Tag Archives: covid

SPX 2021 Faces an Unknown Future Due to COVID

SPX

At this point, the planning process for this year’s Small Press Expo would be well underway. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that planning has led to continued uncertainty over the event.

In an update to the community, the SPX team has let it be known that the “only certainty we have for SPX 2021 is uncertainty”.

The convention is in a difficult position as large-scale in person events are booked years in advance which means there were already contractual obligations for 2020 and 2021 before everything went to shit.

Due to those contracts, SPX can’t unliaterly and preemptively cancel their 2021 event. They would experience penalties they’d have to pay the hotel and it’d jeopardize the future of the show.

So, that puts the convention in the hands of the Montgomery County, MD government. If the county says events such as SPX still cannnot happen, it makes it easier for the show to back out of their contract. So, the convention needs to wait to see what decisions the county makes before making a final determination on the status of the 2021 event. Last year, that decision was made in June.

SPX has vowed to do the following:

  • Stay in contact with MontCo’s Department of Health and other agencies to monitor them so SPX can see how they are reacting, or not, to allowing events like SPX to happen.
  • SPX will hold off the exhibitor processes of the lottery and invites until at least April. Sometime in late March, they will update the community on whether they will start the Exhibitor processes or not.
  • Room block information for reserving hotel rooms will not go out until SPX decides whether to move forward with the Exhibitor processes.
  • SPX will work with publishers on a slate of Special Guests with the understanding that they might not attend an in-person event but would be invited to participate in virtual programming.

The next update will happen in late March when we all will have a better idea as far as how vaccination programs are going and what the infection rates are.

Around the Tubes

It’s one of two new comic book days today. What are you all looking forward to? Sound off in the comments! While you wait to start reading, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

ICv2 – Comic Industry Forecasts for 2021: Dare to Hope! – What do you expect to see in 2021?

Smash Pages – Looking Back | COVID and Comics – How do you think it impacted comics? Did things actually come out for the better?

The Beat – The Beat’s 2021 Creator Survey Part 1: We Survived 2020 – The Beat kicks off their annual survey!

The COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Makes Illegal Streaming a Felony

Bill School House Rocks

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) looks like he’s getting his wish as his legislation to increase the penalties for streaming unlicensed work is currently part of the desperately needed COVID-19 relief legislation being voted on today.

Tillis’ legislation is a bit different than the legislation of the past with a focus more on commercial operators than individual users. If passed, illegal streaming of works including movies and musical works could carry up to 10 years in jail.

The current relief legislation as a whole is being criticized for being dropped on elected officials to vote on and there not being given enough time to read it. This is surely just one example of unrelated legislation included.

The bill also features a plan to create a small claims adjudication system within the U.S. Copyright Office. The “claims court” would forgo judges for “claims officers.” These claims officers will be able to issue fines up to $30,000. The House Judiciary Committee called that amount “truly small” amount.

That is the culmination of years of work by advocates on behalf of copyright owners a way to deal with infringement outside of going through the court system. That may be unconstitutional and will likely be challenged as such if passed. The system gives the option as an opt-in and isn’t compulsory so there’s the belief it’ll pass a legal challenge due to that. The goal is to lead to a swifter resolution over takedowns of copyright material posted online. The DMCA is already a tool that’s widely abused and we’re sure this will be as well.

Known as the CASE Act, it had previously passed the House by a 410-6 vote before being blocked in the Senate by Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Legislation is often added to legsilation like the COVID-19 relief knowing that the legislation will likely pass and on their own, the legislation would not.

A vote will occur today on the legislation.

The 2021 Denver Pop Culture Con Has Been Canceled

Denver Comic Con

The Denver Pop Culture Con has canceled its convention scheduled for May 2021. With ongoing restrictions and uncertainty towards the future, the convention decided to make an early call. The convention was set for May 14-16 at the Colorado Convention Center.

The convention’s cancelation has caused an impact in that it also has caused cutbacks involving the nonprofit tied to the convention, Pop Culture Classroom as well as the convention itself.

