It’s safe to say, the past sixteen months have been incredibly trying for everyone across the globe – the pandemic has put paid to many lives, personal well-beings and businesses, it’s been tragic. For San Diego, it’s been a specifically difficult situation for a city that places such a reliance on the income generated each year by the massive influx of tourism created by San Diego Comic-Con.
However, one thing that has been a shining light in this whole darkness is the manner that fandom and communities have come together to support those most at strain. Fundraising efforts, vigils and charity drives have popped up throughout the pandemic and, during what would have been the week of Comic-Con itself, the San Diego Causeplayer Community Shrine – initially organised by blogger and fandom figurehead Chris Morrow – is one effort of particular focus.
When it was first put together at the location of the Tin Fish Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter, directly facing the San Diego Convention Center, there were criticisms at the use of the word ‘Shrine’ relating to the absence of a comic convention at a time when so many lives were being lost worldwide. However, one year on and with many Gaslamp businesses shuttered and San Diego creatives that have had to close their livelihoods, the word has taken on new meaning.
For the 2021 San Diego Causeplayer Community Shrine, Chris partnered with local cosplayers (including the Science Fiction Coalition), the San Diego Blood Bank, and the Gaslamp Quarter organisation itself to take the event from a low-key homemade display at the Tin Fish to a more organised affair, featuring cosplay appearances, printed banners and an incredibly successful blood drive, held from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th July. The Shrine was a non-profit affair but, in the spirit of Comic-Con, served to bring visitors and much-needed revenue to local businesses.
Our Man In San Diego, Senior Editor Dan Berry was on the scene last weekend and took a whole bunch of pics – enjoy.
Find out more about the San Diego Causeplayer Community Shrine at https://sdccshrine.com/