Interview: On The Set of The Walking Dead: World Beyond With Nicolas Cantu

Nicolas Cantu as Elton – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

Nicolas Cantu plays as Elton on The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Elton is the youngest of the group of main characters and he is interested in observing everything that is outside the walls of the community. But there is more to Elton than his bright personality and Nicolas Cantu is here to talk about the character.

Myself and other journalists got a chance to speak with Nicolas Cantu during the set tour of The Walking Dead: World Beyond and here are some of the highlights of the interview I will share. Also to note, Nicolas was accompanied by his mother and dog as these interviews took place.

Nicolas on his audition on the show and his initinal reaction

Nicolas: “When I saw the audition and it said ‘TWD3’ (at the time), my mind flipped out. Then I realized that it had nothing to do with the main show. So I had to play this character, but they could not spoil anything of the story elements. So it was a very weird audition to do that. But then I did the audition and I thought it went well. Then I got the callback and I thought that things were getting closer. A month later, I got the call that I will be joining the cast and I jumped on my couch. I was so estatic! It was so crazy.”

Nicolas on his character Elton

Nicolas: ” Elton is a very analitical, 14 year old boy. He is an old soul and is obsessed with this discovery with the world around him. He grew up in this fortified community and he has done all of this study behind the walls. Now it is time to get visceral with this study. Elton’s quest is to go out to the world and seeing how nature and these ’empties’ have affected the way people live outside of these walls. He is obsessed with discovery.”

Why are the walkers on this show called empties?

Nicolas: “In the main show, there is no zombie media so you could not call them zombies. In different parts of the world, people call them different things. We call them empties because they are empty inside. They are a shell of a person now. That is what I think of the thought process is. They are very distinct from the walkers on the main show. They are very affected by the enviornment and you can see how nature has taken both physical places and the bodies of these people.”

Nicolas on if Elton has a weapon of choice

Nicolas: “Elton’s weapon is karate, the knowledge of martial-arts, and his brain. Instead of actively going out to fight these empties, he knows that it is way more effictive and efficent to try to deter them or not engage at all. Every second you are fighting an empty, you also have every second of dying. If he ever comes face to face in a grim situation, he would rather deflect than try to completly demolish the threat.”

Does Elton have a special connection with anyone in the group?

Nicolas: “Elton is an orphan child in the community and he has not had a family in a long time. He and Silas get close together in the pilot. He also gets close with the girls of the group. Elton is building this family that he has not had in a long time. It is a very special thing for him and it is what he cherish the most.”

How does everyone that is younger find out about the empties?

Nicolas: “From inside the university, there are people doing research on the world out there. Elton would read books in the library to study up on what people know and documented on the outside. There are also clases to try to fight these empties. When the time comes, you would know what to strike, what to target, and what to avoid. They do know a lot about it. They have not seen these horrors first hand, but they know of them. The empties lurk outside and the security dispatch them like it is nothing.”

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I Seen The First Two Episodes of The Walking Dead World Beyond and Here are My Non-Spoiler Thoughts

Alexa Mansour as Hope, Aliyah Royale as Iris, Hal Cumpston as Silas, Nicolas Cantu as Elton – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/AMC

Last year, it was announced that a second spinoff of The Walking Dead franchise was in development. From that point on, we were given little details over the months of 2019 until the first trailer was revealed at New York Comic Con.

At the beginning of 2020, the name of the series became known to the public as The Walking Dead: World Beyond. I have watched the first and secondepisode of World Beyond and I will give you my non-spoiler opinions about the two episodes and what can everyone expect from the series.

World Beyond’s first episode gets straight to the point of the mysterious CRM group within the first few minutes of the first episode. You will also get to know a little more about what do they do in other states and why they are there in that community.

At the end of the episode however, you will find out why they arrived at that community to begin with. The main focus of the first episode are the two sisters Hope and Iris. They both went through a crazy event over a decade ago that kept them together, but they are both curious to why CRM is very secretive.

