San Diego Comic-Con is one of the biggest weeks of the pop culture world — specifically, for fans of comic book superheroes, sci-fi and fantasy legends, and animated comedy series for kids and adults.
"I'm here to cosplay myself, to see other people's costumes," said Sadie Witkowski, podcast creator and host of, "In Defense of Fandom."
In the San Diego Convention Center is the famous "Hall H," the stage that annually hosts more than 6,000 attendees all waiting to see the latest lineup of movies and series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Star Wars," "Game of Thrones" — you name it. But not this year.
The historic ongoing strikes from the Writers Guild of America and the actors guild SAG-AFTRA mean major actors and writers aren't going to be in attendance this year — with companies like Disney and Warner Bros. announcing weeks ago that they wouldn't have as big of a presence on the Hall H stage.
And instead of promoting some of their upcoming projects, major franchise actors are on the picket lines advocating for better working conditions, pay, and protections against artificial intelligence.
"I'm all for them being on strike. I support them 100%, and I just hope we can get some great results out of the strike," said Leo Rydel, a critic and content creator of "Geekly Goods."
"It's really important that people are paid for their labor, and so I'm glad that they're going to be fighting for their rights," said Witkowski.
That means fans won't be able to see some of their big screen favorites this year, but it also affects other attendees at comic-con: Pop culture influencers and prominent cosplayers.
As studios are reaching out to people with significant social media followings to help promote their upcoming projects, SAG-AFTRA is asking them not to cross a picket line. For influencers, that means not taking any promotion deals from major studios. And for prominent cosplayers, that means avoiding dressing up as characters owned by companies against which actors and writers are striking.
Meanwhile, thousands of attendees are already in San Diego gearing up for a weekend of comics and fandom.
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com