A shrine to San Diego's renowned Comic-Con convention is growing in the heart of what would, in a typical year, be a bustling hub for cosplayers, enthusiasts and convention-goers during the annual pop culture event.
Fans have placed flowers, comic art and even a collectible tote bag from a past convention outside the Tin Fish restaurant in the heart of the Gaslamp -- a location typically transformed into a pop culture hub of activity -- to memorialize their beloved event.
Organizer Chris Morrow said the shrine was created by San Diego residents who wanted to show their love for the convention, which will be held virtually this year amid public health orders that prohibit gatherings in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But some took issue with the shrine, noting that the added flowers and prayer candles made it appear like a memorial for a lost loved one and not like a celebration for a convention.
In a tweet to NBC 7, user Kerry said, "Some flowers/prayer candles resembling a funeral shrine for an event that is not dead and will come back, while many loved ones may not, is not cool. Many SDCC attendees are very against this."
Despite, the display will be maintained and residents are encouraged to drop off memorabilia and notes for convention organizers until Monday, July 27, at which point the items will be collected and sent to the Comic-Con office.
Comic-Con CEO David Glanzer hadn't heard about the shrine but shared some encouraging words with fans.
"Comic-Con is certainly not dead. We’re here. We’ll be here next year and hopefully bigger and better when we can all be together in person,” he said.
San Diego Comic-Con's 2020 run was canceled in April for the first time in the convention's 50-year history once organizers determined it was impossible to host an in-person convention while maintaining the safety of their guests.
Instead, organizers are taking the show virtual with a series of online panels and events for fans to celebrate pop culture safely from their homes. Comic-Con@Home will run during what would have been SDCC's in-person event from July 22 to July 26, while San Diego Comic-Con will return in its full form in summer 2021.