There are a lot of comic and gaming conventions out there, but I have a few that I enjoy because of the people, the art, and the experience.
Comic Cons are big business in the 21st century. Every city has one. Some are good, some are okay, some are great. I've been to quite a few to film, interview celebrities, and sell books. I have a few favorites, and I'd love to share them with everyone.
“The thing about a good convention doesn't come down to how big it is, but rather the caliber of fans it attracts.”
I'm just going to say it: I'm a Geek. With a capital 'G'. I was a Geek before it was cool to be a geek. I collected comics before the comic movie Renaissance. These were the days of D&D clubs in basements and raised eyebrows when you talked about the newest issue of Superman (of which I have every one published since 1985).
So when I say I know what makes a good convention from a very geeky perspective, you can trust me on that.
What Makes a Stellar Convention?
The thing about a good convention doesn't come down to how big it is, but rather the caliber of fans it attracts. I'm not a lover of the all-famous San Diego Comic Con International. It's too big, too corporate, and too polished for it's own good. I like my conventions a little more scrappy and a lot geekier.
So when it comes to conventions I tend to like smaller, more intimate affairs. Now don't get me wrong, two of my top conventions are two of the biggest, but again, it comes down to the fans.
One of the smallest conventions I've ever been too is the Wasatch Comic Con. It takes place in a mall in Salt Lake City Utah and is so retro it feels like I stepped back to the San Diego Comic Con of the early 90's. This is a convention for artists, comic creators, and comic-lovers. It's old school in the best way, and I dig it.
Now let's get a little bigger, but stay in the same town. I don't know what it is about Salt Lake City Utah, but that region is a hot bed of geek activity. Utah actually won the award for geekiest state a few years ago; a distinction it wore proudly. Their biggest show is FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, which always has fun celebrity appearances and sometimes even surprise comic artists and writers. FanX is fun, and slightly arcane as well. The cosplay at this show is crazy! Like I said, I'm a card-carrying geek, but some of the costumes are so deep in anime and Dr Who that even I have a hard time figuring out who they are. It's amazing.
Alright, now my favorite is one of the biggest in the United States, but also one of the funnest if you love comics: New York Comic Con. Let me tell you, the Javits Center explodes every October with Geeks of the highest caliber. You want to see Superman and Batman (I mean like Superman and Batman just stepped out of your comic and started walking around the convention), this is the show for you.
New York Comic Con also offers the best collection of comic creators this side of San Diego. The only time I've ever been star-struck during a celebrity interview was when I was on-camera with Mark Bagley of 1990's Spider-Man comic fame. There are great creators in New York every October.
So there you have it. Those are my current tops. I'm going to a lot more conventions as an author though, so be ready to hear more as I travel the country. Have a great day!