Tag Archives: covid

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Otakon Announces Masks Required but Vaccinations are Not for 2021

Otakon 2021

Otakorp Inc. has announced the safety procedures for Otakon 2021. Masks will be required, but proof of vaccination will not be required. But, Otakorp recommends that all individuals that are able to should get vaccinated if they plan to attend Otakon.

This year, Otakorp requires that masks be worn at all times for anyone over the age of 2. Certain exceptions will be made, such as:

  • Presenters during panels or workshops while socially distanced
  • Cosplayers while photos are being taken while social distanced
  • While eating or drinking in designated areas
  • For the convenience of having their lips read by a person who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • Other areas as approved by Otakon Staff

This policy is subject to change based on changes to CDC guidelines, local regulations or other data.

In addition, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will be providing enhanced cleaning, with environmentally-safe surface protection and disinfection. Deep cleaning cycles will be performed daily. Frequently touched surfaces such as door handles will be coated with antimicrobial and antiviral surface coatings. 

In addition, the convention center now has hospital-grade air filtration systems, including dry hydrogen peroxide and UV disinfection. There will be plasmacluster ionization technology in all elevators and UV light continuous sanitation on all escalator handrails. Full information on the Otakon 2021 safety policy can be found on the web site.

Awesome Con Updates Attendees on Updated Safety Guidelines

Awesome Con 2021

With COVID restrictions in flux and cities “opening up” by lifting restrictions there are still many questions out there as to who will be impacted how and what requirements will be outstanding for conventions. Awesome Con, taking place in August, has sent out an update as to where they stand.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced plans to lift most capacity restrictions beginning May 21, 2021, with a full reopening of Washington D.C. effective June 11, 2021. LeftField Media, which runs Awesome Con, is still being cautious with the health and safety of those attending the convention a priority.

So, while some precautions will no longer be required by local authorities, the covention will still evaluate their own guidelines and safety measures “based on the science of the moment”.

At this time, these precautions will include:

  • Required use of masks within the Walter E. Washington Convention Center
  • Enhanced sanitization stations and cleaning protocols throughout the event
  • Increased spacing with wider aisles, designated entrances, and directional signage to ensure social distancing in all areas of the event on the show floor, panels, meeting rooms and public spaces
  • Ongoing updates on queueing procedures and capacity reduction measures for higher traffic periods over the weekend

At present, they do not plan to require proof of vaccination for entry, but the situation is fluid and this and any measures could change at any time. Furthermore, Awesome Con does not plan to have on-site badge pickup or sales this year. To allow for adequate social distancing, the hope is to reduce the number of touch points and eliminate long queues at in-person registration.

All preordered badges will be mailed after the Friday, June 25th mailing deadline. Those attending are encouraged to purchase their badges before the mailing deadline as tickets ordered after June 25th will include increased shipping fees for expedited delivery.

Again, please remember, all of this information is valid as of Friday, May 14, 2021, and is subject to change. We’ll keep things updated as Awesome Con releases more information.

Awesome Con takes place this August 20-22, 2021!

GlobalComix Announces Resilience: Creators Against COVID, a Charity Anthology

Resilience: Creators Against COVID

GlobalComix has announced Resilience: Creators Against COVID. The anthology is the digital platform’s first original release. GlobalComix has teamed up with creators for original stories about perseverance and hope. 100% of the revenue will go to the creators for them to donate to causes or comic shops of their choosing.

Resilience: Creators Against COVID features 7 chapters which will be released twice a week starting on May 18.

Check out the full creative lineup below:

Released on May 18 2021, made by
Landry Walker (Batman),
Eric Jones (Star Wars),
Taylor Esposito (Daredevil)
are donating to Fantastic Comics in Berkeley, CA

Supposed to Be
Released on May 20 2021, made by
Jamal Igle (Wonder Woman),
Jess Fleming (Outgoing)
are donating to The Trans Women of Color Collective in Bethesda, MD

The Fantastic Flame
Released on May 25 2021, made by
Alex Segura (Archie),
Chantel Acevedo (Muse Squad),
Richard Ortiz (DC Bombshells),
Ellie Wright (Black Ghost),
Taylor Esposito (Daredevil)
are donating to A&M Comics in Miami, Florida

