Concerns over the COVID-19 virus have led to Dark Horse Comics to make a profound choice regarding its presence at Emerald City Comic Con 2020 — it has pulled of the show. The company took to its Facebook page a short time ago to announce the news:
While both film companies and game developers have chosen to pull out of film festival and gaming conferences since the Coronavirus outbreak began, Dark Horse is the first comic book company to do so in light of the coming convention season. Book publisher RandomHouse had previously made the choice not to exhibit this year.
Nevertheless, C2E2 occurred over the weekend in Chicago with seemingly no issues — although it may take up to two weeks for any signs of infection to manifest. Of course, part of the danger of the COVID-19 strain is carriers are infectious during this period when they seem to be healthy.
At the same time, despite a confirmed case of Coronavirus in Washington, ECCC announced its intention to hold the convention over the March 15th weekend, sparking worries across the field — as voiced by our own Oliver MacNamee on Sunday — even as show organizers ReedPOP! declared plans to implement heightened sanitation protocols at the convention center. Nevertheless, many like Jim Zub took to Twitter to regretfully announce their decision to stay home. Which, of course, is the right of anyone planning to go to a comic convention or any other large gathering; particularly if they live with someone at greater risk to the effects of the virus.
As part of our coverage of COVID-19’s effect on the convention season, we plan to publish a closer look at what con-goers can do to keep themselves safe should they choose to go to a convention. In the meantime, we’ll keep a close eye on ECCC and what it could mean for the rest of the year.