Culture News

Why Is San Diego Comic-Con Already Being Canceled?

Three months out from the event, it has already been canceled—with good reason

On Friday afternoon it was announced that this year's San Diego Comic-Con, scheduled for July 23-26, had been canceled.

The world-famous event has been held annually for the last 50 years and draws more than 130,000 attendants to the San Diego Convention Center to meet their favorite celebrities and artists and show off their elaborate cosplay. No doubt a lot of people were already looking forward to events like this, with the expectation that life will be returning to normal this summer. So why—with New York beginning to move past the worst phase of the pandemic, and Donald Trump already pushing for various states to be "liberated"—is Comic-Con being canceled more than three months in advance?


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What We Know About "Steven Universe: Future" So Far

The Latest Sneak Peak Gave Us a Ton To Think About, But Not a Lot of Answers

Fans of Steven Universe were no doubt delighted by the news at this year's Comic Con that Rebecca Sugar's iconic world would be continuing with an epilogue called Steven Universe: Future.

But until now, that title and a little bit of teasing artwork was all the news we'd received about the upcoming limited series. Today, finally, we got our first sneak peak at Future, and it really is looking bright.

It's been nearly a year now since the fifth and final standard season of Steven Universe concluded with the apparent achievement of universal everlasting peace. Having recovered their lost, beloved Pink Diamond in the form of a small, half-human boy, the Diamonds' whole worldview was shaken. The framework of unquestioned superiority that had guided their rule was suddenly invalidated. They dissolved their society's rigid hierarchy and acknowledged the value of organic life. War and conquest are off the table, and gem technology will bring a new Utopian era to earth. Huzzah! Every problem is fixed and all the characters can now live in peace and love and freedom into eternity.

For a show with a well-earned reputation for tackling the complexity and nuance of interpersonal drama, it seemed a bit strange for events to be wrapped up so tidily. It's a sentiment that was perfectly captured in September by the song "Happily Ever After," that played in the first moments of Steven Universe: The Movie. "Here we are in the future, and it's bright. Nothing to fear, no one to fight." But no sooner was this sense of a happy ending established than Spinel was introduced and new drama ensued, showing the way for the franchise to grow moving forward. There are loose ends galore, and in the upcoming limited series Steven Universe: Future Steven will have the work of handling those, but also, "as he runs out of other people's problems to solve, he'll finally have to face his own."

steven universe future threats

That leaves a lot of room for Steven's romantic life, his questions of identity, and his private ambitions to be explored—not to mention his own messy history with the tribe of Watermelon Stevens, etc. It's not yet clear which of his personal problems will come into focus in Future, but we do have clues about some of the other problems he'll be facing.

Let's start with the frame of a generally better life in Beach City and the rest of the universe, with gems finding new ways to live, be free, and have fun on earth—yoga and art and new fusions galore. "Happily Ever After" echoes throughout the snippets of Future we've received so far, but the new sneak peak emphasizes Steven's misplaced optimism in believing that "soon, we'll all be able to put the past behind us." Dissolving the old hierarchy does not erase history. There are ancient grievances that we've never even heard of—as with Spinel, abandoned in Pink's garden—and there are grievances from within the show's established canon that may not be so easily forgotten. Enter Jasper.

jasper

Jasper is a toxic gem. Abusive and domineering, she has internalized the hierarchy of gem society to such a degree that she can't conceive of personal value or identity in any other terms. Fusions are beneath her, imperfect gems are beneath her, biological creatures are far beneath her, and Rose Quartz—who upset the natural order and remade herself into a half-biological creature—is absolute scum. For Jasper, it's not such an easy thing to let go of those ideas on the basis that this scum, this fundamental enemy of her values, is now being held up as Pink Diamond—Jasper's lost matriarch. And now the fact that her gem is corrupted is likely to only exacerbate her resentment. Her manic laughter rings out in the new video, along with the defiant declaration "You are not my diamond!"

pearls

Jasper will clearly represent a significant threat in Future, but she's not the only character fans are buzzing about. Perhaps even more interesting is the mystery of the damaged Pink Pearl. She was previously taken from Pink Diamond—before our familiar Pearl replaced her—and has since served under White Diamond. She has large fractures of unknown origin covering half her face, and in the sneak peak, we catch a glimpse of those fractures spreading across her face. No doubt the drama of her past and the question of how she will be incorporated into the new world will be another focus of Future.

Beyond that, there are still a lot of questions to be answered, but it's exciting to see so many new and wild fusions, and gem technology transforming life on earth—for the better this time. The release date hasn't been specified beyond the vague promise that it's "coming soon." Hopefully a date will be forthcoming, because "soon" can't come soon enough!

CULTURE

New York Comic Con 2018: What to Expect

Thousands of people will pour into the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center today, hoping to learn anything new about their fandoms

Today is the first day of New York Comic Con and crowds of people are already starting to pour in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, dressed up as their favorite characters.

Of course, NYCC won't be as big as the OG event, San Diego Comic Con, but we can still expect tons of news about releases, movies, shows and more.

Comics

If you're a die-hard fan for the original reason of this convention, you'll be pretty busy this weekend — comics will be a huge part of the show, like always. Marjorie Liu will be giving a keynote speech to kick off the day — she's the creator of the Monstress series, which won both Hugo and Eisner awards.

In the Artist Alley, you can check out independent artists showcasing their books and artwork, a great way to support smaller names. Bigger companies such as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and others will host panels all weekend.

Some other interesting panels involve education and representation — Emily Ree will be speaking for the 'History Comics Club' and 'Queer Comics for Kids of All Ages' will also be represented at the convention.

Movies

The younger crowd — who weren't brought up on comics — will probably be more interested in the movie announcements and events. Fans expect new trailers to drop, such as for Peter Jackson's Mortal Engines, the last movie in DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon series and the Hellboy reboot.

Movie panels will include Todd McFarlane's talk about his new Spawn movie, From Page to Screen: Owning Your Own Intellectual Property and a movie interview about Constantine: City of Demons.

Shows

NYCC is pretty much the place to be for show premieres — DC Universe premiered the first two episodes of its Teen Titans reboot, Titans and Syfy will be showing Nightflyers, a George R. R. Martin adaption. Netflix will premiere new seasons of Daredevil, Big Mouth, The Haunting of Hill House and more. Hulu will do the same with shows such as Marvel's Runaways and American Gods.


Activations

Activations are basically installations with show or movie themes — I think of them as Instagram opportunities within Comic Con. Audible will be presenting a Harry Potter exhibit while promoting the new Fantastic Beasts movie. Amazon has some installations relating to Good Omens, Jack Ryan, and more.

Other events will include a White Walker by Johnnie Walker pop up, a Queer Lounge, NYCC Presents, a Star Wars Fan Club Experience and more. This year will also include an entire section dedicated solely to anime. Guests will include Mark Ruffalo from The Incredible Hulk, Travis McElroy from the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me, Aisha Taylor from Archer and much, much more.


Amber Wang is a freelancer for Popdust, Gearbrain and various other sites. She is also a student at NYU, a photographer and a marketing intern.



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