Iris stood out to me more than the entire cast of the episode as she feels that she has to be the one to give her all to the community while not focusing on herself as a person. There will be more to this when she speaks to a particular person.

Iris and Hope also seems like the most affected members of that community to what happened 10 years ago as they both still struggle mentally to live their lives in a safe community. You will also see that there is an unexpected connection with Iris, Hope, and Elton too and Elton is a fun, easy going person who is also curious to see what the world outside their community is like.

Nico Tortorella as Felix, Annet Mahendru as Huck – TWD: World Beyond _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/AMC

Felix is the head of the security of Campus Colony and it shows since his jacket with the CRM emblem is a different color than everyone else. Felix is also the first LGBT character on World Beyond as he told a story of his ex-boyfriend to one of the characters on one of the scenes.

He also acts as a big brother to one of the characters too especially on a particular scene where he had to temporary arrest that character. Felix’s authority is believable due to the fact that he is the oldest of the main characters.

The other security guard that is part of the cast is named “Huck” (played by Annet Mahendru) and we do not know her first name yet. She has a bond with Felix and also with Hope. But on the second episode, we see her and Felix spend a lot of time together and they both get to know more about eachother.

The main plot of the first episode is that they are celebrating a holiday to remember what happened a decade ago. Also during the episode, there will be a particular reason to why the group goes out of the Campus to adventure the world. There is a motivation behind it and it will not be too long to find out why.

The second episode revolves around the first adventure the group goes on, and a backstory on Felix. Felix’s past made me really feel for the character because he went through so much. You would have not thought that the head of security at that community had a tragic backstory when you see Felix on the first episode. Nico Tortorella stated on Talking Dead not too long ago that his character was kicked out of his house when he was younger due to him coming out as gay. That will be expanded on this episode.

Another thing about Felix’s past during this episode, is that it also haunts him in a disturbing way to his mental state.

What is also interesting, is that when you hear the main characters interract, you will learn that they all have had a bad past which brings them all closer together. This is showcased during the episode even though it also shows that they are inexperienced dealing with taking down empties.

Life outside of what they are used to will take time for these characters to get adjusted to because it gets tough out there for them early on. There were many times that I rememberd that this is their first time outside the walls to see the world.

Elton also really shined on this episode too and he questions if they can survive outside of where they lived, and if they would one day become one of the empties. There is a particular reason to why Hope and Elton are connected and once you find out, your mind will be blown.

The second episode does end in a minor cliffhanger, but it is the character development of the characters in a swift time that makes this one stand out.

I will have to say that it was werid to see everything so normal in that Campus like nothing even happened at first from an outsider looking in as there are school classes, karate classes, and much more. But they realize that the dead, which are called “empties” on this series, is still out there. There is more to the cast other than them being young ten years into the apoclapse and you will get to know who everyone is little by little.

Also, bonus points to Silas as he reminds me of one person I knew in high school!

I was optimistic and curious of the second spinoff since it was announced and when I went on the set tour last fall (That article will be coming soon), I got to learn about more of the show and how it will tie into the unannounced Rick Grimes movies. Especially since CRM is more than just trading people for supplies.

There is a strong cast and I am looking forward to the rest of the season. But it will take time for the general audience to grow with the characters because many will most likely tune in just for the lead up to the Rick Grimes movies than the characters itself.

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The Walking Dead Will Have a Twitch Channel Coming Soon Called The Walking Dead Universe

AMC has announced that they have partnered with Twitch to create The Walking Dead Universe channel. This channel will serve as the main place for fans to interract in real time from the start, to finish. What is more exciting, is that it will be done every sunday starting at 7:30pm and it will continue untill midnight.

This was created so Twitch and AMC will have one central place for The Walking Dead fans to come together and talk about the latest news and episodes under one platform that is outside of Twitter and Instagram.

The schedule is the following as AMC stated on the press release:

7:30pm Recapping Dead Pre-Show – Hosts dive into recaps of the previous week’s episode, explore theories and give their best predictions and speculations before the new episode premieres on television.

