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San Diego Comic-Con schedules event for US Thanksgiving weekend

Comic-Con International: San Diego
(Image credit: Comic-Con International: San Diego)

An in-person Comic-Con International: San Diego isn't happening this July, but is happening this year.

On Thanksgiving weekend in the United States.

The organizers of what's colloquially known as SDCC announced a smaller, three-day event to run Friday, November 26 through Sunday, November 28 called Comic-Con Special Edition. The event is scheduled to be held at the San Diego Convention Center - the traditional site of the full-size Comic-Con International: San Diego.

Hosting a major convention on a major holiday, and what is traditionally the biggest travel weekend of the year, does raise questions, including attendance and retail exhibitors devoting their resources simultaneous to the huge Black Friday shopping day.

And while an SDCC Thanksgiving event seems unusual, it isn't without precedent. In 1975 Comic-Con held two events - one in its customary late July timeframe, and a second, three-day event in November.

(Image credit: San Diego Comic Convention)

The organizers haven't painted a clear picture of what fans should expect from Comic-Con Special Edition this year, but the truncated schedule (three days instead of the normal five) and wording of the announcement hint at it being a smaller version of the event in some way.

"The Fall event will allow the organization to highlight all the great elements that make Comic-Con such a popular event each year, as well as generate much-needed revenue not only for the organization but also for local businesses and the community," reads the announcement.

Financial considerations for the SDCC organization seem to be at the forefront of consideration for the November event, as made clear in a statement by Comic-Con's longtime chief communications & strategy officer, David Glanzer.

"While we have been able to pivot from in-person gatherings to limited online events, the loss of revenue has had an acute impact on the organization as it has with many small businesses, necessitating reduced work schedules and reduction in pay for employees, among other issues," says Glanzer. "Hopefully this event will shore up our financial reserves and mark a slow return to larger in-person gatherings in 2022."

Comic-Con normally boasts over 135,000 in attendance for the annual event, with an estimated $147 million windfall each year for the local economy. Due to the pandemic, both the normal 2020 and 2021 events were switched to online events, as was its secondary convention - Los Angeles' WonderCon. In those online events, there are no entrance fees, and other means of revenue they'd traditionally expect would also have been curtailed. 

The organization was also hoping to open doors on its new Comic-Con Museum this year, a project years-in-development - which would also presumably have tied up their revenue.

Keep appraised of this and ALL the comic conventions in 2021 and beyond.

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.