Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Organizers of New York Comic Con and the AFI Fest have announced the 2020 editions of their events will go virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"While we'd rather be giving you an update on badges going on sale, it likely comes as no surprise that #NYCC 2020's physical event will not be able to run as intended. This is one of the hardest announcements we've had to make, & we miss you all so much," the NYCC Twitter feed said Tuesday.
"But we still can't wait to hang out with you online for New York Comic Con's Metaverse, Oct 8-11. We're partnering with YouTube to bring to life four days of incredible content. Stay tuned to for updates."
Since 2006, NYCC has celebrated comic books and the pop culture it inspires.
Many convention attendees dress like their favorite characters; go to meet-and-greet, autograph and photo opportunity sessions with their favorite actors, artists and authors; shop for exclusive merchandise and attend panel discussions about TV shows, films and books.
July's planned San Diego Comic Con was canceled for the first time in the convention's 50-year-history. It is expected to return in 2021.
The lineup for the film festival is expected to be announced next month.
Last year's AFI Fest featured screenings of the celebrated dramas Queen & Slim, The Two Popes and The Irishman.
Film festivals slated for this fall in Venice, Toronto and New York will be a hybrid of physical and virtual events.
The pandemic has prompted the cancellation of most live performances and large gatherings, as well as shuttered TV, film and theater productions in North America since March.