Step aside COVID-19, comic book conventions are still going to happen. Well, sort of. Traditional comic conventions such as Emerald City Comic-Con and Wonder Con are still postponed. The days of people traveling to Washington for Emerald City Comic Con have come to a screeching halt. With everyone dealing with this pandemic, virtual comic conventions could be the cure.
Virtual cons mean exactly how they sound. Conventions are set up to be held online. In addition, many additional costs such as a physical location are eliminated. Though, the setup of a virtual con is identical to a physical one. Convention staples such as artist valley, shop exclusives, and comic panels are displayed online.
Comic artist and writer panels will still occur, as it can be live-streamed through outlets such as Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter. Meaning, comic fans can listen and follow in the comfort of their home. Artist alley is also accessed through a website. Generally, the site will show a picture of an artist’s featured work. Their social media handle will also be displayed for contact. In addition, a hyperlink will connect to the artist’s shop or personal site for fans.
Shop exclusives will display their products in the same manner as if you were actually there. If anything, a fan can purchase it online without the hassle of standing in line. For example, while Wondercon is postponed, nevertheless, Funko ran their virtual con and displayed shop exclusives on March 19 and 20th.
Facebook is synonymous with hosting several virtual comic cons. Particularly, one is hosted by the Geek Asylum Facebook group. This digital con is set to feature stars from shows such as Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. The chance to interact with individuals from these shows sounds like an awesome experience. It is a great way for people to take their minds off the virus pandemic. While many virtual cons are free, this one, in particular, is not. Though the fee is not much, and tickets are available for 50,000 spots. If anything, all the proceeds go to the COVD-19 solidarity fund. A fund that is dedicated that supports the World Health Organization’s (WHO) efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
To sum up, virtual comic cons can provide alternative entertainment for fans. These cons may not provide the physical nostalgia of a traditional convention, but let’s be real. During this pandemic, people need to adapt to the best of their situation. With that, virtual cons deliver a unique experience for people who do not want to travel out of their way. In addition, the format of these cons which include podcasts, live streams, and online shop exclusives follow the trend of many individuals that prefer in a changing world. As popular as San Diego Comic-Con is, there are some individuals who cannot and will not deal with waiting in endless lines for artist signings or actor panels. If anything, virtual cons do offer an alternative way of enjoying the experience of a comic convention right in the comfort of their home.
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