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Crowds ready for Comic-Con Special Edition to kick off Friday after two-year wait

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Jacob Aere
A man dressed in cosplay stands in front of a "Comic-Con Special Edition" sign, Nov. 24, 2021.

After being canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, San Diego Comic-Con is back this Friday through Sunday with a smaller show.

On Wednesday, attendees got their COVID-19 wristbands and entry badges just outside of the San Diego Convention Center.

RELATED: Comic-Con Special Edition kicks off Friday

For folks such as Travis Beaty and his partner, who traveled from St. Louis to experience Comic-Con for the first time, the wait is finally over after years of unsuccessful attempts at getting tickets.

“Being a lifelong nerd and all the fandoms come together in San Diego to spread the love, it was our chance to come" he said. "So it was like: forgo Thanksgiving with the family, move Thanksgiving up a week, and get on a plane. And here we are in sunny San Diego instead of Missouri where it's cold."

Beaty and his partner didn't seem to be bothered that this year's event is not the standard Comic-Con affair.

“I think it is a perfect toe-in-the-water for a first-time visitor," he said. "And then when we come back in ‘23, hopefully, things can be full scale and it can be chaos and we’ll know what to expect."

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Jacob Aere
A "Comic-Con Special Edition" sign hangs on the outside of the San Diego Convention Center, Nov. 24, 2021.

For restaurant owner Jerry Levy, he hopes that Comic-Con tourism brings back much-needed business to his Tin Fish eatery near the convention center. Fo far he isn’t seeing the standard crowd sizes.

“With the Convention Center for Comic-Con, it's an influx usually of about three times the amount of people I’m seeing or more," he said. "Because the downtown area is not active, it's not lively, there's not a lot of displays, it's really a toned-down version this year."

Comic-Con is also taking extra safety precautions for the 2021 show including mandatory face masks and either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.