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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Comic-Con@Home Launches Next Week

Speaker 1: 00:00 For the first time in its 50 year history, Comicon has had to cancel its pop culture convention because of concerns about large gatherings and spread the virus. But the nonprofit organization has come up with a virtual version of the show called Comecon at home KPBS arts reporter, Beth Huck Amando talks with Comicon spokesperson, David glancer about what to expect Speaker 2: 00:24 David for the first time in Comicons history, the convention had to be canceled. So what have you guys been doing to create some sort of virtual version of comic con for people? Speaker 1: 00:37 Well, we've been working pretty hard actually trying to translate the physical show to an online endeavor. And it's certainly an undertaking we've never really done that, but I think one of the great things is we've all tried to step up to the plate. One of the great things is a lot of the people that, uh, have been involved with comic con throughout the years are also stepping up to the plate as well. So we'll have a lot of programming. We'll have a masquerade, that'll be a different, but hopefully we'll still be able to embrace the community Speaker 2: 01:11 With comic con at home. Do you need to buy a badge? Do you need to get any sort of special access or is this just something you're putting out for anyone to get Speaker 1: 01:20 We're putting out for anyone? The, I think the tagline was, you know, no lines, unlimited badges, things of that nature. It really was an opportunity to give the community a space to, to congregate. I think you're right. You know, the first time in our 50 years when we had to cancel a physical show, it was very heartbreaking. And I think one of the big things about comic con is just not just the programs and the panels and educational aspect, but the community of meeting with people. So we decided to go ahead and do this online iteration of comic con at home. And it is free to anybody who wants to attend, uh, you know, again, no badges, you can watch it from the comfort of your home, uh, instead of having to worry about, you know, what, what panel to watch at a particular time, your biggest decision is probably, you know, which panel to watch first. Speaker 2: 02:09 So what kind of panels are you looking to create? I mean, I've seen some already promoted. Like I was very happy to see what we do in the shadows appears to be having one, but, uh, is it going to be the same kind of breadth and depth of panels? Uh, is there anything that you've been trying to get that you're not able to get? I mean, what kind of programming will there be? Speaker 1: 02:31 One of the many great things about Comicon is the diversity, not only in the exhibit floor, but in programming and panels and participants. And one of the things we're very lucky about is to have with the online, uh, iteration, a diversity of, of panels as well. So yes, I think you'll see a cross section of some of the panels that you might see at Comicon. Comicon has, you know, a great deal of, uh, hours of programming for the four and a half days. I think with the online version, we'll have an excess of hundred and 50 panels, which is pretty amazing. We're grateful to the people who contributed to that. As I said, they'll also be other aspects that you can be interactive. It should be a fun event. It should be a great community gathering event. It'll be different, but it'll still be common. Speaker 2: 03:17 And I've seen, there have been some panels announced that are specifically on comics. Are there still going to be some Hollywood panels with the fact that so many films have been delayed and there's not production going on, but will Hollywood be a part of these as well? Speaker 1: 03:33 Hollywood will be a part of it. I think a again, you know, very grateful to the people who, um, have kind of stepped up, you know, we're all at home that includes people who work at the studios, but they've, uh, been able to put together some cool programming. And this is true for publishers. This is true for artists and creators. It's really been, uh, I don't, you know, I want to say, it's going to sound cheesy to say, you know, an effort of love, but I have to tell you a lot of the people who did give us panels had said, you know, Oh, we're really glad you're doing this. We were really going to miss being at comic con and this allows us to still take part again, it's different, but we're grateful that the joining us and it's not an easy task in many cases. So, uh, I think it will be much more appreciated. Speaker 2: 04:19 And Comicon also has, I guess you'd call it more seminar panels or how to panels. And is that going to translate into an online version? Are there going to be classes where people are actually teaching something? Speaker 1: 04:30 Well, I, you know, I, honestly, I haven't gone through all of the, uh, the panels that have come in there. There, there are a lot, I think there will be stuff that are interactive that you can do that can be, uh, lessons learned and whatnot. And one of the great things is we see that, uh, with the Comicon museum, you know, the common company museum has already started their ad home program. And the great thing about that is the Comicon museum has always had a desire for an online presence. So they were able to start a little bit earlier this summer to create some great workbooks and things of that nature. And if you head over to that site, there's tutorials, there's a lot of interactive stuff. So between the Comicon museum and comic con at home, I think there'll be something for everyone. Speaker 2: 05:12 And for the person kind of experiencing this, there probably won't be a division between Comicon at home and stuff that the museum is offering. I mean, you can partake in all of that and not really see a difference between one and the other. Speaker 1: 05:26 Well, I think it's important to note that the common ComEd museum is, is Comicon while the building and the museum itself as an open officially yet, the idea is to create an environment similar to Comicon the year round. And that's primarily educational. You know, I have presentations, workshops, seminars, things of that nature because we're all staying home right now that makes that a little bit more challenging. But, um, yeah, so I think, you know, we, we will find a variety of different things, whether it be the, add a home of comic con or the museum at home initiative. I think some of that stuff will last beyond the, the week of