San Diego Comic-Con Is Back, Just Not As We Know It

San Diego Comic-Con returned last week with its first in-person event in three years. No one was sure what to expect. When Warner Bros. announced that they would not have a booth and none of The CW shows would be attending, that didn’t give me much hope. The CW shows are the main ones I like to see there. I go as press, but I can only imagine how mad people who bought tickets were when they heard that news. Riverdale was supposed to have a panel on Sunday but got canceled as the schedule was being announced.

For some, SDCC may not have looked different at all. Marvel brought a lot of shows and movies with them. They had another big panel in Hall H. People were trying to line up on Tuesday before the event for it. The line wrapped around the convention center and back to the marina. Fans stood in line all day, hoping to get in and see the big announcements. On the flip side, DC had a smaller presence at this year’s con.

I didn’t make it to the floor until Saturday this year. I usually check it out on Thursday before the big crowds. I was ready for it to be packed on Saturday, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as it should have been on the busiest day. I also felt booths were missing. As I said before, the WB booth was missing. There appeared to be more too.

Hall H wasn’t quite as crowded before Saturday. You could walk right into the Lord of The Rings: The Power of The Ring panel. That was a big panel, it’s surprising people could do that. Ballroom 20 didn’t have as big crowds as per usual either. Many of the DC shows on The CW fill Ballroom 20 with fans, but this year not so much.

As someone that does press every year, that was different too. Not as many shows were doing press this year. For example, the Teen Wolf movie only brought Jeff Davis, Tyler Posey and Tyler Hoechlin for the panel and didn’t do any press. It’s unclear why the film didn’t bring more actors to promote it. The panel was fun, but given so little talent, it’s understandable why they didn’t want to do press.

Some of the panels were virtual, like The Rookie and Abbot Elementry. What was the point in that? The panels go online afterward, so you can watch them for free later. Why pay for a Comic-Con badge to see a virtual panel?

Another big change was all attendees were required to wear a mask while inside at all con events. They also had to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. On Wednesday, the line to get the wristband was pretty short, but Thursday, thousands were in line waiting. And it just kept getting bigger throughout the weekend. It seems like a very inconvenient way to do it. Assuming Covid is still an issue next year, they should have guests show proof of vaccination before getting their badge. Then there can be a symbol on the badge indicating they are vaccinated. That will save people time standing in another line.

This year could just be the transition year for getting back and running again. Next year things could be back to normal or this could be the new normal. There’s no way of knowing until we see what happens next. Unfortunately, The CW is being sold, so it may or may not be back next year.

If you made it out to SDCC this year, let me know your thoughts. Did you notice any differences? Any fun surprises? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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