San Diego Convention Center

What to Expect at San Diego Comic-Con Special Edition 2021

The event was canceled last year and went virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic

Comic-Con Special Edition 2021
San Diego Convention Center Twitter

What to Know

  • Comic-Con Special Edition will be held as a three-day event from Nov. 26 to 28 at the San Diego Convention Center
  • This event is much smaller in size as it's meant to be a more "intimate gathering while still evoking the fun community feeling of Comic-Con"

San Diego’s world-famous Comic-Con is returning this Thanksgiving weekend on a much smaller scale than before.

The beloved event that attracts thousands of people from all over the world to America’s Finest City was canceled in 2020 for the first time in 50 years due to the pandemic. Instead, it held a free virtual event called Comic-Con@Home.

"Comic-Con Special Edition" will be held as a three-day event from Nov. 26 to 28 at the San Diego Convention Center.

What can fans expect this year?

Comic-Con said this special edition is not intended to be the large gathering fans expect in July, but rather be a more "intimate gathering while still evoking the fun community feeling."

The majority of the event will be held within the walls of the San Diego Convention Center.

The hours for the event are as follows:

  • Friday, Nov. 26, 12 to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 27, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

COVID-19 Safety Rules

Before fanatics and cosplay pros head to Comic-Con Special Edition, they should be aware of new rules put in place due to the ongoing pandemic.

  • Facial coverings are required for all visitors, staff, volunteers and so on for the three-day event. 
  • All guests are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken on or after Tuesday.
  • Visitors who have not received their COVID-19 vaccine can still attend Comic-Con Special Edition by showing proof of a negative coronavirus test.

For more details on the policies, click here.

Special guests

Some special guests that have been confirmed for this year's event are:

  • Henry Barajas- Author, La Voz De M.A.Y.O. Tata Rambo, Helm Greycastle
  • Ryan Benjamin- Artist, WildCats, X-Men, Iron Man, Batman Beyond
  • Kevin Eastman- Co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Sina Grace- Writer/Artist, Iceman, Wonder Woman, The Haunted Mansion
  • Sam Maggs-Writer, Marvel Action: Captain Marvel, Rick & Morty, Con Quest!
  • Brent Spiner- Actor/Author, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir

To see a full list of special guests, click here.

The autograph area will be located on the Upper Level in the Sails Pavilion. Fans can go for a special memento from a variety of artists, authors, and actors from every genre of popular culture. Many signings occur directly after panels, so check the program grid daily. Click here for details.

Programming Schedule

For the three days, fans can expect a diverse schedule of panels. Comic-Con is reminding everyone that seating in all event rooms is on a first-come, first-served basis as seating is limited in each room.

Here are some of the highlights from this year's lineup:

Friday, Nov. 26

The Black Panel 25
2 p.m., Room 5AB
The Black Panel has been an annual event at Comic-Con for over two decades. The panel has welcomed some of the biggest names in pop culture media. After a two-year absence, it returns to a changed America, as always hosted by Michael Davis.

The Future of Doctor Who
2:30 p.m., Room 8
Karen Glover, Kristi Schoeman, Cody Shoberg, and River Alexandra Song (all cosplayers withTime Travelers unLtd) discuss the importance of keeping it fresh and changing so the long-running Doctor Who continues to live. Moderated by Sandro Monetti (actor and writer) with a Q&A.

Comic Book Coloring Then and Now
3 p.m., Room 2
Alex Sinclair, Joe Chiodo, and Clydene Nee discuss how coloring has changed over the last 30 years. They will talk about all things coloring including before the digital age and how digital coloring has evolved since its inception.

Over30Cosplay: Costuming and Cosplay Advice for the Mature Cosplayer
8 p.m., Room 9
Panelists cover topics celebrating the history of comic and cosplay culture, couples cosplay ideas, and combating negative, age-related stereotypes. Plus, tips on costume choice, dating and family, social media/marketing age awareness, and how to combat bullying in the community. 

Saturday, Nov. 27

The Changing Face of Pop Culture
10:30 a.m., Room 24ABC
The pop culture explosion through gaming, comics, TV, and film has opened up new opportunities for cultural diversity; however, many challenges and obstacles still exist.

Set Secrets with Film and TV Creatives
11 a.m., Room 7AB
What does it take to bring a film and television show to life? Directors, editors, composers, and others provide insights on the process of developing and producing films and TV shows.

Mexican Bronze Age of Comics: Under the Shadow of the Wall
12:30 p.m., Room 8
Luis Gantus (Sergio Antes de Aragonés) and Adalisa Zarate (Building Blocks, Traveling Seers) have a candid conversation with Sebastian Finck (NerDos) about the Bronze era of comics in Mexico and how the great boom of collector editions and comic book stores specialized in American comics affected the already weak Mexican Industry.

Roddenberry and The Comic-Con Museum!
2 p.m., Room 29AB
Rod Roddenberry (CEO, Roddenberry Entertainment), Trevor Roth (COO, Roddenberry Entertainment), Eddie Ibrahim (senior director of programming, Comic-Con International), Chris Ryall (Syzygy Publishing), and Rita Vandergaw (executive director, Comic-Con Museum) discuss how two names synonymous with fandom have combined forces to bring Comic-Con to life 365 days a year.

Sunday, Nov. 28

Breaking in and Staying in Comics
11:30 a.m., Room 24ABC
With a decade of working side by side behind them, join ComiXology Originals’ head of content Chip Mosher and Kodansha’s senior marketing director Ivan Salazar for an intimate conversation about how to break in and stay working in comics.

TOKYOPOP: Representation in Romance Manga
12:30 p.m., Room 8
TOKYOPOP presents its LOVE x LOVE imprint, which seeks to normalize LGBTQ+ romance alongside traditional straight relationships. 

Bringing Video Games into Reality
3 p.m., Room 29AB
Maxwell Scheller (director/producer of Las-New: A Fallout Snow Globe Road Trip), Lawrence Brenner (pop culture journalist/historian), and Gabriel Valentin (musician and comic creator of Digital Lizards of Doom) share their experiences of bringing video gaming into reality. Matt Dunford (comic book historian, chairman of San Diego Comic Fest) moderates and leads these creative minds who take their video game influences into the real world.

We Are Groot: Award-Winning Large Cosplay on a Budget
4 p.m., Room 2
Joe Queen (2017 D23 costume finalist, 2021 Comic-Con@Home Masquerade winner), Lucas Queen (2020 Live with Kelly & Ryan Halloween costume winner, 2021 Comic-Con@Home Masquerade winner), Brian Slape (costume and prop builder), Peyton Slape (cosplayer), and Josh Cole (cosplayer) discuss how they built their Adult and Baby Groot costumes on a limited budget.

Exhibit Hall

Comic-Con has released their floor pan and exhibitor lists.

Some of the artists' alley exhibitors include:

  • Alex Iniguez
  • Jed Thomas
  • William Stout
  • Viv Archer
  • Yuehua

Some of the exhibitors include:

  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Animation Legends
  • Bob the Artist
  • CMON
  • Funko LLC

Some of the fan tables include:

  • Anime in Los Angeles
  • Legion World
  • San Diego Star Wars Society
  • Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club

For more details, click here.

Credit: Comic-Con Website.

For badges, details on the masquerade costume competition, and more, visit the Comic-Con website.

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