Persian Version of Pop Culture in America
Released on May 27 2021, made by
Sina Grace (Iceman)
is donating to Secret Headquarters Comics in Los Angeles, CA

Surviving Camino Del Diablo
Released on June 1 2021, made by
Henry Barajas (Helm Graycastle),
Nicky Rodriguez (Pulse),
Gabbie Downie (Harleen)
are donating to Palabras Bilingual Bookstore in Phoenix, AZ

7 O’clock
Released on June 3 2021 by
Frank Tieri (Wolverine),
Leisha Riddel (Smooth Criminals),
Christina Rose Chua (Adventure Time)
are donating to The Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses

The Hike
Released on June 8 2021 by
Jeremy Holt (After Houdini, Made in Korea),
Chris Peterson (Dead Beats),
Gab Contreras (Witchblood)
are donating to Vinyl Fantasy in Brooklyn, New York

Janelle Asselin provided editorial management for Resilience: Creators Against COVID, a Charity Anthology while Kat Jackson provided the cover art.

Small Press Expo 2021 Goes Virtual

Small Press Expo

Things are generally still up in the air concerning conventions being held in 2021. Small Press Expo has announced that they have decided to go virtual for this year. Due to the health and safety of guests and the community, the convention decided this was the best course.

SPX 2021 will feature a full slate of programming along with a livestream of the Ignatz Awards ceremony. They will also be announcing special guests who will take part in the virtual panels and workshops so stay tuned this summer for all the details.

They have also announced they have come to an agreement with Marriot concerning this years and future convnetions. The convention will incur higher costs for their 2022 and 2023 conventions instead of having to deal with the cancellation policy.

With that, funding for charitable initiatives are paused until 2024 at the earlest. That includes the Graphic Novel Gift Program and support of the National Book Festival. But, this means the beloved convention will be able to continue for years to come.

Arclight Cinemas, Pacific Theatres Will Not Reopen

Pacific Theatre

Movie theaters have been struggling during the COVID pandemic and news has broken that Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres will close down due to it. The news comes just as things were slowly returning to normal with the box office showing some life as blockbusters are released and individuals receive vaccines.

In a statement, the company said:

After shutting our doors more than a year ago, today we must share the difficult and sad news that Pacific will not be reopening its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres locations. This was not the outcome anyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company does not have a viable way forward.

To all the Pacific and ArcLight employees who have devoted their professional lives to making our theaters the very best places in the world to see movies: we are grateful for your service and your dedication to our customers. To our guests and members of the film industry who have made going to the movies such a magical experience over the years: our deepest thanks. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.

This will shutter some iconic theaters like Cinerama Dome which was featured in film and television.

There is always a chance the company will be bought out but reports indicate the company is behind when it comes to rent for their locations.

The company controlled 300 screens in California and featuring locations outside the state in Boston, Chicago, and Maryland.

HeroesCon Returns in 2022

HeroesCon 2022

June 2022 is the 40th anniversary of the heroes convention and after two years of the pandemic, HeroesCon 2022 will be one hell of a return.

After much deliberation, HeroesCon will skip 2021 and instead return in 2022 to mark 40 years.

All 2020/2021 HeroesCon tickets, Artist Alley tables, and Exhibitor Booth reservations will transfer to 2022. Hotel rates will be made available as soon as the 2022 show dates have been finalized.

The convention has been watching vaccinations and most importantly listening to attendees who responded that 95% would not be comfortable attending a June 2021 convention. That along with construction at the convention center, capacity restrictions until the fall, limited on-site concessions, and social distancing helped guide the decision.

San Diego Comic-Con 2021 Goes Virtual With November In-Person Event

San Diego Comic-Con at home

With the COVID pandemic still raging and the future uncertain Comic-Con International has announced that San Diego Comic-Con 2021 will be going virtual. The convention organizers had already announced that Wonder Con, which was to take place in March, would be doing the same.

San Diego Comic-Con 2021 will again be virtual and free, like it was in 2020. The virtual event will span three days, July 23 to 25. They are limiting it to three days due to “limited financial resources”.

But, there’s a chance we’ll also get the bonus of an in-person event. San Diego Comic-Con is planning a three-day in-person convention in November. Specific details, attendance capacity, badge cost, etc., will be coming down the road.