There is going to be a shift in their missions going forward focusing in on educational opportunities, instruction, and connecting with the creative community during the health crisis.

The convention and nonprofit are focusing on expanding online offerings for students, teachers, and aspiring creators, as well as engage fans virtually.

With a money crunch Pop Culture Classroom is asking for donations to help continue.

For those with questions about the convention cancelation, you can visit an online FAQ.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What are you all excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below. While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

University at Buffalo Reporter – Students around world create COVID-themed comics through UB program – Very cool to see.

Kotaku – Is Spider-Man: Miles Morales Better Than 2018’s Spider-Man? – What do you all think?

Review

ICv2 – Plutocracy: Chronicles of a Global Monopoly

Plutocracy

Around the Tubes

It’s one of two new comic book days this week! What are you all getting? What excites you? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: BRAIN ANTHOLOGY messes with your mind – Free comics!

Kotaku – Spider-Man PS4 Saves Will Transfer To Spider-Man Remastered On PS5 With Post-Release Update – This is pretty cool.

ICv2 – Towards a Post-COVID Comics Industry – Where do you think the industry is heading post-COVID?

Review

Atomic Junk Shop – Paying the Land

Paying the Land

The Nerd Store Gets a Moment in Jenny Wilson’s Mayoral Election

Comics and geekdom is political but you don’t often see members of the community in political ads. Jenny Wilson is running for re-election for Mayor of Salt Lake County and in their first ad, they’ve included testimonials from the many businesses and individuals she’s helped during these tough times.

The campaign recently went up on television with their first political ad called “Choices.” In the ad, Charles C. Prows of The Nerd Store talks about how Wilson’s work allowed the business to keep its staff on payroll during these tough times.

Check out the full ad and remember to vote!

Los Angeles Comic Con is Going Forward in December

Los Angeles Comic Con

In a not totally head-scratching decision, Los Angeles Comic Con has announced they are going forward with an in-person event in December. It’ll be one of the first conventions in Southern California to do so. The new dates for the convention are December 11-13 pushing things back from its normal October schedule. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 29.

Chris DeMoulin, the general manager of Los Angeles Comic Con stated:

Over the past six months, we’ve been struggling with a very important question: “Should we even ATTEMPT to have L.A. Comic Con in 2020?

Since March, we’ve been living in some version of a ‘Lockdown/Safer at Home’ world, trying hard to stay safe, hoping and praying for the health and safety of ourselves, our family, friends, neighbors and all of our fellow human beings. We’re wearing masks, keeping socially distant, and remaining thankful for frontline workers, hospital personnel and everyone working hard to make a difference.

And yet, we all yearn for just a little bit of normality, to reclaim some aspects of our lives pre-COVID.

Precautions are being taken,

The convention will utilize more space renting the entire convention center allowing greater distancing for attendees. Activities like shopping, main stage guests, autographs/photographis will have their own hall within the convention center.

There will also be “split schedules” with each day divided into two five-hour sessions with “deep cleaning” before, between, and after each.

There will be fewer fans with the number of tickets sold for a given single session being half the number of fans allowed into the hall in the past.

There will also be a dual virtual experience with main panels being live-streamed for anyone that doesn’t feel safe or wants to mix up their physical and virtual experiences.

Add in plans for limiting lines, requiring masks, six feet social distancing, the organizers feel like they can hold the convention safely.

As has happened with other conventions, it doesn’t mean this will absolutely go on. If the event is canceled, all tickets will be honored for the next Los Angeles Comic Con.

California has been seeing mixed results in cases lately with Los Angeles being one of the more active centers of infection. While infections are lower than they were in July and August, the state still has a long way to go.

Currently, Los Angeles County is considered “widespread” which means schools and nonessential businesses are supposed to remain closed. The hospitalizations have been steady with 1,000 new cases and 23 deaths per day. While the area has seen a dip since July, it hasn’t seen the flatten line of infections to show conditions are improving. The California Health Department currently has ordered convention centers in Los Angeles County to remain closed.

