Fans show up in costume for Comic-Con 2023 in San Diego on 20 July 2023. EFE/Guillermo Azabal

Actors’ strike mars start of San Diego Comic-Con

By Guillermo Azabal

Fans arrive for Comic-Con 2023 in San Diego on 20 July 2023. EFE/Guillermo Azabal

San Diego, Jul 20 (EFE).- The inauguration of the 52nd edition of Comic-Con, the world’s biggest pop-culture festival, kicked off here Thursday with a mixture of anticipation and disappointment.

Fans arrive for Comic-Con 2023 in San Diego on 20 July 2023. EFE/Guillermo Azabal

While the proceedings have been clouded by the ongoing strike by the Hollywood actors’ union, Efe still observed among the more than 45,000 visitors a desire to make the most of the experience.

“Can I start by talking about the actors?” Miguel, a young man visiting that convention from Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, said in remarks to Efe.

“What I was most looking forward to was seeing actors from Marvel or DC (Comics) sagas, but now I’m going to have to focus on getting exclusive Funko-type objects and toys,” he said.

As he spoke, hundreds of people of all ages dressed as Spider-Man, Batman or Star Wars characters such as Din Grogu and Cassian Andor walked about the San Diego Convention Center, located in that city’s downtown Marina district.

Stuart, a native of Vancouver, Canada, traveled to Southern California along with a group of fellow fans of the mockumentary sitcom “Abbott Elementary.”

He said he purchased his ticket eight months ago and would try to enjoy the event even though the actors he had hoped to meet won’t be there.

When the actors joined screenwriters on the picket lines last Thursday, it led to the stars of numerous series – “Abbott Elementary,” “The White Lotus,” “Cobra Kai,” and the 25th-anniversary activation of “That 70’s Show,” among others – scrapping their plans to attend this year’s four-day Comic-Con.

Due to the strike, the convention visitors won’t learn the title of the next Marvel-derived series or get the inside scoop on upcoming premieres on Netflix, HBO, Universal or Sony Pictures.

“Everything that happened is a shame. I can’t believe all those panels won’t happen,” said Guillermo, a teenager from Riverside, California, who is attending his first Comic-Con.

Stephany, a resident of Palmdale, California, said of her second visit to the convention that “there are fewer alternatives and options than in other years.”

Even so, she said her children were still excited to see a preview of the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Among Thursday’s highlights were a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” panel; an exhibition space for the sale of replicas of costumes used in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy; several panels on the latest Dungeons & Dragons film; and an exclusive screening of the opening episode of the final season of “Archer.”

EFE gac/mc