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More and more fan conventions are going digital-only through summer 2021

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Emerald City Comic Con and the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo shift dates in 2021

Crowds of fans fill escalators in the Washington State Convention Center for Emerald City Comicon. Photo: Suzi Pratt/Getty Images

ReedPop has announced new dates for the next Emerald City Comic Con and the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, pushing the two spring conventions to the final month of 2021. The company now plans to continue its digital-only “Metaverse” fan events through summer 2021.

Emerald City Comic Con, or ECCC, is typically the opening bell of the American fan convention season, but it rung differently in 2020. On March 6, the convention became the first of its kind to postpone (and eventually cancel all together) due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. Most American conventions followed in its wake, including the king of them all, San Diego Comic-Con.

In 2021, ECCC will take place at the Washington State Convention Center on Dec. 2-5, with the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (or C2E2) following a weekend later at McCormick Place from Dec. 10-12. Timing for in-person conventions is still an unknown as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations rise again around the country, but in the meantime, ReedPop says it will continue with its successful “Metaverse” slate of online fan celebrations starting in spring and “set for the summer.”

“If we have learned anything from our experiences this year, it’s how resilient our fans, creators, exhibitors and sponsors are,” said Lance Fensterman, president of ReedPop, in a news release. “We’ve come together to support and uplift one another, adapting to our new normal to create meaningful experiences that capture the community and excitement felt at any one of our shows. Now, we’re ready to look forward to 2021 and gearing up to bring you the best slate of comic con events possible, both in the real and virtual world.”

ReedPop’s move will undoubtedly have eyes turning to its biggest convention, New York Comic Con. NYCC’s typical placement on an early October weekend leaves it just outside the “summer” timing of Metaverse. ReedPop’s announcement also leaves America’s biggest fan convention, San Diego Comic-Con (run by Comic Con International) as the most notable summer convention not yet cancelled or postponed in 2021.