9:00pm Live Watch Party – During the episode, TWDUniverse will keep streaming on Twitch to create a live second screen experience for new episodes in The Walking Dead Universe with behind-the-scenes info pop-ups, interactions from the community and live host reactions.

11:00pm After Show – Following the premiere of Talking Dead, fans can continue the discussion in a more informal, interactive space on Twitch, taking a deeper dive into the new episodes.

With four hours of content and a place for everyone to join and talk about everything with The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, and Walking Dead: World Beyond, this is too good to pass up. Twitch has brought people together and The Walking Dead has too and with these two together, the best that will come out of it is a growing community!

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Danai Gurira Recieves Gracie Award For Actress in a Lead Drama

The Alliance for Women in Media has held their 2020 edition of The Gracies Awards virtually this year as they reconize the work and dedication of women in the television and entertainment industry. The Gracies has been honoring women for over 20 years and this year, former The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira has won the award of the Best Actress in a Lead Drama.

Danai Gurira has played as Michonne on The Walking Dead from season 3, to her exit on season 10. Danai has left many memorable memories as Michonne ever since her entrance on the show and her performance on season 10 has been critically acclaimed by the fans and critics.

When Danai had her time to give her acceptance speech for the award, she said this on the video below:

“I am very blessed to be able to play as Michonne. I loved her and I love the show and the beautiful family that I got from the experience. This is a serious blessing to have it on top of all of that. Thank you so much to The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation which is a very important thing. So I defently and deeply appreciate this. Thanks so much.”

Danai Gurira has also had highly praised roles within the last few years such as Tupac Shakur’s mother Afeni Shakur on All Eyez on Me, Okoye on Marvel’s Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. In 2020, it was announced that Danai will be the executive producer of HBO’s Americanah which is based on the 2013 novel of the same name.

It will be great to see what the future holds for Danai Gurira and she will always be a central member of The Walking Dead family!

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Breaking News: Season 11 Will be The Last Season of The Walking Dead

Ross Marquand as Aaron, ,Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Dan Fogler as Luke – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

For ten years, The Walking Dead has graced our screens with our favorite characters, moments, stories, and even the walkers itself. Within those ten years, we got two spinoff shows (Fear The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: World Beyond), video games, conventions, and more content of The Walking Dead franchise for the fans. But today, is the day that we all did not want to imagine happen.

AMC announced that the upcoming 11th season of The Walking Dead will be the final season. For this season, it will be 24 episodes instead of the normal 16 episodes. That is with the exception of the 10th season in which it will have six additional episodes after the season finale airs on October 4th. The 11th season will end sometime in 2022.

The other news that came with that announcement, is that fan favorite characters Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) will have their own spinoff series focusing on the characters which will premiere in 2023.

The Walking Dead:World Beyond is stated to last for two seasons and it is also supposed to lead up to the upcoming Rick Grimes films. Fear The Walking Dead’s first half of the sixth season will begin airing on October 11th and as of right now, there is no word if we will have a seventh season.

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My Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Credit: Marvel Entertainment

The news of Chadwick Boseman passing away last night shocked the entire world. Even on social media as everyone shared their memories about him and how he has impacted their lives. This ranged from actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, athletes, professional wrestlers, musicians, and even comedians. The way Chadwick has brought together so many lives in different forms of the entertainment industry and fans worldwide, can never be taken away or forgotten as his performances and roles in films such as 42, Get On Up, and Black Panther has done exactly that.

This news really hits home for me because I loved him as an actor when he is on screen, and as a person outside of when he is playing a character. Chadwick Boseman will be missed and I would like to give my tribute to this iconic actor.

My first exposure of Chadwick Boseman was on the film 42. Me, my brother, and my dad watched it at my father’s house on Father’s Day and we were really impressed on his portrayal of Jackie Robinson. We also talked about Jackie Robinson because my father told us stories of our grandfather going to the games that he played at that time.

42 is a powerful film and I also recommend everyone to watch it because of Chadwick’s performance and to see a story of what was it like in the MLB for Africian Americans at the time.

