With the spread of geek culture and inclusion of “mainstream” entertainment, comic conventions are quickly becoming a vacation event for millions of people with interests in comics, science fiction, fantasy, and gaming. With large conventions like San Diego Comic Con selling out tickets quickly and becoming too large for one person to navigate, smaller conventions are popping up everywhere, and are just the thing for novice or casual convention-goers. Here are three first- and second-annual shows ready to entertain you without breaking your budget or being too overwhelming.
Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), March 18-20, Chicago, IL
Already in its second year, C2E2 has already established itself as a contender for a spot with the big dogs: San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con. Presented by ReedPop, the company behind NYCC, Star Wars Celebration V, and PAX, C2E2 is poised to present a much larger convention this year with the same level of organization and professionalism that Reed has exhibited in the past. They are continuing to add new guests, but featured guests so far include Eliza Dushku, the cast of True Blood, Garth Ennis, Jon Bernthal, and Matt Fraction. There will also be special events such as Quidditch matches organized by the International Quidditch Association, screenings of Evangelion 1.11 and 2.22, daily costume contests, and the Ink-Fusion Tattoo Festival. A weekend (3-day) pass is only $50 when reserved online before March 14th, which is a bargain when compared to SDCC’s $105 4-day passes (which have already sold out).
Kapow! Comic Con, April 9-10, London, UK
For people “on the other side of the pond” or willing to travel for a unique show, this year is the first for Kapow!, which is being presented by legendary comics writer Mark Millar. While this will be a much smaller show than most (the venue capacity is only 5,000), this con will still be worth checking out, and is currently adding more events and guests to its schedule. With a respectable lineup of comic guests, the show will also feature guests from popular TV series and movies, as well as the IGN Arena, where attendees can try out new and sneak preview video games. One of the biggest announcements so far has been the inclusion of the first annual Stan Lee Awards for excellence in comics, TV, and movies. A weekend ticket costs £25.50.
GeekGirlCon, October 8-9, Seattle, WA
GeekGirlCon is a recently announced convention that is still in the planning stages. As stated on its website: “GeekGirlCon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of and celebrating the contribution and involvement of women in all aspects of the sciences, science fiction, comics, gaming and related Geek culture through conventions and events that emphasize both the historic and ongoing contribution and influence of women in this culture.” Current guests include Bonnie Burton, Marian Call, Trina Robbins, Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, and Jen Van Meter. A weekend pass is only $35.