Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett offers his thoughts on the virtual San Diego Comic-Con that went on last weekend, and does a follow-up to his column on how the depictions of police in popular culture were being re-evaluated.

The first, and let us all dearly hope last annual Comic-Con@Home has come and gone, the reviews are in and the consensus appears to be that it was, as Variety described it, pretty much a "bust."  And they had the metrics to back up that evaluation.

According to data from social media analytics firm ListenFirst, tweets that mentioned Comic-Con@Home were down 95% from 2019’s live convention: just 93,681 tweets over the five-day event, against 1,719,000 tweets in 2019.  Tweets about the top 10 TV events were similarly down 93%, and tweets about the top 5 movie panels were down a shocking 99%.

I think “bust” might be a bit too severe, though; it was more like a bore.  Admittedly it's hard to make what's essentially a series of Zoom meetings exciting, but it certainly didn’t help matters that all of the panels were prerecorded.  One of the downsides of a virtual con is the lack of contact with creators; having all of their “appearances” prerecorded made it impossible for “attendees” to even ask them questions via online chat.

Making things worse was the absence of panels for Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and DC Films, Variety notes, meaning no major new announcements about upcoming projects or major celebrity guest attendees for everyone to get excited over. In short, the home version of Comic-Con was also pretty bland, lacking in both surprises and the kind of spectacle usually associated with Comic-Con.

Not that I minded. I enjoyed all of the panels I "attended," especially the way that the video sneak peeks were embedded.  In years past it seemed like it sometimes took days, or even longer for that kind of visual material to make its way to YouTube.

For me, the thing most missing from Comic-Con@Home was the scarcity of actual news.  Usually, I can find any number of projects announced from the worlds of movies, TV, and comics (especially comics) that I can look forward to, but that wasn’t the case this year.  The only upcoming comic I saw being really promoted was Donny Cates' Crossover (see "Cates, Shaw, Cuniffe Reunite For 'Crossover'").  I know what we’ve seen so far is only a tease, but I can’t say I was overly impressed by what I’ve seen so far.

But as someone who has wanted to go to Comic-Con since I was 12, I can honestly say that overall Comic-Con@Home was basically... fine, for what it was and it was definitely (far) better than the only other alternative: nothing.

A couple of weeks ago (see "Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy--Cops With Capes") I wrote about a New York Times piece by Amanda Hess about how depictions of the police in popular culture were being re-evaluated. The title, “The Protests Come for ‘Paw Patrol’” apparently made it sound like Paw Patrol, the popular Canadian CGI–animated children's television series featuring Chase, "a German shepherd who is also a cop" was the latest victim of so-called “Cancel Culture.”  At least someone in The White House certainly thought so.

Because, as reported on Deadline, on July 24th current White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the President was “appalled by cancel culture, and cancel culture specifically as it pertains to cops.  We saw a few weeks ago that PAW Patrol, a cartoon show about cops, was canceled.”  The only thing being, a Nickelodeon spokesperson told Deadline “that the show has not been canceled.”  Which was later confirmed in a tweet from Nick Jr.; “PAW Patrol is not canceled.”

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of