For those with badges for 2021, those will be transfered to 2022 unless a refund is equested. The convention is working on possibly rolling things over to November’s event instead.

With two conventions cancelled and mention of it in their newsletter, there’s concern about the convention’s financial stability. It’s a concern being echoed about many conventions.

In their 2019 990 report, the convention had about $27.7 million in expenses for the year. It’s unknown what those expenses are now due to the pandemic with no in-person convention and instead 2020 being virtual. It’s also unknown what revenue they might have gained from that convention as well.

You can read their full statement below as well as a link where you can get more information if you’re a current badge holder.

Give Comics Hope Application Period for Comic Shop Assistance is Now Open

Give Comics Hope

Give Comics Hope, the charitable initiative which began its fundraising efforts this past fall has announced the application period opens March 1 and close on March 15 with funds distributed in April. The initiative was created and spearheaded by comic book industry veteran Bill Schanes and designed for all members of our community to rally together to provide vital aid to comic book shops, the heart and roots of our vibrant comic book community.

Shops can apply now.

Give Comics Hope’s charitable efforts have been focused on two auctions and other fundraisers designed to raise the funds to be distributed to comic book stores in early 2021. With the new application dates, this also gives everyone the opportunity to make a donation to Give Comics Hope. The final total raised by Give Comics Hope is still being tabulated as the results from the various fundraisers are still coming in. Depending on how many stores apply and the final amount raised they anticipate the grants will range from $75-$200.

Give Comics Hope has partnered with the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to assisting comic retailers and booksellers, to oversee the management and disbursement of the funds raised by Give Comics Hope. The initiative will take no organizational fees, and will only deduct any actual, direct costs incurred from the funds raised. Binc will not take any organizational fees from the Give Comics Hope initiative and will cover all direct expenses the Foundation incurs. Since its inception, Binc has provided over $9 million in financial assistance and scholarships to more than 9000+ families. Support for the Foundation’s programs and services comes from all sectors of the book and comic industries. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be the safety net for booksellers and comic retailers by supporting employees and their families. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the book and comic industries came together in an extraordinary way allowing Binc to help 2,200 booksellers, comic retailers, and stores with $2.9 million in urgently needed assistance. Help for financial emergencies for booksellers, comic retailers and store owners is available from Binc.

TKO’S Covid-19 Initiative Benefited Over 650 Comic Shops

In 2020 TKO Studios launched an initiative to help comic shops suffering during COVID-18. Launched in March, the comic publisher sent 50% of every sale from their webstore to the local comic shop of a customer’s choosing.

The initiative ended in August and during the 6 months, the publisher sent over 1,500 checks to over 650 comic shops! In May the publisher announced they had sent “over a thousand checks to over 600 stores”.

It’s an impressive initiative showing how publishers can help directly boost comic shops impacted during economic struggles. It was one of the numerous ways publishers and creators rallied to help shops make it through the year. In October, BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation announced they had raised over $950,000 to benefit comic retailers.

TKO Studios

TCAF Goes Virtual in May with the Addition of Canzine and Comics X Games

After a challenging year, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival has announced that TCAF is back from May 8-15, 2021 — with a virtual twist!

Free of the shackles of corporeal existence, TCAF’s marketplace will have more days than ever before, and include a week of on-demand programming. Comic and art lovers will be able to visit TCAF 2021 online to peruse and shop hundreds of exhibitors’ amazing works, sit in on classic Q&As, workshops, talks, and so much more!

TCAF’s new exhibition website is being made in partnership with Canzine (the festival of zines) and the Toronto Hand Eye Society. Zinesters and indie video game creators will be among the 600 virtual exhibitors in May!

Applicants will have the choice to apply for TCAFCanzine OR Comics x Games. Accepted exhibitors will have a customizable online shop page where they can upload up to 5 items for sale. After TCAF, exhibitors will send all sold items to a warehouse, where orders will be bundled and shipped off to shoppers. This process is to help save exhibitors and visitors excess transaction and shipping fees. Options will be available to see additional products.

Applications to exhibit at TCAF 2021 are open until March 3rd, 2021. International exhibitors are welcome! CLICK HERE TO APPLY.

Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2021
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