Comicon. Speaker 2: 06:04 What have been the challenges for the organization itself, having to kind of develop a whole new set of skills for putting everything online? Speaker 1: 06:13 Luckily we have a very, very adaptive staff. We have people who are willing to help out on any level that they can. Uh, the scary thing for us was, you know, not having the amount of income we were expecting this year because we had to cancel both Comicon and wonder Connor earlier in the year, but everyone has stepped up to the plate. You know, we've all been fully employed. Thank goodness I'm bringing this activation to life. And, um, we've all been adapted. We've been learning new stuff. And I think that will pay off in the future. Also, should we ever need to do something like this or even something similar to this on a smaller level, we now have, uh, learned a lot and have the experience I say that, you know, without the event actually kicking off yet, but I hope it will be a good one. Speaker 2: 06:58 And one of the great things about Comicon is the dealer's room where people have this opportunity to meet artists and to buy unique things. Is there going to be any kind of online version of the exhibit? Speaker 1: 07:11 There will be. In fact, the exhibit hall will be up and running. Uh, there'll be a map of the exhibit hall, or you'll be able to visit different exhibitors and see what they have. I think there's some exclusives and a lot of people have specials. So that'll be an aspect that you'll be able to take part in and you won't have to get tired of walking around. You'll just have to, you know, make sure that your, your finger for clicking and working the mouse is up to speed. Speaker 2: 07:37 Normally during the convention, when I come to try and interview you on site, you are running around like crazy and doing interviews from 5:00 AM in the morning till 6:00 PM. What do you think your day is going to be like with a virtual company? Speaker 1: 07:52 I honestly don't know. I will tell you, we thought putting together an online version. I don't think anybody thought it would be easy, but I don't think any of us thought it would be as time consuming as it's been. And that's not a bad thing. It's just a reality. So we've been working a lot, a lot of hours once the show actually kicks off, you're right during the physical show, we're running around and putting out fires and you know, I'm doing interviews. I hope that there'll be less far as to put out this time and the interviews I do, if I do interviews, I hope will be, you know, uh, at various times during the regular Workday, as opposed to, you know, very late at night or very early in the morning, but I will still be available to do those. If they should arise. Speaker 2: 08:41 Do you have any, uh, favorite programs that you've noticed so far or anything that you want to recommend to people Speaker 1: 08:48 There's a lot, you know, the schedule was released and there's a lot of very fun stuff. I think it would be unfair to pick my favorites. So, you know, those who know me probably know which ones those are, but I'm very happy to see that the cross section of stuff that we do have, I'm hoping that for the first time, in many, many years, I and the staff and the volunteers will actually be able to take part in some of the fun stuff that Comicon has to offer, but we'll see. But that's our hope. Speaker 2: 09:17 And in the past, I've asked you to give advice to people who might be coming to Comicon for the first time. So everybody now is going to be in the position of coming to the Comicon at home for the very first time. So do you have any advice for people who, um, might want to dip their toes into this? Speaker 1: 09:36 It's not just similar to being at the live show and that is, you know, what brows, you know, you, you may find that you're a fan of something that you had no idea you'd find interest in. Uh, one of the great things about Comicon is the diversity of people and the diversity of, of things we have going on. You know, I started, uh, going to comic con cause I was a huge film fan. I'm still a huge film fan. I had read some comics as a kid, but didn't know much about it. Uh, wow. You know, when I, when I finally started, uh, attending common Connie going to the film screenings, I met people who knew a lot about movies, knew a lot about film knew or knew a lot about silent films. Um, I've always loved history. I was, I didn't realize that there were comics that were devoted to, you know, war comics. There are, I learned a lot about comics. I learned a lot about costuming. So, you know, I think oftentimes people think that if you have one area of interest, that's the only area of interest you have. And we all know that's really not the case. So I would say to anybody who comes in for the first time may not be familiar with the show to go ahead and just explore and think outside the box a little bit and check stuff out that you might not normally check out. Cause you may be a new fan. Speaker 2: 10:47 Do you know how the programming will drop in the sense of, does everything become available like on Thursday, all at once or are they going to be released at different times and will they be up for like past the Comicon dates? Speaker 1: 11:01 These are great questions. We're still working on some of that. There's a thoughts of dropping it all at one, stopping, you know, per hour things of that nature. We just want to make sure that we can accommodate whatever it is that we decide to do. So I really can't say yet because we really don't know, but some of the panels will exist. Some of the programs that some of the interactive stuff will live beyond the weekend of Comicon because of certain contractual requests and desires, not all programs will, but I think a lot of it will. And, um, you know, I hope that people will, will certainly join us for the week of Comicon, but check it out afterwards as well. They're there, like I said, there's a lot of programs and a lot of stuff to do, uh, and you don't have to all do it, you know, in four days. Speaker 2: 11:46 All right. Well, I want to thank you very much and I'm looking forward to seeing what this Comicon at home is going to bring. Speaker 1: 11:51 Great. Thank you. It's always a pleasure to chat with you. Speaker 3: 11:54 Comicon at home starts. Next Wednesday, more information is available@comic-con.org.

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For the first time in 50 years, Comic-Con International has had to cancel its physical show and will be placing its pop culture convention online.
KPBS Midday Edition Segments