For nerds and geeks everywhere, comic book conventions are the ultimate destination. They’re places where being a nerd or a geek is celebrated instead of berated. Comic book conventions are where people can let their freak flags fly and have them seen by others who love the same things.
Back in the day, comic book conventions were only for the most extreme fanboys and fangirls. But these days, comic book conventions are mainstream celebrations of everything pop culture attended by thousands and sometimes even millions.
If you’ve never been to a comic book convention, also known as a Comic-Con, you’re truly missing out. These amazingly fun events are held all over the country, so there’s likely one within driving distance for you to experience.
If you’re willing to travel for a truly unique and entertaining experience, these are the Comic-Cons you absolutely have to check out.
San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC)
San Diego Comic-Con is considered the epitome of comic book conventions. Everyone who’s anyone in the world of nerd/geek entertainment attends San Diego Comic-Con.
This event has become the central hub of all entertainment related to comic books, science fiction, and fantasy. All of the stars of your favorite nerd/geek movies and TV shows attend the Con as guests and often speak on panels. SDCC has become so popular that it’s now the primary place where new movie and TV show trailers are screened, where entertainment announcements are made, and where attendees can get all the insider info and news about everything comic books, science fiction, and fantasy.
Of course, at its heart San Diego Comic-Con is still a comic book convention, so all of your favorite comic book writers, artists, and creators are in attendance as well. They set up in a giant vendor area to sell and sign their books, and they also speak on panels where attendees can listen to their creator heroes talk about their favorite comic book heroes.
SDCC is also the place to be if you’re a cosplayer – a person who dresses up as their favorite comic book, science fiction, fantasy, anime, or video game character. There are contests for the best cosplay costumes, and we’re not talking like the Halloween costume contest at your favorite bar. Lots of these cosplayers are professionals who make their own costumes and get paid to wear them at Cons.
If you’ve always wanted to go to a comic book convention and you can afford to make it to San Diego Comic-Con, GO! It’s definitely the best con the country has to offer.
New York Comic-Con (NYCC)
New York Comic-Con is basically the East Coast version of San Diego Comic-Con. Since NYCC isn’t as close to Hollywood as San Diego Comic-Con it doesn’t draw as many Hollywood stars as SDCC. But the stars who play characters that are true fan favorites always show up to NYCC.
Some fans like New York Comic-Con better than San Diego Comic-Con because it’s a little smaller, a little less crowded, and the celebs who typically show up are the ones who are truly dedicated to pleasing the fandom. The fact that it’s less crowded also means that it’s easier to get into panels with the big-name celebs and creators that do attend.
NYCC’s vendor room – where fans can interact with creators – still attracts the big names in the comic book world, but it also attracts a lot more indie creators. If you’re looking to discover your new favorite comic that no one has heard of, the vendor floor at NYCC is the place to do it.
And the cosplay scene is just as hot at New York Comic-Con as it is at San Diego Comic-Con. There are cosplay contests where amateur and professional cosplayers alike compete and there’s a giant cosplay dance each year where costumes are required for entry.
NYCC is a fabulous convention for any top-level nerd/geek who’s looking for a good time.
Emerald City Comic-Con
Fans who consider themselves to be OG comic book fans praise Emerald City Comic-Con for being one of the only comic book conventions left that really keeps the focus on the comic book industry. While SDCC and NYCC both have an emphasis on comic books at their conventions, they’ve started to focus much more on the movie and TV industries. Emerald City Comic-Con is still about the media that started it all – the comic book.
Emerald City Comic-Con, which is held in Seattle Washington, also has a different feel than the larger conventions. It feels a bit more down to Earth than SDCC and NYCC. You’re much more likely to run into an indie celeb who’s willing to strike up a conversation or create a connection with a comic book creator in the vendor room at Emerald City Comic-Con because that’s just the vibe of the Con.
But the down to Earth vibe and smaller size doesn’t mean that Emerald City Comic-Con doesn’t draw in the big-name celebs. Attendees at this Con will still be able to attend panels featuring their favorite celebs, especially those from the sci-fi genre since Emerald City Comic-Con has a large focus on sci-fi media.
And of course, Emerald City Comic-Con has an extensive cosplay scene. In fact, the Western Championships of Cosplay are held at Emerald City Comic-Con each year. So, if cosplay is your thing, you definitely have to hit up Emerald City Comic-Con.
Other Comic Book Conventions in the U.S.
These are only a few of the best comic book conventions the country has to offer. Other major conventions include PAX West, PAX East, Gen Con, WonderCon, BlizzCon, DragonCon, and many more small, local conventions. Each of these conventions offers a place for geeks and nerds to gather and celebrate their common interests whether those be comic books, science fiction, fantasy, video games, cosplay, or gaming.
If you’re a proud geek, nerd, or just someone who loves pop culture, you should definitely check out a comic book convention ASAP.
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