For many, Comic Conventions, or Comic-Cons, are highly anticipated events where fans of media gather to celebrate their shared love of comics, television shows and video games. This year, those fans are stuck at home, with COVID-19 forcing all the big Cons to close, such as MCM Birmingham Comic-Con June, MCM London Comic-Con July, MCM Manchester Comic-Con August, and MCM Scotland Comic-Con September in the UK alone.

This includes the San Diego Comic-Con, widely regarded as the largest entertainment event, which features reveals and guest from such industry giants as Marvel Studios and CBS. In a surprising move however, the organizers have announced an initiative to allow the event to continue relatively unabated.

The digital event, known as Comic-Con at Home, was announced on the Comic-Con International Youtube page on the 8th of May, humorously promising ‘Free Parking, Comfy Chairs, Personalized Snacks, No Lines, Pets Welcome, Badges for All, and a Front-Row Seat’. The online experience will reportedly feature exclusive video content, including teasers for upcoming projects and interviews with actors and other cast members from across the medium. This includes items usually relegated to Hall H, a location famous for its Marvel Cinematic Universe reveals, and infamous for its overbearing takeover of convention life.

The event will take place over the same timeframe as the SDCC would normally have, from the 22nd of July to the 26th, and will be free for everyone to view. As well as its scheduled events, At Home will also include an online version of the Exhibit Hall for online convention goers to browse and buy Con-exclusive products as usual. There is also a ‘Museum@Home‘ section already up, promising unique content and downloadable PDF’s with activities for all age groups.

In an interview with Collider, a spokesperson for the Convention said; “For the first time in our 50-year history, we are happy to welcome virtually anyone from around the globe. Though stay-at-home conditions makes this a very difficult time, we see this as an opportunity to spread some joy and strengthen our sense of community.”

More details regarding the specific type of content and guest appearances are slated to appear in the run-up to the start of the Convention, through the SDCC’s various social channels and medias, their official website and their official blog Toucan.

For many students and people otherwise unable to attend such a renowned experience, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience convention life, and in times like these, may be a most welcome distraction.