will be announced on Saturday, and lots of cool prizes are at stake.
You can also check out free games, demonstrations, interviews and related events this weekend. There will be games and events from companies like Wyvern, Board Game Geek, Greenlit E-Sports, CMON, Frogwares and more. There will also be over 40 games to explore, including Gudetama: The Tricky Egg Card Game, Fortnite, Valorant, Pokemon, Munchkin Dungeon, Marvel United, Joe Manganiello Death Saves, Legendary New Mutants, Dungeon Draft, and more. Gaming events will be coordinated via Con’s Discord server through Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00 PDT.
Later on Friday, the prestigious Will Willner Comic Industry Awards 2020 are planned. These are pretty much Oscars from the comic book industry, and they honor creators in their respective categories. This year’s virtual award ceremony is organized by actor, comedian and voice actor Phil LaMarr, with announcements and presentations from Sergio Aragonés and Ruth Clampett. You can check out nominations here, and the judge’s panel and comments here.
Following the social distance management that Hulu took earlier this year, SDCC is hosting a number of bell parties via Scenes! You can watch movies and anime online with other participants and even join the chat. The only caveat is that you must have an active subscription to the corresponding video streaming service, such as Amazon Prime, to enjoy titles such as Clue, Star Wars Ep. IV, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the world, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: End Game. However, be sure to download the free Scenes Chrome extension before the movie starts.
Shop Comic-Con Merch
Exclusive Comic-Con @ Home sellers are now available in Con’s online store. You can also download and print the free 260-page Comic-Con Souvenir book and hope it has time for next year’s Con.
Hopefully you can enjoy some good panels and party, and maybe even find a way to still spend a small fortune on Funko Pops and Pokémon plushies. Although Comic-Con @ Home cannot be compared to experiencing Con personally, it is still a wonderful gesture and a great way to unite geeks and nerds of all kinds while keeping everyone safe at home.