From its humble beginnings in 1970 to its status as the premier destination for nerd culture today, San Diego Comic-Con has grown into something of a conundrum. On the one hand, itꞌs too big to miss; on the other hand, itꞌs too big to attend. Overcrowding has become a problem for press and fans alike, and if youꞌre lucky enough to go, most of your time will be spent waiting in lines, then getting shut out of events because theyꞌve hit capacity anyway.
Take it from this writer who did actually brave SDCC a few years back: If you donꞌt have to go, donꞌt go. Unlike the SDCCs of yore, this yearꞌs convention (July 21 to July 24) will have a variety of online streaming options, meaning that you can catch the latest announcements and celebrity appearances right from your computer, phone, tablet or TV. True, you wonꞌt get to regale your friends with tales of your California adventures, but if you can find some decent Mexican food near where you live, youꞌre halfway to having an authentic SDCC experience.
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IGN occupies an interesting position in the SDCC hierarchy, in that itꞌs both a prolific panel host and a news organization. As such, IGN will be streaming many of its panels, in addition to news and on-the-floor coverage through its website. Some highlights include a guest appearance during the Marvel live stream, a panel about the CWꞌs popular show The 100, a panel that examines both Scooby-Doo and the WWE and a panel about the Crackle-exclusive Dead Rising: Endgame film. You can visit IGN on a computer, or else get an app for just about any phone, tablet, streaming player or gaming console.
Twitch is more about gaming than comics or comic-related TV and movies, but it predicted (probably correctly) that a large chunk of its audience would be interested in the goings-on at SDCC. While the streaming service hasnꞌt revealed exactly which panels will appear during its coverage,Polygon has reported a few highlights, including interviews with Firefly alumni Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, as well as the actors from the upcoming Power Rangers reboot. Skybound Entertainment, which manages The Walking Dead’s media tie-ins, will also stream live information about the franchise on its Twitch channel.
While YouTube wonꞌt be streaming just anything from SDCC, classic sci-fi fans should take note of its coverage. Googleꞌs streaming video platform has collaborated with 20th Century Fox in order to live-stream a panel celebrating the 30th anniversary of Aliens, according toVariety. YouTubeꞌs mobile live-streaming service is still fairly new, and the company probably sees this as a way to boost visibility. Still, that could work to fansꞌ advantage, since they’ll get to see Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen et al. discuss the film and how it has influenced pop culture over the last three decades.
First off, the bad news:Comic-Con HQ, the official Comic-Con streaming service, does not cover content from Hall H, which is where the huge SDCC announcements tend to happen. If you can live with that, as well as the $5-per-month fee, this service promises "a whole new way to experience Comic-Con, 365 days a year." Comic-Con HQ streams panels, interviews and news from the show floor, as well as popular movies, TV shows and even original series. It is admittedly a niche channel, but you can get a free trial, so it may be worth checking out on a computer, mobile device or smart TV.