Chadwick has also played as James Brown on Get On Up and when I seen that film at the time, I thought to myself of the many possibilities of Chadwick portraying influential Africian American entertainers, politicans, and athletes from black history that can bring more awareness in the mainstream level. I always felt like black cinema never gets the attention that is deserved and it was very frustrating to have those feelings for the longest time. By the time that Black Panther was announced to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a change was coming.

Chadwick Boseman made his debut as Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Captain America: Civil War. I can also personally say that it is my favorite film in the MCU and I was excited to see that he was going to portray Black Panther. Chadwick was the right person for it and the world wanted a Black Panther film and we would finally get it over a year and a half later.

The atmosphere was different for this film since Black Panther is the first black superhero and the character was created during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. I remember when I seen it in the theater, there were many people dressed up as Black Panther.

But what caught my eye, was the attendees dressed up in African fabrics, or clothing that was part of the Black Panther Party and the Black Lives Matter movement. This was an unique experience I witnessed and everyone in the theater cheered for the attendees that had that clothing on.

This also meant that this was more than just a superhero movie, but it is a cultural statement that needed to be out in the open. The fact that this is a superhero film with a strong black cast and that there were online groups trying to review bomb this film made me upset. But that did not stop the majority of reviewers to praise the film’s acting, story, VFX, music, and cast as it is universally loved.

When I seen Black Panther in the theater, I noticed the smiles and the cheering from the younger audience from different backgrounds for the majority of the film including the climax battle between Black Panther and Killmonger. That is what mattered the most in my eyes as younger fans who view this movie, have a black superhero to believe in, and to look up to. Also to note, the amount of charaites and celebrities that paid for a lot of tickets for black children and teenagers to see the film is heartwarming. That has never been done for a film with an entire black cast to this degree before Black Panther and since then, it has happen in various genres of black cinema.

I know that the majority of fans of the MCU will say that there are other characters to look up to, but it is entirely different with Black Panther as he is relatable to the black culture. Years from now, those same children and teenagers will tell the story of that day and how it impacted them. They are not going to care about what the critics said, or who is the better super hero. They will talk about the day that they have went to the movies to see a black superhero film and how much it meant to them, and how much it meant to their family that took them to see it. The opening weekend of Black Panther will be remembered as a cultural event and I am happy that I got to witness it all.

Personal note too, My mother recently watched Black Panther for the first time and she has never seen a superhero film before. She loved it because of what the film represented and how much the black actors meant to her. And my grandmother, Doreatha Brown Rahming passed away in early 2020 due to her cancer coming back.

And she did not tell anyone until a few days before her passing. I could understand why she did not want to to tell anyone at the time and I understand and respect why Chadwick did not want the public to know since he would be getting messages and calls every day about it in my opinion as the media would only focus on his appearence over his work if he told the world that he was battling colon cancer a few years ago.

Chadwick Boesman also acted in these films while he had colon cancer and nobody knew it at the time. That right there takes a huge amount of strength and determination and heart when you think about this. Chadwick has also been involved in a huge amount of charities around the wolrd since Black Panther as he touched the hearts of many children who are sick, and the many that wanted to meet him too at the convention scene. Chadwick Boesman will never be forgotten and his work in the industry has cemented a legacy in film and in black cinema.

I also want to add that I seen this minutes after the news broke about recasting for Black Panther 2. That should not be on anyone’s mind right now. Everyone needs to grieve and mourn Chadwick and have those discussions when the time is right.

Rest in Power Chadwick Boesman! Gone but never forgotten.

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DC FanDome Is Exactly What San Diego Comic Con at Home Should Have Been.

Last month, San Diego Comic Con at Home took place and it was considered a flop. There was little to no promotion about it at all as Comic Con International assumed that everyone would know that it was transitioning into an online event. Even when it did, not many knew about it the week of and there were a number of people that did not know about SDCC at Home until days or weeks after. This year was a disaster for the event and we can all hope that it will not be an all-virtual event next year like it was this year.

