Comic-Con@Home logo. Courtesy Comic-Con International

For the second year in a row, San Diego’s sprawling, massive Comic-Con is transforming into an online only event because of a pandemic that has died down, but refused to go away.

This year’s Comic-Con@Home runs July 23-25 and it’s loaded with panels on pop culture favorites, interviews with actors, authors and creators, and exhibitors selling toys, merchandise and other items online.

Comic-Con organizers announced in April that an in-person Con will be postponed until July 2022. However, they are planning a smaller event called Comic-Con Special Edition. If conditions permit, the smaller event will be held November 26-28.

For now, however, Comic-Con@Home will have to do for fans.

Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights. For dates and times of the panels, visit www.comic-con.org. And if you miss the live broadcast of a panel, you’ll be able to watch it later on Comic-Con’s YouTube channel.

Television

The glut of streaming entertainment services has been a bonanza for fans, with shows for all kinds of individual tastes. Shows that used to pack that cavernous Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center will instead pack your couch this week.

High-profile shows being highlighted include zombie adventure “The Walking Dead,” which is entering its last year. Cast and creators will take part in a Q&A discussion about filming the final season and show a trailer for the upcoming season.

Other popular shows being featured include “Bob’s Burgers,” “Rick and Morty” and “Doctor Who.”

Film

Studios are starting to release films in theaters again but it is happening slowly and that’s reflected at Comic-Con, where only a handful of studios are participating. Opening night features a look at the newest entry in the G.I. Joe film series, “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins,” which takes a look at the most popular Joe, the mysterious ninja warrior.

San Diegans

Comic-Con has increasingly put the spotlight on local San Diegans who are involved in pop culture and this year is no different.

San Diego’s own Masked Republic, a lucha libre event, merchandising and media company, will be featured at two panels, “Video Games, Art and Mexican Culture” and “Not-So-Strange Bedfellows: The Relationship between Comics and Professional Wrestling.” Both panels are on Friday.

Sandra Scheller, an author and thecreator of “RUTH Remember Us The Holocaust,” an exhibit at the main Chula Vista library, will participate in “Art and the Holocaust — The Art of Holocaust Survivor Dr. Viktor Frankl.”

Panels Off the Beaten Patch

While many fans crowd panels for popular movies and shows, some of the most fascinating Comic-Con discussions come at the smaller, more unusual panels.

In “This is the Law: Judges on the Mandalorian,” Four distinguished judges will discuss legal questions raised by the bounty hunting protagonist of Disney’s popular “The Mandalorian.”

Meanwhile, scientists from NASA and Pasadena’s JPL will swap stories of problems they’ve encountered in real life trying to land and fly spacecraft on Mars in the panel “No Tow Trucks Beyond Mars.”

Meanwhile, Balboa Park’s Fleet Science Center has organized a panel called “The Science of Star Wars,” featuring scientists explaining the real-life science behind the Star Wars films.

Luis Monteagudo Jr. is a freelance writer and pop culture enthusiast. He has written for The San Diego Union-Tribune, USA Today and numerous other publications.

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