Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic. Schools are canceling in-person classes, theme parks around the world are closing their doors, and several major events have been called off. Some folks are wondering what this means for the biggest comic convention of the year, San Diego Comic-Con, as well as next month’s WonderCon in Anaheim, California. They’re both on, at least for the time being.
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, more large-scale events like SXSW, Coachella, E3, and Emerald City Comic Con have been canceled or postponed. Coachella was scheduled for the same weekend as WonderCon before being postponed and E3 was set for early July, so there is precedent for both of Comic-Con’s events to likewise change their dates. We reached out to Comic-Con to see when it could make or announce its final decision for both of the California cons and will update if and when we hear back.
In a statement to ABC 10News, Comic-Con said there are currently no plans to cancel or postpone this summer’s SDCC, which happens July 23-26, or WonderCon, which runs from April 1o-12 (both conventions are run by the same non-profit organization). For now, both are “moving forward as scheduled,” but the Comic-Con representative said that could change if the disease continues to develop (which it probably will).
“Comic-Con is working with local officials as it pertains to the COVID-19 situation and continues to monitor developments closely. At this time both shows, WonderCon Anaheim and Comic-Con in San Diego, are moving forward as scheduled,” the representative wrote. “As always, the safety and security of all our attendees is of utmost importance. Please rest assured that these concerns are being taken very seriously and we will not make any decisions regarding the rescheduling of shows without weighing all considerations carefully.”
Disney is currently facing questions over keeping both of its Anaheim theme parks, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, open. It’s located in Orange County, which currently has two confirmed cases and three more suspected cases of coronavirus (that number could and very likely will change). Of course, comic cons typically have people traveling from around the world, so the risk of bringing the disease into the community may be greater than folks sending it out.
io9 reached out to several of WonderCon’s larger exhibitors like DC Entertainment, Boom Studios, Funko, and Funimation to see if they’ve made any decisions to pull out as many organizations and individuals started to do before ECCC was postponed. So far, Funko gave a statement to io9 that it doesn’t plan on canceling either of its booths at WonderCon or SDCC for now. “We are following the guidance of the organizers of the Cons—Wonder and SDCC—and will follow their direction. If the event happens to be canceled, obviously Funko would not longer be participating,” it said.
As reported by SDCC Unofficial Blog, the Anaheim Convention Center released its own statement on measures it’s taking to mitigate exposure to the coronavirus, including frequent cleaning of door handles, elevator buttons, and handrails, as well as installing additional hand sanitizer dispensers.
There are some other cons to keep an eye on as the coronavirus continues, like April’s MegaCon in Orlando, Florida, and the Comic and Entertainment Expo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Diamond Comics Distributors just announced it’s cancelling its retail summit, which was to have been held in conjunction with MegaCon; MegaCon itself is still on for now.) Of course, another major one to watch out for Star Wars Celebration, set for this August. We could see things settle back to normal in the coming months, or this might just be the beginning of a very strange year.
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