DC and Warner Bros did not have anything planned for SDCC due to it being canceled because of the pandemic. But what they did over the weekend, was DC FanDome. Not only that the online event was successful, Variety reported that DC FanDome drew over 22 million views in the first 24 hours. Comic Con International must be looking at DC FanDome and realizing that they should have done almost everything that DC FanDome done in the first place.

What made DC FanDome successful, is mostly due to the anticipation and the hype around it. There were commercials on television and social media that were shown nonstop for about two weeks before the event. I even searched local ads in the San Diego market about SDCC at Home and there were none that I found. What was also satisfying about how DC FanDome, is that all of the panels, segments, and small skits were on one channel which was the official Warner Bros YouTube account. Nobody had to had different browsers open for different panels on different channels like how it was terribly handled during SDCC at Home. I also noticed the efford of making DC FanDome an epic event from the start where there were virtual stages starting with Wonder Woman 1984. All of those virtual stages were drawn by Jim Lee and it is little details like what we seen that makes this feel like a big deal. Over at SDCC at Home, they just went from panel to panel and that was really it.

Speaking of the panels, the length of most of them were all shorter than the hour long panels that were offered at SDCC at Home and this was a blessing because there was no filler or akward pauses at all during those panels. And DC FanDome is not all about the panels as we also got funny skits such as the ask Harley Quinn one, and the one where Batman Beyond and Bruce Wayne were watching and reatcing to Adam West’s Batman TV show. Those small skits in between usually happens at Comic Con and it sure felt that way when the majority of fans were watching. Also, there were times that cosplay whether if its humans or pets were showcased in between the panels during DC FanDome. San Diego Comic Con at Home had something similar to this, but it did not happen in between the panels.

The biggest interest of DC FanDome is The Batman and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. There were other big announcements such as a Static Shock film being produced, the title of the Shazam sequel being revealed, and the reveal of the cast and characters of The Suicide Squad. All of the news that came out of DC FanDome was talked about for days unlike the little content we got at SDCC at Home. Don’t get me wrong, I love the news we got out of The Walking Dead panels and some of the other panels, but they were not talked about by people outside the fanbase like it was with the announcements that came out of DC FanDome.

I do not want to bury SDCC at Home six feet under, but if you compare the two events, DC FanDome knocks out all of SDCC at Home with a single punch and DC FanDome will return in a few more weeks to showcase all of the television offerings and have virtual events for fans. Something SDCC at Home did not have at all. I know that Comic Con international had a short time to come up with content to offer, but DC FanDome also had a short time too and they succeeded wheras Comic Con failed this year.

Looking at DC FanDome, I think of the future of what would happen if Warner Bros never return to Comic Con because when Nintendo never returned to E3, Nintendo produced Nintendo Directs and it has been successful as they still have them to this day. I would not say that DC FanDome will be an online virtual event every year as I believe that eventually, DC FanDome will have their own in person event similar to Star Wars Celebration, or D23. If that happens, we would also have to look out for Marvel Studios too.

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The Boys Season 2 Non-Spoiler Review

Last year, Amazon’s The Boys premiered on Prime and it has beed a huge hit across the world. It has caught the interest of longtime comic book fans of the series, and curious viewers that has heard of the show. I can personally say that I love the first season and I was happy when I seen that the second season was announced.

The first season ended in a cliffhanger. And the second season not only continued from the last scene of the first season when Billy finds out that his family is alive, but it also fleshed out the stories from the current characters, and the new characters as well. Here is my non-spoiler review of the second season of The Boys.

Season 2 of The Boys continues the story of Season 1 and it raised the bar from what we seen on Season 1. The main plot of the season, is how the hidden secrets of the first season will affect the superheroes, and Boys. The Seven also gets a new member named Stormfront and how I can describe her, is that she is in tune of the political world of today, and another thing about Stormfront that I cannot say, is that she will most likely be very despised within the fanbase because of her actions. She is also very funny too especially that one scene where she makes questionable memes and posts them on social media. But it is not all good as Stormfront and Homelander are not on the same page at first as they are enemies. But they both eventually put aside their feud since they both have one thing in common and that is, to abuse their power behind the scenes. You will see an example of this power struggle when she joins The Seven and a few episodes after that, you may wish that she did not join in the first place.

