San Diego Comic-Con

It appears that Comic-Con@Home was a bust.  Obviously, due to COVID-19, an actual in-person con couldn’t be held, so instead, organizers offered up streaming panels, featuring creators, cast members, and fans of popular comic books, TV shows, video games, and movies, and unlike the usual, these were absolutely free to everyone in the world.

However, the social media analytics firm, ListenFirst, reports (via Variety) that buzz surrounding SDCC@Home was not just quieter than normal, it was practically muted.  Tweets mentioning SDCC@H were only 5% those of 2019’s Comic-Con!  That’s 93,681 tweets versus 1,719,000 last year.  Specifically, tweets about the TV show panels were down 93%, and those about movies were down a mindblowing 99%!

Ironically, SDCC@H’s most viewed panel was for a movie– ‘The New Mutants’.  It has racked up over 208,000 views since its release last Thursday.  The ‘New Mutants’ panel offered a Q&A with director Josh Boone and the cast, a first look at the movie’s opening scene, a new trailer, and six posters, copies of which were raffled off to viewers.

Then again, ironically, the trailer that was released on July 16, announcing the panel, has 303,000 views!  So more people have watched the advertisement for the panel than the panel itself.

The top TV panel was ‘The Walking Dead’s, which clocked over 84,000 views and generated 11,900 tweets.  But, ‘Fear the Walking Dead’s panel only has ˜66,000 views, and ‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ registered only ˜21,000 views.

ListenFirst points out the fact that there was no fan interaction during these panels because they were all pre-recorded.  Even the comments sections on Youtube are disabled.

ListenFirst’s chief marketing officer, Tracy David said:

“Fans couldn’t talk with creators.  [It] really deflated interest around the Comic-Con@Home experiment.”

But let’s face it.  When the top movie of the entire event is the perpetually postponed ‘New Mutants’– a movie most think will be terrible, despite Disney’s insistence that it be opened in theaters– and the top show is the well-past-its-prime ‘Walking Dead’, that says something– There was nothing worthwhile happening in the world of nerd entertainment.

As Variety pointed out, the ‘Star Trek’ panel devoted a hefty chunk of time to a ‘Discovery’ cast table read and made no news announcements.  Instead, it waited until today to make a separate announcement that the new season would arrive on October 15.

A panel that probably would have generated a lot of interest would have been for Zack Snyder and his re-edit of ‘Justice League’ coming to HBO Max next year.  Instead, Snyder and cast member Ray Fisher showed up at an independent fan-created expo called Justice Con, which basically revolved entirely around that project.

Elsewhere, Warner Brothers is holding its own online expo, DC Fandome, on August 22, which fans will need to tune in to for news on upcoming comics, movies, and TV shows.  DC Fandome expects to feature panels with the creators and casts of: ‘Aquaman’, ‘The Batman’, ‘Batwoman’, ‘Black Adam’, ‘Black Lightning’, ‘DC Super Hero Girls’, ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’, ‘DC’s Stargirl’, ‘Doom Patrol’, ‘The Flash’, ‘Harley Quinn’, ‘Lucifer’, ‘Pennyworth’, ‘Shazam!’, ‘The Suicide Squad’, ‘Supergirl’, ‘Superman & Lois’, ‘Teen Titans GO!’, ‘Titans’, ‘Watchmen’, and ‘Young Justice: Outsiders’.

Even though Disney canceled this year’s Star Wars Celebration, it did not send anyone to SDCC to promote upcoming projects, like Season 2 of ‘The Mandalorian’ or the animated series ‘The Bad Batch’.  Nor did it promote any of its other upcoming Disney, Pixar, or Marvel movies, although technically, ‘The New Mutants’ counts as it falls under the 20th Century Studios banner.

It’s also possible that some excitement was diluted due to the fact that the information being offered wasn’t “exclusive.”  Usually, those of us that don’t attend, have to wait for others to tweet news from the con floor.  But the fact that this information was distributed to everyone probably made it a little less exciting.  The same goes for the fact that once the panels were posted, they could be watched whenever anyone wanted also probably damped the excitement.

But at least an attempt was made to give fans SOMETHING, which is admirable.  The organizers could have just sat this year out, but instead, they wrangled hundreds of creators and celebrities basically out of a sense of charity and goodwill.  At least they tried!

Were you excited by any of the news that came out of SDCC@Home?