Baltimore Comic-Con Goes Virtual for 2020 and Returns in person October 2021

Baltimore Comic-Con has made a number of announcements regarding its 2020 event. Launching in cooperation with its friends at Mainframe Comic-Con, the 2020 show will be held as an online live event, replicating the comic convention you’ve come to love for these past 20 years but in a virtual environment! The Baltimore Convention Center has now confirmed that they will not be hosting any gatherings for the remainder of the calendar year while they continue services as a COVID testing center, as well as maintaining a COVID field hospital facility capability, housing hospital beds to support another surge should that occur. Exhibitors, retailers, Artists Alley, guests, the Ringo Awards, and programming will transition to an online live event, enabling fans the world over to experience the Baltimore Comic-Con!

The convention will be making announcements on its mailing list and social media, so please sign up and follow! If you’re a regular attendee, you’ll find yourself in a familiar environment. If you’ve never been able to attend (especially since geography and budget are no longer considerations), this is a great opportunity to come and get a taste of the show!

TICKETS
All tickets purchased for the 2020 event will automatically transfer to our October 22-24, 2021 show. Frank Miller Tickets will transfer as well — Frank has already confirmed his plan to attend in 2021. Additionally, AfterShock ComicsSource Point Press, and Valiant Entertainment have each donated $10 vouchers for ticket holders to purchase merchandise at their booths in 2021. Ticket holders will also receive comics and trade paperback/graphic novels electronically this year — Dark Ark Volume 1 and Animosity Volume 1 from AfterShock Comics, The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood TPB and DEK Volume 2 #1 from Source Point Press, and Bloodshot Book One TPB and X-O Manowar #1 from Valiant Entertainment. Additionally, BOOM! Studios will be providing PDFs of The Woods Volume 1 and Wynd issue #1, both by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas.

Funds received from ticket (as well as from exhibitor booth sales) enable the continuity of the show, paying for real costs such as the rental of the Baltimore Convention Center, ongoing operations expenses, and costs associated with marketing activities as examples. If you are suffering from a financial hardship due to the pandemic and simply cannot justify the wait until next year, the convention will do our best to issue refunds on a case-by-case basis, which may take time to do.

2021 GUESTS
While guests’ availability changes from year to year, Baltimore Comic-Con is hoping to re-book most (if not all) of the previously announced 2020 guests again, as well as complete some pretty amazing plans that were afoot when the world changed, both guest-wise and overall with respect to events at the show! While they are still in the process of working with confirmed guests, as of now, they have re-confirmed Marty BaumannJohn BeattyBrett BreedingHoward ChaykinFrank ChoBecky CloonanSteve ConleyKatie CookKristina Deak-LinsnerGarth EnnisMitch GeradsJoe GiellaGene HaDean HaspielGreg HildebrandtJamal IgleTom KingJoseph Michael LinsnerBob McLeodCarla Speed McNeilFrank MillerTerry MooreJames PascoeAndrew PepoyDavid PetersenBrandon PetersonTom RaneyAfua RichardsonLouise SimonsonWalter SimonsonJohn K. Snyder IIIJill ThompsonRobert VendittiMark WaidGene Luen Yang, and Thom Zahler.

Around the Tubes

Dark Nights: Death Metal: Trinity Crisis #1

It’s new comic book day! What are you all planning on getting? What are you excited to read? Lets us know in the comments below. While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Star – Toronto police officer ordered to remove ‘Punisher’ patch from uniform – Good, this not a character cops should be looking up to.

Kotaku – How To Make The Most Of Avengers’ Endgame – Who’s playing and what do you think?

Atomic Junk Shop – A web comic everyone should be reading: COVID Chronicles – Definitely one to check out.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Magic is a virus and Noam the only survivor in The Fever King – Free comics!

Reviews

CBR – Dark Nights: Death Metal: Trinity Crisis #1
Comics Bulletin – Hellblazer: Rise and Fall #1

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