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L.A. Comic Con’s planned in-person event is officially not happening

A person dressed as Spider-Man poses in a crowd
Los Angeles Comic Con normally attracts plenty of cosplayers to the L.A. Convention Center.
(Los Angeles Times)

L.A. Comic Con is not happening this year.

On Tuesday, L.A. Comic Con announced that it will not move forward with its planned in-person event at the Los Angeles Convention Center in December because Gov. Gavin Newsom has yet to provide any reopening guidance around events and conventions. The next L.A. Comic Con is now scheduled to take place Sept. 24-26, 2021.

“Without guidelines, there is no way for L.A. County, the city or event organizers like us to know if the plans and changes we made to be COVID-safe will be right, or enough,” said Chris DeMoulin, the chief executive of L.A. Comic Con’s parent company, Comikaze Entertainment, in a statement.

In late September, L.A. Comic Con organizers announced they had been working with the convention center and taking guidance from state and local officials to plan an in-person event in December that would “be both safe and fun.” They even started to sell a limited number of tickets for what was described at the time as a “potential show.”

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Gov. Newsom says California should do “our own stubborn research” before reopening Disneyland and other theme parks, citing concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

But some believed the initial announcement was premature because large gatherings such as conventions and conferences are not permitted anywhere in the state amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. California’s current reopening plan — which involves a color-coded, four-tier system that allows businesses such as restaurants, retailers and movie theaters to reopen based on certain benchmarks — does not include any guidelines for resuming such events.

DeMoulin said in his statement that “most people” expected Newsom’s reopening guidelines for theme parks to precede an announcement about events such as conventions. But after Newsom indicated he was in “no hurry” to reopen theme parks last week, there is still no timetable for when large events will be allowed to resume.

(Newsom announced on Monday that he was sending a team to out-of-state theme parks to learn about their COVID-19 precautions as he continues working on a reopening plan.)

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L.A. Comic Con organizers say that nearly 70% of the available three-session passes had been sold during the early-bird sale. As previously announced, those who have purchased tickets can request a full refund or have their tickets roll over to the 2021 event to hold their VIP spots.

Prolific comic book creator Frank Miller was among the earliest guests confirmed for L.A. Comic Con 2020. “Shazam!” actor Zachary Levi and “Smallville” actor Tom Welling had also been scheduled to appear. Organizers say they are now confirmed for the 2021 edition.


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