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Comic-Con Is Online Only Again This Year. On The Bright Side, No Lines!

Like last year, the sidewalks around San Diego's convention center are empty and no one is lined up at the famed Hall H.
Daniel Knighton
Getty Images
Like last year, the sidewalks around San Diego's convention center are empty and no one is lined up at the famed Hall H.

The streets around San Diego's convention center are empty — no zombies are shambling through the streets and no impromptu campsites have sprung up in the massive line outside Hall H (where all the best panels are), because there are no lines this year. For the second year in a row, San Diego Comic-Con has gone online only.

The convention officially kicks off Friday, though some events have gone live already. Panels, the art show, the dealers' hall and the Eisner Awards — generally described as the Oscars of comics — will all be available through what organizers are calling Comic-Con@Home.

There are a few notable absences — both Marvel Studios and DC are staying away; as it did last year, DC is again directing its resources towards its own event, DC FanDome, set for mid-October. But fans of shows like Doctor Who, Dexter and Comic-Con stalwart The Walking Dead will have lots to look forward to.

Animation fans in particular can expect some treats, with panels on the new limited sequel to classic '80s cartoon He-Man, the revived version of Tuca & Bertie and — very exciting for comics nerds — Netflix's upcoming Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, an adaptation of Stan Sakai's beloved, long-running comic series Usagi Yojimbo.

And like every year, there are plenty of convention-exclusive toys and collectibles to snag, though for some of the hottest toys, you may have to try your luck in a lottery for the chance to buy.

Convention organizers also say they're planning a smaller, in-person event, called Comic-Con Special Edition, which will take place in late November, so don't give up on your cosplay ideas just yet.

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Petra Mayer (she/her) is an editor (and the resident nerd) at NPR Books, focusing on fiction, and particularly genre fiction. She brings to the job passion, speed-reading skills, and a truly impressive collection of Doctor Who doodads. You can also hear her on the air and on the occasional episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
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