WonderCon to go virtual as the pandemic still lingers

WonderCon is an Anaheim-based comics convention hosted by the same nonprofit organisation that runs Comic Con International in San Diego. It has become one of the first major conventions of 2021 to officially go virtual as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The event, which is set to take place on 26 and 27 March  will be branded as WonderCon@Home.

In a decision that should not come as a shock to many, WonderCon will not be happening in person, marking 2021 as the second consecutive year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual mecca for studios and content creators to interact with pop-culture fans will feature virtual experiences, panels, and events. The fan gathering is organized by the Comic-Con International group and usually showcases new movies and TV shows.

On 11 February 2021, the organisers announced: “2020 was a difficult year all around. For the first time in the history of our organization, we were unable to have in-person events for WonderCon or Comic-Con. We have hoped that by now, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic might have subsided enough that we could once again come together in person for a traditional WonderCon event. Sadly, as we continue to monitor the latest information from healthcare officials, we have determined the interest of public safety will prevent this spring’s WonderCon from moving forward as an in-person convention.”

While not as large as San Diego Comic-Con, WonderCon Anaheim has been a popular destination from nearby Hollywood to promote the latest pop culture projects. WonderCon typically draws about 60,000 attendees, about half of its San Diego counterpart.

“The challenges of this past year and the postponement of our two largest events have left us with limited financial resources,” organizers wrote. “Therefore WonderCon@Home will be a two-day celebration instead of the usual three days as we continue to marshal our resources for Comic-Con this summer. Our commitment to the community of fans who enjoy WonderCon and the celebration of comics and related popular art remains an important part of who we are. We would like to thank everyone for your continued support as we anxiously look forward to a time when we can once again meet in person to celebrate comics, popular art, and spend time with our dedicated community of fans,” they concluded.

No updates were offered on the status of Comic-Con which remains slated for 22-25 July at the San Diego Convention Center and Downtown San Diego. The event was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

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