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Comic-Con 2022: What we saw at the first in-person SDCC since 2019

Comic-Con 2022: What we saw at the first in-person SDCC since 2019

Thousands of fans masked, tested and boosted in order to enjoy a degree of “normalcy” at the first in-person Comic-Con International since 2019. And con organizers and studios delivered with dramatic activations, plenty of news from panels on upcoming films and TV shows, opportunities for artists signings and new and exclusive merchandise.

This year, Comic-Con’s COVID safety protocols included proof of either full vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours of attending the event, as well as mandatory masking – and your cosplay mask didn’t count. For the most part, fans didn’t mind the long lines for health checks, and appreciated Comic-Con’s efforts to keep people safe.

Once the fans – some waiting for hours – were inside at Preview night on Wednesday, they were able to score merchandise only available during this weekend on the exhibition floor, from Street Fighter collectibles to mini backpacks from Loungefly.

That feeling of being back at Comic-Con in person again was the very best part of the day, fans said.

And the rest of the weekend was no less jam-packed. Here’s what we saw:

We checked out Netflix’s activation for “The Gray Man,” which included running on the roof of a smoking tram car. The activation by FX sent fans through a spooky maze with sights from “American Horror Story,” “What We Do In the Shadows,” and “Little Demons.”

(Speaking of “What We Do In the Shadows,” here’s how energy vampire Colin Robinson became a vampire baby in Season Five, according to actor Mark Proksch.)

The Her Universe Fashion show crowned two winners in a night of exuberance and high fashion geek couture. Comic-Con “is our safe space,” said Her Universe Founder Ashley Eckstein. “It’s a place where as fans we can come together and feel like we’re home.”

We spoke to the Women in Comics Collective about how they’re moving forward the careers of women and non-binary people of color in the comics industry. Also, it was the centennial birthday of ‘Peanuts’ creator Charles M. Schulz

Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez discussed the success of their groundbreaking “Love and Rockets” comic book series since its debut 40 years ago

When we checked out the merchandise from local sellers on the exhibition floor, we noticed that the ‘80s were making a comeback with bright colors and bold prints of Rubik’s cubes and old Nintendo games.

And not that you needed another reason to anticipate the Netflix adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman,” the author, his co-producer and cast discussed the upcoming series and why it’s so timely.

We took a break from the con to check out the “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing” exhibit, lovingly curated and housed at the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.

And we went to the source, talking to Scott Shaw, one of the seven comics fans who created and nurtured Comic-Con from its modest beginnings to the hugely influential pop culture celebration it is today. 

See you next year!

Press Enterprise