Comic Con is no joking matter and the Joker, Stuart Mazzeo, from Chronicles of Comic Con may be all about fun and games, but comic con is a big booming business. In the last several years the Comic Con scene has exploded with new small town comic cons around the country and there are too many to talk about now, but as we are in the convention season here are some cons coming up the we are fond of:
San Diego Comic-Con or SDCC, or as I call it the Mecca of comic cons, will be taking over the city July 21-24th 2016 and this the mother of all things comic con. You have probably been in cue year after year trying to purchase weekend passes to this event. Some 150,000 nerds are lucky to get passes but the rest are not so fortunate in the pursuit of Comic-Con goodness. (The little sister to SDCC is WonderCon and is a great convention that we highly recommend as a back up plan.) Started in 1970 at the by a group of guys wanting to trade comic books SDCC grew from a small 300 person gathering at Hotels into the power house it is today spilling out of the San Diego Convention Center into all corners of the San Diego Gaslamp District. The convention center has had to expand several times to hold this prestiges event and is once again to accommodate the sea of sweaty nerds invading Southern California from all over the world. Just because the word COMIC is in the title and it was started as a Comic Book Convention does not mean that’s all you will find there. In fact it has out grown that to become the place to promote anything Entertainment and Hollywood comes down to revel in the PR spectacle sensation. They have Panels all day long in Hall H, with a mile long line to get in, with the biggest movie stars, directors, and producers promoting the upcoming epic movies. Plus dozens of other panel rooms throughout the convention with news and Q&A for your favorite TV shows, Comic Books, Artists, Writing Seminars, Cosplay, and stuff you never knew existed in the first place. There is literally something for everyone. It can be an overwhelming experience and a packed con floor on Saturday will have any geek geeking out with a dazed look of awe and wonder in their eyes, but though it’s an epic amount of nerd-gasm worthy stuff to absorb SDCC has taken it to another level. In 2016 they have expanded their reach even further with Comic-Con HQ. The new channel features programming they have picked up and all new shows created just for Comic-Con to submerge the viewers in all things SDCC. Maybe they will pick up Chronicles of Comic Con too??? There is more going on in 4 Days than is humanly possible to attend and SDCC wants their fans to be able catch as much of the event as possible. So whether you were there that weekend or simply watching from home on your tablet you can be apart of the experience. This is awesome news for the millions of nerds worldwide that are not able to attend the Mother of all Comic Cons. Now you can submerge yourself in fandom 365 days a year. Happy Comic Coning!!
However, we have a few other favorite comic cons that you may want to look into if you couldn’t attend SDCC. If you are a Cosplayer then you have probably been to this convention or have been planning on it.
The biggest collection of Cosplayers every years is in downtown Atlanta Georgia for Dragon Con started in 1987. Cosplay is an expanding fandom phenomenon with a combination of costuming and play. Whether dressing up as their favorite character from books, video games, anime, cartoons, movies, tv, comic books, or anything that inspires them this a whole society of nerds taking their fandom to all new levels. Dragon Con started in one hotel and now is held in a number of hotels taking up blocks at a time. Cosplayers have a parade through the streets that is a site to be seen and the place to be seen. There are cool panels at all the hotels and parties all over the place, and if that isn’t enough then just wander from hotel to hotel while you mingle with cosplayers lounging about every square inch of the hotels and streets. These fans have put countless long hours into designing and creating their cosplay as well as lots of personal money OR do very minimal costumes OR purchase their outfits from a professional designer; but no matter what or where they got it this a passion of love that has now turned into a business. Pro Cosplayers can be found as special guests at comic cons everywhere and have huge social media followings. Like The Joker video above cosplay is a lot of fun and taken very serious in the community of Cosplayers. It has inspired lots of great entertainment like found on Chronicles of Comic Con where they use cosplayers and actors in unusual ways.
If you are not into the world of cosplay then maybe you are more a purist at heart and want to meet some comic book artists. We have a suggestion for that too.
In the blistering heat of Arizona is the Phoenix Comicon with my favorite convention floor setup in the country featuring rows of artist, writers, and comic creators in the center of the convention hall. Yes, they have celebrities, panels, cosplayers, and all the makings of any other comic con, but they have done a great job in sticking to their roots……comic books. This may not be the biggest comic con in the country, but is a worthy trip and something you should check out. It is a very fan friendly convention with a great staff and according to Wil Wheaton from Star Trek the Next Generation it is the best run con in the country; and he has been to all of them. He kinda knows what he is talking about. They have great panel options and entertainment. The celebrity list is unique every year, but the zombie walk through downtown is something that every nerd will want to attend. This is another great place to shop and add to whatever it is you collect. The night life is full of adventure and you never know who you are going to run into on the streets like in Chronicles of Comic Con. We highly recommend Phoenix Comicon for a first time comic con experience. It’s a great way to pop your pop culture con cherry or to add into the rotation for any professional con-er.
If the desert heat is too much for you then the cool crisp rocky mountains may be the breath of fresh air you need. Here is another suggestion for you.
Being from Utah I knew that the state needed something new and the staff at Salt Lake Comic Con has given them exactly that. One of the newer conventions on the con tour it has exploded over night with popularity featuring actors like Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin from Josh Whedon’s short lived series Firefly or Sir Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frank from Star Trek the Next Generation. SLCC has all the big guests, artists, writers, creators, and cosplayers that you can find everywhere else, but SLCC is not just once a year. They have started a second convention called the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience or SLCC Fan X giving the nerds of Utah two options a year with a variety of different experiences to enjoy. With special celebrity photo ops, artist alley, tons of vendors, awesome panels, and everything you need this is the perfect comic con for any fanboy.
Traveling to visit a comic con may not be in your finances and we understand. We have a suggestion for that too.
The Wizard World Comic Con experience is everywhere now. Starting as a magazine in 1991 it has morphed into not just a comic con but an entire fleet of comic cons in major cities worldwide, but why stop there when you can keep the good times cruising along with the announcement of the Wizard World Comic Con Cruise. Yep, that’s right you can be stuck on a boat with a bunch of your friends, artist, writers, and your favorite celebrities on the ocean. Sounds like a great time to me! With big turn outs of fans, like this fun group from Chronicles of Comic Con featuring Dustin Dorough as a confused Superman, in Chicago and Philadelphia their global expansion over the last 5 years has given fans more options to attend a WWCC event in their local area. Wizard World has built a reputation with great guests like Norman Reedus aka Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead series, Chris Hemsworth aka Thor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and William Shatner aka Captain James Tiberius Kirk from Star Trek with personal special photo ops available with fans. These packages can be pricy but well worth it for admiring fans to meet their idols and walk away with a cherished photograph that they brag about to all their friends on social media. Wizard World is more than a celebrity experience too as Artist Alley is filled with legendary Comic Book creators and indie creators with something for everyone, cool vendors, tons of cosplay, and a gaming section. Like I said EVERYTHING! Because WWCC is everywhere now it is giving the same experience to fans no matter where they are…….including on a mother fucking boat!
Tell us in the comments about your favorite Comic Con????
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