Speaking of Homelander, I find his character development this season far better than the first season especially since his son is in his life and he wants to be a good father when he is around him. Homelander also wants his son to be like him, but his son does not want to become what Homelander is. Anthony Starr really knocked it out the park with his portrayal of Homelander and it made me think of how much of a human side he has when he is not in the public eye infront of those cameras. I also thought the same way with Starlight and her story and development this season I thought was handled really good. A-Train’s scenes made me wanted to feel some sympathy for the character on the first few episodes of the season and I could not blame him at all.

I cannot forget Karl Urban. Him and Jack Quaid’s chemistry grew here on season two as I felt that their chemistry on season one was still building . They both really get eachother’s characters and there are a few scenes involving them two that made me laugh especially at the end of the second episode, into the beginning of the third episode. The way Karl Urban portrayed Billy this season is far differenty than the last season and it is night and day when you compare the character in both seasons.

I would like to also say that the gore on this season is much more brutal, and gruesome than the last season. There were moments on this season where my jaw dropped due to the nature of the gore on particular scenes especially for the most part, The Female, also known as Kimiko. In fact, we find out early on in the season something interesting about Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) and what drives her to take down The Seven. If you are not into gore, I would suggest for you to turn away when those unexpected gore moments happen involving her along with all the other characters. There are also twists and turns that you will not see coming and there are quite a lot of surprises that comes with it too.

Although I do love the stories of this season and what was presented, I feel that there is an unbalance of which side are you, the viewer, are going to be on. But I love this season’s production and plot. What you thought of how the two sides of good and evil were in season one, is thrown out the window on season two as both sides have their own motives of the reasons they do what they do. In this case, nobody is in the right or wrong here as it is open for interpretation in my own eyes. And as far as scenes that were adapted and remixed in the source material, there are a lot of big scenes from the comic that happens on this season and you will have to find out for yourself when the season premieres.

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First Look of The Official Logo of The Batman Has Been Revealed

DC FanDome is taking place this weekend and one of the major films from the DCEU that will be showcased is The Batman. As fans cannot wait to see Robert Patterson in action as the film will be released next year, director Matt Reeves revealed the official logo of The Batman today on his Twitter account.

What was also revealed, is the official artwork of The Batman as Jim Lee made the artwork. This will sure bring more hype to this Saturday when the panel begins and it is expected that we will see the official trailer of The Batman. The logo also reveals the new Bat-symbol too that will also be on the Bat-suit that Robert Patterson will have on.

What is also expected, is news about The Batman during the panel at DC FanDome. Variety also reported that filming of The Batman will resume in September as it was delayed due to the ongoing pandemic. Matt Reeves stated that he wanted to give a first look of The Batman a few days early and share the artwork poster that was made by Jim Lee.

The Batman will be the last panel to stream on DC FanDome this Saturday.

What do you think of The Batman logo and the outstanding artwork made by Jim Lee? Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content.

San Diego Comic Con at Home Should Not be a Yearly Event

The ongoing pandemic caused for San Diego Comic Con to switch to virtual this year. When this was announced, many fans were curious to see how this would be pulled off. I was also one of them to think that way too since I cover San Diego Comic Con every year. As the online event finished last weekend, I have gathered all of my opinions to why this would not work every year and also, why some aspects of this year’s event should be carried over to future comic cons.

