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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Comic-Con Is Virtual For One More Show

 July 19, 2021 at 10:16 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 Comic-Con international. The massive summertime celebration of pop culture has once again, been forced to substitute an online version of the show for an in-person one. The event begins this Friday and runs through Sunday KPBS arts reporter. Beth Amando speaks with spokesperson David Glanzer about what people can expect from the virtual Comicon. Speaker 2: 00:20 David Comicon is doing their second virtual edition. So how does it feel going into it this time? Do you feel like you've learned anything or applied any new ideas to the online experience? Speaker 3: 00:34 It's, uh, a lot less stressful, which should not be confused with not stressful, but now we have, we learned a lot, I think in our last iteration. It's interesting because when we first started last year, I think we were probably in terms of, uh, fan-related events are probably one of the first that really mounted something like this. And, uh, now that the pandemic seems to be lessening, you know, we may very well be one of the last, so we kind of bookend it. So we're excited. We think we have some cool stuff coming up and, um, fingers crossed that people have a good time. Speaker 2: 01:10 And how are people going to be able to access it this year? Is it also going to be free? Like it was last year Speaker 3: 01:15 Free. One of the things that, uh, we have done is a lot of the sponsorship involves, so that has really defrayed the costs of the hard dollar costs of what we've had to do. So it'll, it'll be free again, they can go to our website and there are portals there to take them to whichever part of the, uh, event they want to attend. Speaker 2: 01:34 And is it going to be like last year in the sense that panels would start at a specific time, but then become available afterwards for you to like check back in with later? Speaker 3: 01:45 That is the plan right now. One of the great things about being, um, virtual was, uh, and we'd mentioned this last year, you know, during a real show about, I don't mean real show, but real in-person to show, uh, you have to decide sometimes, you know, what do I want to see? The great thing about being virtual is that you just have to decide what you want to see first. So the plan is again, to have times when the panels drop, but those panels should remain online for, you know, a period of time. The Speaker 2: 02:13 First time in my life, I went to 70 hours of panels with the virtual Comic-Con and it was, it was wonderful. Actually, I have to say, Speaker 3: 02:21 And we got a lot of contact from people, you know, globally. Who've never been able to attend comic con who were very grateful to be able to see, uh, what some of the excitement is about. And I, for one was able to actually attend the Eisner awards, which falls under my department, but I usually have to be in bed by the time the award ceremony gets underway because I have to be up so early the next day. And it was wonderful to be able to watch the ceremony, blind Speaker 2: 02:44 People, the Eisners are considered the Oscars of the comic industry, and they will again be online this year and explain to people what these are. So Speaker 3: 02:53 This is, uh, an acknowledgement and recognition of people who work in the comics and related comic book, industry, people who do graphic novels. I think there's a, the web comics, things of that nature. You know, it's interesting because the in-person shows some times can, can run long. It's a, it's a great time for, uh, people within the industry, their peers to, uh, acknowledge their contributions in their work. You know, some people have said, oh, you should really, you know, eliminate some categories or reduce the timeframe. So it's, you know, it's, it's, uh, it doesn't take as long. And the reality of the situation is it's. I think it's completely appropriate to acknowledge those people who oftentimes people don't know who they are, and this is their one time really in terms of, you know, uh, peer acknowledgement that they get to bask in the glow of, of that. And so I think it is as long as it needs to be, it's, it's an amazing event. I, I I'm, I'm trying to figure out once we get back to in-person shows how I can maneuver actually attending the Eisner. And I was supposed to still be able to get up, you know, the next morning at three o'clock. And Speaker 2: 03:59 One of the great things about the Eisner awards is it really gives you a great reading list. I mean, once it's over, you can just compile a list of all the nominees and go out and seek these from your comic books. This Speaker 3: 04:10 Is a great way. If you're new to the medium, if you want some pointers, it's a great way to start. I hear stories of people who ended up, you know, reading a comic because it was an Eisner nominated comic or one in Eisner. And then they discovered that, you know, that artist or that writer, they liked their work. So they looked at additional stuff that, that may have been produced by those people. So it can be a really great gateway to understanding and really appreciating a really, really very cool art form. Speaker 2: 04:41 Now you mentioned artists, so in this virtual edition, is there also going to be a virtual version of the dealer's room and exhibit hall? There Speaker 3: 04:50 Is. So, uh, one of the things that we'll have again this year is, um, our exhibit hall again, which is great because you'll be able to, you know, shop and, and, uh, contribute to helping those people who've really been affected by COVID. I mean, we all have, uh, but this is a way to, you know, help us support them a bit. We're, we're using a bunch of different platforms. I think last year we used a Tumblr, YouTube, I think discord scenar, but it's an opportunity for people to take part in various aspects of Comicon and on various platforms. Speaker 2: 05:22 That was much fun. As I had doing the virtual panels, I of course missed the in-person event and Comicon we'll be doing something in person in November. So what can people expect or what do you know about what's going to happen in November at this point in time? Speaker 3: 05:38 Now that again, the pandemic has seemed to, you know, be slowing down a bit and, and a lot of the restrictions are lifted. We're, we're going to have an event in November. It'll be over Thanksgiving weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We like to say, you know, spend Thursday with your family and then spend the rest of the weekend with, with your fan family. Uh, it'll be a much smaller event. It's more of an intimate event. I don't want people to confuse, um, the special edition. We're calling it a comic con special edition with the July show, but it'll be an opportunity for us to kind of dip our toes back into the community interaction. I, there are so many friends that I miss seeing in person. I will have the opportunity to do that. There'll be panels and exhibit floor. Some of the things that, uh, you know, our conventions are known for, um, I expect that, uh, it'll be similar to our WonderCon show that we do in Anaheim. So it'll be a smaller show, a more intimate show, but, uh, it, I think it will be a lot of fun. I'm, I'm looking forward to it. Speaker 2: 06:38 And at this point, do you know if you'll be using the whole convention center and satellite hotels as well, or is it still in Speaker 3: 06:47 A lot of planning of that we will be at the convention center. I think, you know, depending upon, um, any number of factors, we'll, we'll be, we'll be determining what it is and how much space we use. You know, when we first, uh, discussed this, we didn't know if there would be a space restrictions, if there would be social distancing, all of those things. So it's, it continues to be kind of a fluid situation. So we don't have specifics. We do know that we'll be at the convention center. We do know that we'll have programming and exhibit four space. Uh, we, you know, we'll be utilizing some of the hotels, at least certainly, uh, for room blocks and whatnot, whether there will be outside meetings and stuff offsite, we really don't know yet. I anticipate that we probably won't. I think most of them, we probably contained within the walls of the convention center, but it's certainly enough that things can change and it could expand. Uh, I think the, uh, what we've learned over the course of, of this whole situation is, you know, be flexible and, uh, that's what we're trying to do. Speaker 2: 07:46 All right. Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about virtual and in-person Comic-Con. It was my pleasure, Beth. Speaker 1: 07:53 That was Beth Armando speaking with David Glanzer. Comic-Con returns this Friday through Sunday with a completely virtual show.

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Comic-Con International, the massive summertime celebration of pop culture, has once again been forced to substitute an online version of the show for an in person one. It runs Friday through Sunday.
KPBS Midday Edition Segments