Any geek or fan out there will know that San Diego Comic-Con is the holy grail of the convention world - with the biggest attendances and huge announcements from film studios and comic book publishers alike. 

Sadly for another year running, this huge summer event has been moved entirely online due to COVID. Here's everything you need to know, including when the panels are and what events will be held virtually as an alternative. We also have a similar event for DC FanDome, another large-scale nerd event specifically for fans of DC.

How to watch San Diego Comic-Con 2021

For the second time in SDCC's history, a free, online version of Comic-Con will replace the actual event, aptly named "Comic-Con at home". It will take place on July 21 until July 25, though the majority of the panels will be held from Friday onwards.

There's no limit on the number of attendees, and anyone from around the world can attend. In addition, there will be an online exhibit hall which will feature all the exclusive merch and a limited edition products which are usually only available at the event. 

There will also be a remote version of the cosplay masquerade, gaming activities and of course all of the standard panels. You can find links to all the schedules on every day below:

All the panels will be available to stream over on Comic-Con's official YouTube channel

The best Comic-Con panels to watch

If sifting through the entire schedule sounds like a lot of work, here's some of the biggest panels that you should tune into. In case you're wondering, both Marvel Studios and DC Films will not be in attendance.

Some panels in the full schedule overlap, but as they're on YouTube you should still be able to catch-up on any clashes that happen:

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins - 21 July - 9pm BST /1pm PT

The opening panel for Comic-Con will feature interviews with cast members Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Úrsula Corberó, Samara Weaving, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira, Peter Mensah and Iko Uwais, and writer of the G.I. Joe comics, Larry Hama. There will also be special content from the film, as well as behind-the-scenes footage.

Dragon Ball Special - 23 July - 6pm BST/10am PT

Dragon Ball fans get ready, as Masako Nozawa (voice of Son Goku), as well as Akio Iyoku (executive producer) and Norihiro Hayashida (producer of TV animation and movies for the Dragon Ball series) will be getting together to discuss the upcoming movie. There will also be a musical performance from Hironobu Kageyama.

Paramount+: Peak Animation with the Star Trek Universe - 23 July - 2am BST/6pm PT

Paramount+ will be showcasing a lot in this panel, but trekkies should keep an eye out for new information on the upcoming season of Star Trek: Lower Decks and the upcoming series, Star Trek: Prodigy. 

Rick and Morty - 24 July - 12am BST/4pm PT

Season 5 of Rick and Morty is currently airing, so this panel will discuss what we've already seen, as well as what's coming up. There will be appearances from co-creator/executive producer Dan Harmon, showrunner Scott Marder, and cast members Chris Parnell, Sarah Chalke, and Spencer Grammer.

Lucifer - 24 July - 1am BST/5pm PT

The final season of Lucifer is approaching, so we imagine this panel will celebrate everything that's happened so far, and give us a teaser as to how the show will wrap up. The panellists include Tom Ellis, Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich.

Doctor Who - 25 July - 6pm BST/10am PT

Doctor Who traditionally gets the Sunday slot for Comic-Con, and this year is no different. Showrunner Chris Chibnall will be there to give a preview of season 13, and he will be joined by Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, as well as new cast member, John Bishop.

Other events to get involved in

The cosplay masquerade has now moved entirely online, with submissions being published on Tumblr on 24 July. The winner will be announced at the end of the day - you can read more about the Cosplay Masquerade here.

There's more fan activities to get involved in, including the first ever [email protected] Book Club, which will discuss In Waves by AJ Dungo. 

There are more home-based challenges themed around art, superheroes and baking, as well as the SuperVolunteer challenge which encourages participants to get involved with non-profit work. 

How can I get a ticket to SDCC 2022?

Next year's Comic-Con will take place in July 2022, though the official dates haven't been confirmed as of yet. This event is aiming to be in-person, and not at home. 

The organisers of Comic-Con are still in the process of handing out both refunds and replacements badges for next year’s show, so there’s likely to be a delay in issuing tickets for next year's event. However, if you’d like to give it a shot, you’ll need to register for a member ID first.

Once you have that, you’ll get an email from the company within 48 hours, and will have a choice between various badge types. You can find further details about the types of badges available on the SDCC website.