One thing I have to get out of the way, is that Comic Con International has tried their best putting together the good content that was shown last week. From The Walking Dead, Bill and Ted Face the Music, The New Mutants, Motherland: Fort Salem, and even panels with upcoming Marvel and DC comics, there was a lot to digest with those panels. But that is where the first problem arised. There were way too many panels being shown at either the same time, or at different times on different channels outside of the official San Diego Comic Con channel. I feel that all of the panels should have been on one channel from the start, to the finish of the day. It is however, nice that you can watch them at your own home. But the experience of being in those panel rooms with nearly a few thousand fans cheering at every announcement and exclusive footage cannot be stripped away and it is severly missed. Yes sure, some of the big announcements that happened on the virtual panels were exciting to hear and witness, but it is also lacking the energy that we all feel in person. What I would suggest for next year, is for a hybrid version of this. That way, the ones who cannot attend the panel, can watch it either at home, or on their screen.

But there is another issue to tackle with that too since many big studios premiere sneak peaks to the live audience exclusively. How would it work for those studios to premiere that exclusive to the fans in attendance while people are watching it at home knowing that select footage cannot be filmed? Believe me when I say this because I was at the screening of IT: Chapter II at SDCC in 2019 and there were security guards at that theater watching everyone like a hawk since you could not record footage. And the studios would most likely not stream that same footage too. It is just something to think about since that kind of content is exclusive to the fans and press in attendance. But going back to the panels, it was understanding why many of the big studios did not want to showcase any material for this year’s event due to the pandemic. But the marketing aspect of SDCC at Home was abysmal. Only fans of comic con knew that this was taking place, but not the general public. I know many people that did not even know that San Diego Comic Con was happening as a virtual event this year until a few days later. And some did not know until the panels showed up as a recommendation on YouTube. I know that comic con sells itself, but there should have been more effort to market this event to every fandom. Speaking of effort, Most of the panels took place on zoom and there were a lot of technical difficulties that I noticed. But I wish that a few of them would have been live because whether if you like fan interraction at the panels with live questions or not, they are important. The feeling is not the same when panel hosts have to read tweets and Instagram comments as questions since we cannot assume that everyone that goes to comic con, has social media. That is why their only opportunity for the most part, is when the talent is on stage when you get your opportunity to ask your question. You would think that these panels that were pre-recorded, would have been edited very well. But no, that was not the case on most of the panels.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JULY 21: KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, and Cole Sprouse speak at the “Riverdale” Special Video Presentation and Q&A during 2019 Comic-Con International at San Diego Convention Center on July 21, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Another thing I wanted to bring up, is that it is named “comic con” for a reason and it did not feel like that since the virtual panels were more talked about than the virtual convention itself. I personally, not only go to these conventions to cover it, I also spend time at the artist alley, the gaming area, and the cosplay area. Everything that makes a comic con should have been happening last weekend, but the talk of the panels diminished that. Sure, there were links to check out the vendors, but there was barely any mention of any of them at all outside of a few tweets. I think that there should have been more on a spotlight on the comic creators and vendors too.

And finally, I have to bring this up because this was a big problem starting from Wednesday night, until the final day. Funko went virtual for the first time during comic con weekend. Normally, you would have to enter a lottery for your chance to buy a Funko exclusive and if you do not win the lottery, then you will have to go to the retailers that have the shared exclusives. Since there was no lottery, everyone had the chance to buy their Funko Pops. But seconds after the stores online opened, many of them were already sold out as confused buyers questioned how this even happened.

It got worse when buyers already had their selections in the cart to checkout and when they did, the “sold out” icon appeared. This went on to the next day as the buyers had to wait at least an hour or two, to even attempt to buy their item. And at the retailers, many retailers had to put a limit to how many of the same item you can purchase. Those signs went up at some of the retailers after the fact since there were a number of people buying multiple copies of the same Funko Pop. The CEO of Funko even had to make an apology for everyone that is having a bad experience.

I can hope that next year, San Diego Comic Con (And even other comic cons across the world) can return in full swing and better than ever. I appreciated what we got this year, but I know for sure that everyone felt it in their hearts that comic con has been affected by the pandemic. I also wonder if and when things get back to normal next year, how much could they limit the crowd due to social distancing. The entire experience of San Diego Comic Con cannot be duplicated, or bitten down to size infront of a screen because it is more than a convention, it is a week long event that thousands of fans love to attend each year.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com