From the ConNewRecaps, Reports & Reviews

Con Recap: SDCC 2023 – Less and More

By Miclpea

As the curtain closes on San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2023, the event is still not at pre-pandemic levels. The strike by the writers and actors cast a huge shadow on the 2023 event. Hall H was basically a ghost town. However, there was still a lot to do, and most fans found other ways to occupy themselves.

As for SDCC 2023 itself, without the major studios, writers, and actors, the energy level was somewhat muted. Many panels were canceled at the last minute, while others were shortened or modified. However, there were still many excellent panels and events to attend, as well as many artists to interview.

I was fortunate in that I was able to interview J. Michael Straczynski, the prolific writer, producer, and director. He is the brilliant writer and creative force behind fan-favorite Babylon 5 as well as co-creator with Lana and Lilly Wachowski of Sense8 on Netflix. He has written several screenplays including Thor and World War Z, as well as comic books and graphic novels for both DC and Marvel. 

Straczynski was a charming and engaging person to interview. There was a sense that his formidable and creative intellect was being held in check as we discussed the world premiere of one of his latest works, the animated movie, Babylon 5: The Road Home. He explained his writing process. It was fascinating how his description seemed to make it seem so effortless. But this is true genius because he makes the difficult appear to be easy. 

SDCC Attendees were treated to the other world premieres of animated features such as Justice League: Warworld. For fans of The Venture Bros., the long-awaited feature to close their saga, The Venture Bros.: Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart, premiered. There were also original episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Futurama, among others. 

Outside the convention, there were many outstanding activations such as the AMC Immortal Universe, Paramount+ Lodge, Adult Swim, IMDB Yacht, and Hulu Animation. My personal favorite was the Hulu activation because they served Bob’s burgers! Click here for a description of the offsites by the Blog’s very own Transmute June.

Although SDCC 2023 was not as frenetic as the pre-COVID conventions, it was still fun.  The chance for attendees to see world premieres with other fans of their favorite and long-canceled series was truly enjoyable. The activations, with their many and varied activities and assorted swag, were as strong as any previous outside activations. The Exhibit Hall vendors were happy, as many stated that they had record sales! 

Ultimately, SDCC 2023 was a testament to the adaptability of attendees who were able to make new plans and enjoy the convention when their original panels and/or activities were canceled.

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I love going to conventions around the US and Canada. I'm an ardent fan of all things science fiction and especially The Expanse. I'm a senior writer for Friends of CC and I have co-written a science-fiction script called Punctuated Equilibrium.